Suffocating defense was the trend for some of the top teams in the DCIAA this weekend. H.D. Woodson, which has allowed just six points in conference play all year, shut out a talented Ballou squad 33-0. Anacostia, badly in need of a win after four straight losses, responded with a 38-0 win over Coolidge. And Wilson, facing Stars Division leader Dunbar in an early league showdown at Cardozo, held the potent Crimson Tide to a season low in points during a 13-6 win.
It was the second consecutive week the Tigers (5-2, 2-0 DCIAA Stars) held an opponent to a single touchdown in a game, and also the second straight time that Wilson’s linebacking core came to the forefront. In a 21-7 win over Kennedy a week ago, it was linebacker Acey Calhoun who shined, posting 11 tackles and three sacks in the win. Against the Crimson Tide, senior linebacker Fred Anderson followed suit. Anderson registered 12 tackles and a sack against a Dunbar (4-1, 2-1) offense that was averaging 34 points per game heading into the contest. Anderson also had a 60-yard interception return for a touchdown.
“Fred stepped up big. . . that set the tone right there,” Wilson defensive end Kareem McDonald said.
The win vaulted the Tigers into the front of the pack of the DCIAA Stars standings alongside Woodson (3-3, 2-0). But the win also represented the return of confidence on the defensive side of the ball, said McDonald, who had two sacks, just a week after returning to the lineup after a kidney condition kept him sidelined for the last part of September.
“The defense gets better every week,” McDonald said. “From the start of the season, we had a lot of penalties. . . the defense is like, coming together as one.”
There were also strong offensive performances across the city Friday, namely at Anacostia, where Laquan Barber accounted for 111 yards of total offense (he had nine catches for 91 yards) and returned a kickoff 70 yards for a touchdown in the win over Coolidge. Quarterback Rashad Shackleford also had his best game of the year, throwing for 215 yards and four touchdowns. He completed 20-of-27 passes with no interceptions as the Indians won for the first time in over a month.
At Woodson, defense was the catalyst in the shutout win over Ballou — which included 10.5 tackles from Deonte Jackson (his sixth consecutive game posting double digit totals in tackles). But the Warriors also received 261 yards of combined offense between quarterback Rashad Cooper (10 of 16, 132 yards and two touchdowns) and running back Jai Carson (129 yards and a touchdown), and star cornerback D’Andre Payne chipped in with his third offensive touchdown in two weeks.