Senior Danny Copeland is the Bullis’ quarterback, taking over for graduated three-year starter Kylor Bellistri.
Photo by Dana Daniels
Potomac Heading into the 2012 season, the main question about the Bullis football program was whether the Bulldogs would be able to compensate for the loss of graduated running back Kevin Jones. The answer: Jones is gone from Bullis, but the Bulldogs’ ability to put points on the board is not.
As Bullis attempts to defend its first outright IAC football championship, it has been made clear that expectations for the team are high. In front of a sizeable crowd for their home opener, the Bulldogs certainly did not disappoint. Bullis School convincingly defeated St. Mary’s Annapolis High School, 34-13, on Sept 14.
"The win was a great team effort," senior quarterback Danny Copeland said, "but we made some mistakes."
However, he does not have much to be disappointed about. Copeland completed 14 of 20 passes for three touchdowns and 252 total yards. Copeland was another question mark heading into the season as he prepared to take over for former three-year starter Kylor Bellistri.
Despite a tight first quarter, the Bulldogs slowly pulled away. Bullis opened up the scoring with a 19-yard roll out pass from Copeland to Noah Spriggs. Then, after a quick response from St. Mary’s, Copeland suffered perhaps his only setback of the night in the form of a fumble. However, short touchdown runs from Bullis running backs Brandon Izzo and Devonte Williams eventually led to the Bulldogs taking a 27-13 lead into the half.
In the second half, St. Mary’s was shut down offensively as a late interception followed by a Nick Fields touchdown sealed the game for the Bulldogs. Senior transfer Peter Angeh led the charge with 11 tackles and 3.5 sacks.
"Danny played great and saw the field well tonight," Spriggs said. "We’re happy with the result tonight, and are looking forward to next week."
Spriggs led all Bullis receivers with three receptions for 101 yards.
"It feels great to get the first home win," Fields said. "The first home game is always filled with a lot of emotion and excitement, and I’m glad we were able to get the job done. Now we need to have a great week of practice and get ready for Avalon next Friday."
Fields’ five-catch, 93-yard performance was second only to that of Spriggs.
Although Bullis is just now entering the bulk of its schedule, it appears that the team is again a serious contender for an IAC championship. Since the beginning of this 2012 season, the Bulldogs have achieved success in the air and on the ground. While Copeland has picked up Bellistri’s slack under center, the Bulldogs have found success in on the ground by committee. Bullis distributed carries between Copeland, Izzo, Fields, Williams and Jonathan Dyer over the course of the game. Now 3-0, the Bulldogs will face Avalon School from Gaithersburg next week. When the two teams faced last year, Bullis steamrolled Avalon, 54-0.
"Coach [Pat Cilento] encourages us to stay grounded and focus on the game at hand," Dyer said. "That’s what makes us good. We don’t ignore any opponent."