The Douglass Astros are off to a 2-0 start for a consecutive season and the main reason is because of their power running back Quintavious Lockett. Late Friday evening, the Astros soundly defeated the Tri-Cities Bulldogs handing them their first loss of the season.
For Doug, they came into this game looking to clean up mistakes from their last game after escaping the Washington Bulldogs 24-19. As for Tri-Cities, this was their first game of the season and they wanted to get off to a good start before hitting the road next week to battle the Southwest Dekalb Panthers.
Special teams was something the Astros struggled with in the first half. After a strong defensive performance to force a three and out on the opening drive, the Bulldogs fake punt caught the Astros off guard.
Bulldogs punter Jalen Hudson connected with Raymond Seay who took it all the way to the endzone to give the Astros an early 6-0 lead. However, the Astros responded. Running Back Kevon Godard rushed into the endzone from nine yards out giving the Astros a one point lead at 7-6.
Late in the second quarter with 5:45 remaining, Bulldogs quarterback Delorenzo Dixson scrambled out and rushed into the endzone from 11 yards, giving the Bulldogs their second lead of the game at 12-7.
Again, the Astros responded with a strong drive of their own. This time, Lockett finished the Astros drive with a five yard rushing touchdown, giving the Astros the lead at 13-7 going into halftime.
For Doug Head Coach Rodney Cofield, he knew that his team needed to clean up their first half miscues and mistakes.
“Personnel and special teams, we got to put some work in special teams,” said Cofield. “We just looked out of sync for special teams and we have to fix that.”
The second half belonged to the Astros and Lockett.
As the Astros received the second half kickoff, they wasted no time getting into the endzone. This time Lockett finished the Astros drive with a tough eight yard rushing touchdown. With 8:16 to go in the third quarter, the Astros increased their lead to nine at 21-12.
The Astro special teams stepped up on the ensuing kickoff. Cornerback Keyon Coley forced a fumble and recovered it on the Astros own 32.
Quarterback De’andre Watson took advantage of the Bulldogs turnover, punching it in from the goal line to increase the Astros lead to 15.
The Bulldogs were unable to muster any offense giving the Astros more momentum and the defense could not stop or neutralize the Astros running game.
Lockett went to work on the ensuing drive, finishing it with an eight yard rushing touchdown to make the score 33-12 with 1:39 to go in the third quarter.
The Astros defense finished the game on the next drive as middle linebacker Javontae Griffin intercepted Dixson for a 40 yard pick six as the Astros won 39-12.
“That was the gameplan. We had to run at them and run downhill,” said Cofield when asked about what was different in the second half and how the running game got going.
Lockett finished with three touchdowns on the night, as he helped the Astros running game open up more in the second half.
“When you have a big [running]back like that, you got to use him,” said Cofield on Lockett. “He runs hard. He drops his shoulders, runs forward and goes downhill.”
The Astros host the Towers Titans next Friday at Lakewood Stadium. Kickoff time is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.