As the Bishop Ireton football team continues to reach new heights, the Cardinals are also proving their mettle.

Led by two defensive stops inside the 5-yard line and some big plays on offense, Bishop Ireton pulled out a tough, 28-0 win over Ballou last Friday in Southeast Washington.

"The kids are ecstatic about it, they're very proud of their achievement," Coach Brian Inman said. "But they've been working very hard. They've never stopped working hard."

David Rodriguez had a touchdown run and a touchdown pass for the Cardinals.

Ireton is now 4-1 and, with four games remaining, one win away from its first winning season in at least 10 years. Ireton can clinch the winning record Saturday in its toughest test of the year, when 6-0 Pallotti visits Alexandria on the Cardinals' homecoming day.

The season already has included a season-opening, 23-0 win over rival O'Connell, the Cardinals' second-ever win over the Knights and first since 1972.

"The atmosphere here is great," Inman said. "I think it's had a great affect on the school."

District Play Heats Up

As the district season starts to get into full gear, several district rivals will meet in some tough midseason matchups. In the Patriot District, Annandale and West Springfield will meet in a game that could have playoff implications. Both teams are 3-1 and both won their first district game.

In the Liberty, Lee (2-2, 1-0) will host unbeaten W.T. Woodson (4-0, 1-0). Lee's two losses were against AAA Division 6 opponents, while Woodson has outscored opponents 160-35. In the National District, Mount Vernon will try to rebound from a district-opening loss to Yorktown against Washington-Lee, which beat Stuart to win its district opener.