The more the rain fell yesterday afternoon, the happier Coolidge junior running back Dwan Thornton became. Thornton knew that his team's strength lies in its rushing attack, and he and his teammates needed to take advantage of it playing in soggy conditions at Wilson.
Thornton rushed 32 times for 223 yards and three touchdowns, and the Colts' defense held Wilson to 36 total yards in a 33-6 victory in the D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association West Division opener for both teams. Coolidge (4-2, 1-0) could ill-afford to drop the game as it seeks a second consecutive playoff appearance in a highly competitive division (two teams from each of the DCIAA's divisions make the playoffs).
"It made me happy," Thornton said of the rain. "We know, and they know, that we aren't a throwing team. We came into this game to get us a win so the playoff race wouldn't come down to who beat who. If we had dropped this game, our season could have been over considering that so many teams in our division have strong chances for a playoff spot."
Coolidge set the tone on its first possession -- a nine-play, 80-yard scoring drive capped by Thornton's 43-yard run down the left sideline. Junior running back Wayne Ouzts pounded up the middle for a 32-yard touchdown to give the Colts a 12-0 lead in the second quarter.
Wilson (3-3, 0-1) started the second half with an onside kick, and Tigers senior Austin Murray recovered at the 50. Eight plays later, junior quarterback Jeffrey Brooks connected with senior tight end Harry Von Kann for a seven-yard touchdown to make it 12-6 with 8 minutes 23 seconds remaining in the quarter.
Coolidge took over at its 39-yard line, and Thornton rushed for all 61 yards in the ensuing scoring drive. His final run of the drive was a 17-yard run that made it 20-6 with 2:23 left in the quarter.
A fumble recovery by Ouzts set up Thornton's most impressive touchdown. With the Colts at their 47, Thornton took the handoff and coughed up the ball after running eight yards. He recovered the ball, but fumbled again. He picked it back up and found a path to the end zone, giving Coolidge a 26-6 lead on the final play of the third quarter. Fullback Quincey Porter added a one-yard run with six minutes remaining for the final margin.