After Wilson running back Larry Frazier scored a touchdown on a five-yard draw to pull the Tigers within one point of Anacostia late in the third quarter of Friday night’s game, the Wilson sideline motioned to keep the offense on the field. Instead of playing it safe and going for the tie, the Tigers were going to try and take the lead with 13 minutes left in the game.
Quarterback Scott Beumel wasn’t surprised by the call. He ran a simple bootleg and slid into the end zone for a two-point conversion and the lead, and the Tigers didn’t look back in a 30-14 win in the DCIAA Stars Division opener for both teams.
The Tigers were in a gambling mood Friday night in Southeast. They went for it on two fourth downs deep in their own territory (converting once) and also went for it on fourth down inside the Indians 10-yard line (and converted).
“We like to be aggressive . . . we just tend to go for it,” said Beumel, who finished with 143 yards passing and two touchdowns. “I wasn’t surprised [about the two-point conversion call]. We wanted the lead, because Anacostia is a great team.”
Wilson (2-1, 1-0) learned its lesson last year about early-season letdowns. Then, Anacostia upset the Tigers as part of its run to the Turkey Bowl. And the Indians (1-2, 0-1) looked as though they were going to pull it off again Friday night, especially after quarterback Rashad Shackleford (126 yards passing) hit Torres Bell with a 21-yard touchdown pass that made it 14-7 with four minutes to play in third quarter.
Wilson’s physicality in the running game was the difference. Frazier ran for 147 yards and two touchdowns and sophomore Abdul Adams added 70 yards and a three-yard score in the fourth quarter that gave the Tigers a cushion.
“It needed to be done,” said Frazier of the power running. “My team stepped up, and I just wanted to step up with them.”
The contest also provided a test in humility, especially after a sluggish first half, according to junior defensive end Kareem McDonald. He made several key tackles for loss during the contest — and Wilson was afforded terrific field position on back-to-back botched punts by Anacostia in the fourth quarter.
“We had to pick our heads up. I know I dropped my head,” McDonald said. “We just had to keep fighting.”