Theodore Roosevelt 57, Cardozo 6
Theodore Roosevelt and Cardozo opened D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association West Division play last night with expectations of reestablishing their programs. The Rough Riders had not been to the playoffs in three years, while Cardozo entered the contest having won more games than it had in the three previous seasons.
Theodore Roosevelt (4-2, 1-0) appears to be a step closer to reaching its goal after cruising to a 57-6 victory over the host Clerks (3-3, 0-1) in Northwest.
Junior running back Charles Wallace rushed for 188 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries and senior wide receiver Justin Hamilton caught two passes for scores to lead the Rough Riders. Hamilton also returned an interception for a touchdown and Alusine Munu recovered a fumble to lead a defense that allowed only two first downs for the game.
"We've been down for a while so we wanted to push things," said Theodore Roosevelt Coach Daryl Tilghman. "We've missed not being in the playoffs. We wanted to show it's a big deal where we're trying to go."
Wallace, who is in his second season of organized football, has emerged as the center of the Rough Riders' offense. The 5-foot-10 running back displayed his versatility, both powering up the middle and breaking to the outside with speed.
"The thing with Wallace is that he is explosive," Tilghman said. "He can hit an extra gear and it doesn't even look like it when he's running."
After a poor punt by the Clerks, Wallace opened the scoring with a 15-yard run up the middle on the Rough Riders first play from scrimmage. He followed with a seven-yard score on a carry to the outside in the first quarter for a 21-0 lead. He added a five-yard scoring run in the third quarter.
When Cardozo attempted to contain Wallace, the Rough Riders turned to their passing attack. Sophomore quarterback Gerald Marshall connected on touchdown passes of 39 and 38 yards to Hamilton.
"The defensive line kept the push on so that our linebackers were able to get to the ball," Wallace said.
"They put our offense in a great position to be able to score. You can't ask for more from them."
But the Rough Riders will need similar performances as they face a difficult stretch of the season in which three of their four remaining games are against division rivals.
Cardozo, though, will have to find a way to regroup. The Clerks continue to struggle in their division, in which they have not won a game in the past four years. Sophomore running back Antonio Cooper scored the Clerks' lone points with a 96-yard kickoff return.
"We had a week off, and I didn't see the intensity," said first-year head coach Marvin Drummond. "We weren't as sharp.
"We took a step back, but we've got to stick together to overcome this."