Bullis proudly became one of the first schools to install artificial grass about a decade ago, long before public schools in Montgomery County were trying to decide between Bermuda or Spin turf inside their stadiums. The turf at Bullis was glued however, not sewn, and Coach Pat Cilento knows where all the rough spots on the field are.
But even with the wear and tear, Bullis defensive end Peter Angeh loves his home playing surface, and on a night when the Bulldogs’ offense struggled to find its footing early, Angeh and the defense stood tall in a 26-3 nonleague victory over McNamara in Potomac.
“This is my first year here. I’m used to grass. This is better than anything I’m used to,” said Angeh, a transfer from Blake who recorded two sacks, three tackles for loss and a recovered fumble. “So I like it, you know?”
The Bullis homecoming crowd knew Friday night. Angeh showed why he is a Central Michigan recruit and one of the gems in the Interstate Athletic Conference, leading a defense that forced three second-half turnovers to break open a 6-3 halftime score.
The first takeaway came on the first play of the third quarter, when McNamara’s Reginald Ware was popped at the line of scrimmage and fumbled deep inside the Mustangs’ territory, and Bullis lineman Steven Attah returned the loose ball to the 1-yard line. That set up a one-yard quarterback sneak from Danny Copeland to make it 12-6, and on the next possession, Copeland hit Kyven Jones on a 21-yard touchdown pass on a seam route that broke the game open. Copeland finished with 127 yards passing and three touchdowns, including two to Jones.
“It’s the first time we’ve had to play somebody of that caliber in a long time,” said Cilento, whose team moved to 5-0. “I think we were a little nervous coming out. Once we decide to play, we started to play.”
Bullis fumbled twice early in the game to give its Washington Catholic Athletic Conference opponent golden opportunities, including on the first possession, when sophomore Devonte Williams slipped on the turf and lost the ball in a scurry.
But Cilento — who was hustling before the game to set up the radio communication between him and his coordinators from the press box — continued to devise a plan to run straight at McNamara’s towering defensive front. And the Bulldogs did, using a “three-yards and a cloud of dust” mentality to wear down the Mustangs (2-4). With Angeh and company playing as menaces all evening, grinding away offensively was the objective.
“The offense was struggling a little bit,” Angeh said. “But we kept fighting. We kept fighting. Even though we had short fields to work against, we held them only to three points. We can be really good. We just have to put everything together.”