Even with running back Serge Tikum rushing for 181 yards on 21 carries, Bullis needed an interception by cornerback Mark Davis with two minutes remaining to secure an 8-6 victory over Ireton in Potomac.
Ireton, which plays in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, fell to 2-4. Bullis, of the Interstate Athletic Conference, improved to 3-0.
"It was an ugly win, but a win just the same," Bullis Coach Walt King said. "We didn't protect the ball; we were put in some bad situations where our defense just sucked it up and played well."
Ireton scored the only points of the second half in the fourth quarter, when quarterback Mike Lee connected on a 22-yard pass to running back Mandon Lovett to cut the deficit to 8-6. The Cardinals went for a two-point conversion, but Lee's pass fell incomplete.
"It was close," said Ireton Coach Mike Lalli. "We just couldn't get those two points."
Bullis, Lalli said, was able to shut down his team's running attack, holding Cardinals leading rusher and scorer Brian Lalli to 46 yards on eight carries. Ireton, on the other hand, couldn't slow down Tikum, who has amassed 661 rushing yards this year for the Bulldogs. On three option plays, Tikum broke free from defenders for carries of 26, 22 and 28 yards.
"Last year, I was used mostly at fullback and wasn't getting the opportunity to run outside," said Tikum, who transferred to Bullis from Bethesda-Chevy Chase this year. "I am starting to feel more comfortable taking it to the outside rather than running up the middle."
In the first half, Bullis and Ireton struggled on offense. The Bulldogs scored their only points on their second drive, with 2:37 remaining in the first quarter on a 10-yard run by Tanner Cerand. Split end Elliott Jones connected with John Sowanick on a five-yard conversion pass. The scoring drive was bolstered by junior Tikum, who rushed for three first downs, gaining 32 yards on four carries.