St. Albans finally found a way to contain Bullis running back Serge Tikum in the second half of last night's Interstate Athletic Conference game in Potomac: Do not allow his team the ball.
St. Albans held more than an 11-minute advantage in time of possession in the second half and used a Ted Bardenwerper quarterback sneak with 10 minutes 35 seconds to play to beat Bullis, 16-14.
St. Albans (4-2) rushed for 234 yards over the final 24 minutes of play en route to winning its fourth straight game.
"Our intensity as a team picked up in the second half," said St. Albans senior running back Gabriel Somarriba, who rushed 26 times for 131 yards--104 in the second half. "When the team doesn't play well, no individual plays well."
Trailing, 14-10, at halftime, St. Albans turned to junior running back Chris Edwards. After having no carries in the first half, Edwards rushed for 130 yards on 13 carries. He ran six times for 57 yards to set up Bardenwerper's game-winning touchdown during an 11-play, 81-yard drive that consumed 5:11 off the clock.
"I guess coach wanted to see something different," Edwards said. "I was cold coming in. I tried to stretch as much as I could."
Edwards made his biggest play on a drive that resulted in no points. Facing third and 21 on the St. Albans' 5-yard line with seven minutes remaining, Edwards busted a 41-yard gain up the middle.
"That was huge," St. Albans Coach Dick Boswell said. "He made our offensive coordinator look like a genius on that play."
Bullis (4-1), which started the season with four straight wins, punted, turned the ball over on downs and threw an interception on its final three possessions. With 1:59 remaining, Bullis attempted a halfback option, but Tikum's pass hung in the air before Will Wilkins made a diving interception. St. Albans then ran out the clock.
"We'd been working on that play all week, and I thought we'd take a shot," Bullis Coach Walt King said. "We thought maybe the corner would bite. He didn't and Serge didn't throw the ball well."
Tikum, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound junior transfer from Bethesda-Chevy Chase where he was used mainly as a blocker for Yinka Adeboyeku, carried 20 times for 122 yards--his lowest output of the season. He had 74 in the second half. His one-yard touchdown with 40 seconds remaining in the first half gave Bullis a 14-10 lead, but he was unable to break big plays like in previous weeks. He has rushed for 1,049 yards in five games this year.
"Our defensive line came through today," Boswell said. "When [Tikum] comes straight at you, that's where he's at his best. You've got to get him running laterally."