Wilson beats Carroll 30-26

Noam Jacobovitz

The Wilson football team beat Archbishop Carroll 30-26 Saturday at RFK Stadium in the Events DC Kickoff Classic. The Tigers are now 3-1 this season, which is a “huge improvement from last year,” quarterback Malakai Anthony says.

Archbishop Carroll, a member of the famed Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC), started the game off with unmatched energy, jumping out to a 14-0 lead.

Wilson’s offense began to click late in the first quarter and star running back Amir Gerald willed his way into the end zone, followed by a two-point conversion at the end of the quarter.

The defense dominated the second quarter with defensive end Tristan Thiesfield-Jones becoming the first player to rock the Tigers “Turnover Chain” when he recovered a fumble that was forced by linebacker Amontae Silver. University of Miami’s football program created the “Turnover Chain” last season to give to defensive players every time they forced a turnover, now Wilson has made their own chain.

Down 14-8 late in the second quarter, Anthony connected with wide receiver Quincy Barber, who stretched the ball across the goal line for Wilson’s second score with 1:21 left in the half. With Wilson up 16-14, Carroll marched down the field and scored a touchdown, but failed on the two-point conversion to give themselves a four-point advantage at halftime. “It shouldn’t take us a quarter or a whole half to get going,” Anthony said after the contest.

With Amir Gerald having left the game due to an ankle injury after the first quarter, the rest of Wilson’s running game was forced to step up. Rashad Biggs opened the third quarter by running the ball into the end zone on Wilson’s first drive. Daunte Jones added a touchdown of his own on a 25-yard run later in the third quarter, giving the Tigers a 30-20 lead going into the final quarter.

Carroll ran the ball well all afternoon, totaling 360 rushing yards. The Lion’s left tackle, four-star Anton Harrison, was able to create running room when Carroll would bounce it to the outside, something Wilson was unable to stop. Carroll scored a touchdown midway through the fourth quarter and decided to go for the two-point conversion down 30-26. Wilson made a huge stop by denying Carroll’s ambitious attempt and making them regret not kicking the extra point to put the game a field goal away from tying the game. Carroll would have had a chance to kick a field goal later in the fourth quarter, but was forced to go for it on fourth down unsuccessfully because they needed a touchdown.

Wilson’s offense played well throughout the fourth quarter, but did not have a score to show. Amir Gerald, fighting an ankle injury, came back into the game for the Tigers’ final offensive drive to try and ice the game. Anthony led a great drive down the field, with Gerald pouring in good run after good run, breaking tackles left and right. Gerald finished with eight rushes for 65 yards and a touchdown. Wilson took the ball down to Carroll’s five-yard line and with about a minute to go, they tried to finish the Lions off. Coach Mark Martin decided to go for it on fourth down, but after a botched snap, Anthony was forced to fall on the ball for a loss. Carroll, out of timeouts and needing to drive down the field with under a minute left, failed on a Hail Mary attempt as time expired, and Wilson left victorious, 30-26.

Malakai Anthony played a great game, completing 17/27 passes for 300 yards and one touchdown, and also adding seven rushes for 17 yards. Anthony converted two out of three two-point conversions. Quincy Barber led all receivers five receptions for 97 yards and one touchdown. “This [win] also proved to us that we could compete with anybody as long we stay focused and take the game one play at a time,” says Anthony.

Anthony says Wilson is, “ready to make a Turkey Bowl run,” but they have room to improve. “We should hit the ground running on all aspects and be ready to annihilate our opponents from the get-go,” Anthony reinforces.

Wilson plays next against Eastern High School at home on Saturday, September 29 at 2 pm in their homecoming game.