Entering yesterday's regular season finale against Theodore Roosevelt, Coolidge's football players knew they controlled whether they would capture the D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association's West Division title and earn a top seed for the upcoming playoffs. The Colts probably didn't imagine, however, that their seldom-used no-huddle offense would be the key to a 33-19 victory over the visiting Rough Riders.
Coolidge (8-2, 4-0) clinched its second playoff berth in 17 years, wearing down Roosevelt with an up-tempo offense that generated 26 second-half points. Coolidge, which snapped Dunbar's 41-game DCIAA regular season winning streak two weeks ago, dislodged the Crimson Tide from the division championship for the first time in eight years.
"We've been working at this for two years," Coolidge Coach Jason Lane said. "Theodore Roosevelt came out ready to play. But at the half, our players recognized that they had worked too hard to let this opportunity slip away."
Dunbar, which topped Cardozo, 64-0, yesterday, will be the DCIAA West's second seed in the playoffs, while Theodore Roosevelt's season ended at 6-5, 2-2. Dunbar will play East Division champion H.D. Woodson and Coolidge will face Ballou in next Saturday's DCIAA semifinals.
Roosevelt could have earned a playoff spot and bumped Coolidge out with a win by eight or more points, and the Rough Riders had a chance to do just that after building a 13-7 halftime lead. But Coolidge went to its no-huddle offense on its first possession of the second half, and the result was a nine-play, 66-yard drive capped by Dwan Thornton's 10-yard touchdown run. A 30-yard pass from Andre Glanville to Davon Vines helped set up the score.
Ebba Wege's extra point gave Coolidge the lead, 14-13, and the Colts extended the edge to 20-13 when Wayne Ouzts punctuated another no-huddle drive with a one-yard run with 8 minutes 47 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.
"The no-huddle got to us," Roosevelt Coach Daryl Tilghman said. "It was what swung the momentum. Once they [took a 14-13 lead], we never recovered."