The Football Team Silences BCC

Luke Liden

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Photo courtesy of Sanir Byanjankar

Junior wide receiver Pablo Foley lets BCC know where they stand. The rivalry between BCC and WJ often gets heated. After making a clutch tackle on a third down, Foley decided to have a word with the opposing team.

High school football is more than just a sporting event once a week, it’s filled to the brim with emotion. There’s school pride, the desire to shine in front of the crowd, the thrill of playing under the Friday night lights, but nothing compares to the emotions involved with facing your rival. While every game matters to the students and players at WJ, everybody had their calendars marked for the fateful day of “BCC’s funeral.”

Last Friday’s game was not only a rivalry game, it was also WJ’s Homecoming game as well as the game that would decide where the Congressional Cup resides for the next 365 days. With so much at stake, it’s no surprise that students and players were extremely hyped.

“I can’t wait for the game this Friday, BCC’s gonna see what WJ is about,” sophomore Oliver Simons said.

A game against BCC feels more important than just another week to the players.

“We want to beat them not only for a win on our record but to prove who runs Bethesda and more importantly for the fans who want to see BCC get smashed. Those [BCC] kids have done some unforgivable things that they’re going to pay the price for tomorrow. This one’s for Jbara,” junior wide receiver Pablo Foley said.

The rivalry between schools is personal, extending beyond football.

“They love to talk down on our name and we’re more than happy to invalidate that on the field,” senior quarterback Will Gardner said.

The excitement and tension of a rivalry game are enough in themselves to create an insane Friday night environment, but the addition of an extremely close game pushed it over the top.

After the first half, a passing touchdown to senior Lucas Boiteux and a fumble forced by senior Amir Frye that was recovered in the endzone by junior Shane Barrios wasn’t enough to put WJ on top. With BCC leading 14-13 at half, the Wildcats came back onto the field with a purpose.

WJ stayed strong on defense and forced two turnovers, along with getting a rushing touchdown from Frye, paired with a passing 2 point conversion to junior Christion Wright. The scoreboard now read 21-21 with time running out.

WJ returned a punt to BCC’s 38 yard line and it was time to put together a game winning drive. The Wildcats worked the ball to the 12 yard line and with 58 seconds remaining, the decision to kick a 29 yard field goal was made. After a blocked extra point earlier in the game, kicker Kevin Lukash had his chance at redemption. With the first field goal attempt of the season, Lukash sent it through the uprights to secure the crucial win.

“It felt amazing to see that kick go through because of the insane hype the crowd and my teammates brought,” Lukash said.

Any win for the football team gets students excited, but beating BCC is something that’s truly unmatched. The sea of students dressed in black erupted after the game, ecstatic to beat their rival and to win their Homecoming matchup.

Putting the Barons to rest and keeping the Congressional Cup are both extremely important to the team, however nothing unexpected.

“It feels like it’s supposed to happen. We’re better than them and it was just our chance to show it again,” Frye said.