What looked like an easy and dominating victory early turned into a second half collapse; or in the Washington Bulldogs case, a comeback victory.
In a tale of two halves, the Bulldogs strong second half performance against the K.I.P.P. Warriors propelled them to a 42-31 victory. In this game, it was the rushing attack led by junior running back Armani Tookes proving to be too much for the Warriors defense to handle.
It was a complete opposite in the first half though as it belonged to the Warriors. On the first play of the game, senior running back Tray Johnson broke loose on a 74 yard run to put the Warriors ahead 7-0.
On the third offensive series, Johnson did it again. This time, he went 70 yards for another rushing touchdown increasing the Warriors lead to 13.
The Warriors defense contributed to the lead, this time on defense. Defensive back Anthony Hill got a pick six increasing the Warriors lead to 19.
Not to be outdone, linebacker Kalil Matthews hit the Bulldogs quarterback causing a fumble in which he completed a scoop and score putting the Warriors ahead 25-0 with 9:13 to go in the second quarter.
The Bulldogs took advantage of the Warriors not being lined up on defense on their next offensive series as Tookes went 67 yards to put the Bulldogs on the scoreboard for the first time.
The Warriors led 25-6 at halftime and it seemed to be the Warriors night for a win as a cruise control second half was expected.
The opening drive for the Bulldogs showed that it was going to be far from that. Tookes punched it in from eight yards out, bringing the Warriors lead to 11.
It was the defense of the Bulldogs making big plays in the second half. Linebacker Maurice Edwards picked off Warriors quarterback Taron Buckholtz putting the Bulldogs in enemy territory.
The Bulldogs were unable to capitalize on the ensuing offensive possession but the defense pinned the Warriors offense deep in their own territory to force a three and out.
On the next offensive possession, Tookes went to work again. This time cruising into the endzone untouched from five yards to make the score 25-20 with less than four minutes to go in the third quarter.
The Bulldogs had all of the momentum and the Warriors were searching and working for a playmaker to come up big.
Johnson answered the call, this time breaking loose for a 45 yard rushing touchdown putting the Warriors back up by 11.
From that point on, everything went the Bulldogs way.
As the Bulldogs marched downfield, senior quarterback Monye Jones leaped over Warriors defenders on the goal line to cut the Warriors lead to three, making the score 31-28 with less than 14 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Warriors defense was desperate for a defensive stop as they could not handle the Bulldogs running game. However, the Bulldogs took advantage, this time through the air.
Jones went deep to receiver Ronnie West for a 47 yard touchdown giving the Bulldogs their first lead of the game at 34-31 with 8:42 to go in the fourth quarter.
The Warriors tried to answer but Bulldogs defensive back Taj Moore put the Warriors hopes to bed as he intercepted quarterback Demarco Brownlee and took it to the house for six.
Tookes finished with three touchdowns on the night.
The Bulldogs improve to 2-2 on the season and will be BYE next week before heading to Decatur to face Columbia on Oct. 16.