Wilson football finishes regular season at 8-2

Noam Jacobovitz

Wilson completed its regular season on Friday with a 27-9 victory at Eastern. The Tigers finished 5-1 in DCIAA play, with their only loss coming against HD Woodson. Wilson secured the second seed in the playoffs, and will face Ballou on Saturday.

Tigers star senior wide receiver Quincy Barber tore his ACL in Wilson’s statement 28-12 victory over Ballou halfway through the season. Barber had 203 yards receiving and three touchdowns in only five games. “We overcame the injury by having the ‘next man up’ mentality. Yes, everybody grieved for his injury, but we had others step up in order for us to be successful. Chad Rockingham has been a key in filling Quincy’s shoes,” says junior quarterback Malakai Anthony. Fellow junior Chad Rockingham currently leads the team with 266 receiving yards on the year. Seniors Thomas Zeitler, Dmitri Ricks, and Jerus Belinga have also stepped up in Barber’s absence. Zeitler has three touchdowns and Belinga has two.

Malakai Anthony has excelled in his first full season starting for Wilson at quarterback. Anthony has 11 touchdowns and only four interceptions, throwing for 1195 yards in ten games. “It was a huge accomplishment (going 8-2). The guys and I are proud to see all of our hard work has paid off, knowing that we finished 6-6 last year,” says Anthony.

Wilson’s ground game has been led excellently by senior Amir Gerald. Gerald has 1,011 yards on the season, with nine touchdowns. He leads the DCIAA in rushing. Malakai Anthony is sixth in rushing in the DCIAA with 385 rushing yards. Junior Rashard Biggs has had a great season, averaging 8.3 yards per carry with five touchdowns. He looks poised to break out next year.

The Tigers defense has been a dominant force this year. Sophomore Sean McPhail Jr. has announced himself on the DC football scene this season. McPhail Jr. leads the DCIAA with nine sacks. Senior linebacker Christian Watkins leads Wilson with 57 tackles to go along with his five sacks. He and senior Amontae Silver have locked down the middle of the field. Senior safety Zayaan Cobb is tied for the DCIAA lead with five interceptions. Senior corner Dmitri Ricks has shut down opposing receivers all year.

Anthony says to reach their goal of winning the Turkey Bowl, the team must, “continue to play Wilson football by staying balanced on the offensive side of the ball and thriving like we have all year.” He says that on Saturday, “we know it won’t be an easy game, so we’re having a physical week of practice to better prepare us.” Wilson plays Ballou at Cardozo on Saturday at 11 a.m. •