By RayJaun Stelly, The Seattle Medium
The second game at Lumen Field Friday night featured the Garfield Bulldogs and the Seattle Prep Panthers. The Panthers were coming off a 19-9 loss to Rainier Beach and looking for redemption, while the Bulldogs were coming off a 56-3 victory over Roosevelt. With one team looking to recoup from their loss and the other looking to go 3-0, the stage was set for Metro League football on a Friday night.
Winning in a 49-42 shootout last season against Seattle Prep, Garfield would open the game looking to win big. Only two plays into the game, Bulldog Cornerback Ty’Shawn Raine intercepted a pass from Panthers’ quarterback Karin Hansen.
Following the interception Garfield would begin marching down field. In just five plays, the Bulldogs found themselves with the games’ first touchdown. Only throwing the ball once on the opening drive, Garfield quarterback E.J. Caminong led the charge as he found Reggie Witherspoon for a six-yard pass to begin the drive, and from then on Garfield’s rushing attack took over.
Tawaf Aboudou, Israel Nabors, and Witherspoon spearheaded the rushing attack which led to a four-yard touchdown by Nabors. Following their touchdown, Garfield forced a turnover on downs due to Seattle Prep not being able to get a punt off.
Finding themselves in good field position the Bulldogs would capitalize as Garfield’s rushing attack answered the call yet again. Nabors and Reylen Witherspoon moved the chains with their feet, while Caminong did so by completing passes to Adoudou and Reggie Witherspoon. On their seventh play of the drive, freshman running back Reylen Witherspoon would receive a handoff and score on a five-yard touchdown run, extending the Bulldog lead to 14-0.
Forcing a turnover on downs to start the second quarter, Garfield looked to continue their scoring momentum until penalties hindered them. Taking advantage of the miscues, Seattle Prep’s defense returned the favor by forcing the games’ second turnover on downs.
The Panthers’ possession was short lived as Garfield’s Yemoni Howell’s tackle for loss forced another Seattle Prep punt. Despite their previous possession, the Bulldogs would respond on fourth and 20. On the play, Caminong dropped back to pass and threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Sejhe Jackson just before halftime.
Leading 21-0 going into the second half, Garfield would fumble the second half kickoff which was recovered by Seattle Prep leaving them with good field position. The Panthers would capitalize as running back Ishmael Pessner scored on a 16-yard touchdown run.
Seattle Prep looked like they might be turning the page following their score, but Garfield’s dominance on both sides of the ball was too much for the Panthers to overcome. Immediately after giving up a touchdown, the Bulldogs would score in just three plays. Caminong found Jackson for a 17-yard gain, then threw to Uriah Givens for nine yards before handing it off to Myles Damon for a four-yard touchdown run.
Leading 28-6, Garfield didn’t take their foot off the gas, Mister Beaver would record a sack before Ty’Shawn Raine would make his second interception of the game. The Bulldogs’ offense continued to roll as Caminong found his number one target in Jackson for a 56-yard gain before handing it off to Aboudou for a six-yard touchdown.
With a 34-6 lead, the Bulldogs’ offense continued to put points on the board. Following another defensive stop, Garfield found themselves in the endzone twice with under five minutes left in the game, as Caminong would find Jackson for a 40-yard touchdown, and Nabors would explode on a 49-yard touchdown run.
From opening kickoff Garfield took the game over. Defensively, the Bulldogs’ allowed only one touchdown and forced many turnovers. Offensively, the Bulldogs dominated as Caminong threw for 260 yards and two touchdowns. Nabors led all rushers with eight carries for 111 yards, while Jackson led all receivers with 5 receptions for 139 yards and two touchdowns for the Bulldogs.
Improving their record to 3-0 and beating the Panthers for the second straight year. Garfield will now face Bishop Blanchet as they look to remain undefeated.