Coolidge 16, Wilson 0
Coolidge entered its final regular season game against Wilson yesterday with the chance to end a 17-year playoff drought on its home field. Two and half hours later, after overcoming a few of their own mistakes, the Colts earned a 16-0 victory over the Tigers and a berth in next week's D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association semifinals.
The Colts (5-5, 3-1 DCIAA West) got touchdowns from senior running back Antoine Cook and freshman DwanThornton, and the defense added three turnovers in the most significant victory for the program since Coach Jason Lane took over three years ago.
"After 17 years, this is extremely important in getting Coolidge back to where it was in the old days," Lane said.
"I knew if we worked hard enough, and the kids bought into the changes we had brought, this would be the first step toward something more for the program."
Wilson (3-7, 1-3) could have played spoiler yesterday; if the Tigers had defeated Coolidge by more than 20 points, Theodore Roosevelt would have advanced by virtue of a tiebreaker, despite a 45-14 loss to Dunbar.
But Coolidge, which began its march to the playoffs last week with a last-second, 13-12 victory over Theodore Roosevelt, stayed in control. The Colts were content to rely on their rushing attack, spearheaded by Thornton and Cook.
Thornton, who has assumed a major role in the backfield because of Cook's nagging hamstring injury, broke a 50-yard run up the middle to give Coolidge a 6-0 lead with 2 minutes 5 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
"I have to give all credit to the offensive line," Thornton said. "We kind of kept pounding the ball up the middle, and it was getting soft there. We kept doing it and came out with the victory."
On two earlier possessions, the Colts had chances to score, only to see them stall because of penalties. On one drive, Coolidge was forced to punt after advancing to the Wilson 25-yard line; 30 yards of penalties pushed the Colts out of scoring range.
A fumble recovery by junior cornerback Alozie Onuoha gave Coolidge good field position at its 41, but the drive was halted at the Wilson 24 by a Colts personal foul.
On Wilson's opening drive of the third quarter, Coolidge's Wayne Ouzts intercepted in the end zone. The Colts drove 75 yards to the 5, but settled for a 9-0 lead on a 22-yard field goal by Anthony Webley with 10:12 remaining.
On Coolidge's next possession, Cook carried four times for 65 yards -- including a 34-yard scamper up the middle for a touchdown -- to cap the scoring.
Onuoha ended Wilson's final drive with his second fumble recovery of the day.