By RayJaun Stelly, The Seattle Medium
Heading into senior night undefeated, the Garfield Bulldogs led by Head Coach Reggie Witherspoon, looked to continue their winning streak in their Metro League opener against the Ballard Beavers.
Even with an undefeated record, Witherspoon believes his team has incredible upside to their potential. Great news for Bulldogs fans now, but could cause problems later in the season for their opponents.
“We have yet to play our best football, but at this point in the season I’m not sure we necessarily want to peak too soon,” said Witherspoon. “I am ok with what we’ve done thus far, as we are progressively coming into ourselves both defensively and offensively.”
While Witherspoon might be optimistically cautious when it comes to verbalizing the team’s success, on the field the players look to make a statement early and often.
Three minutes into the first quarter Garfield did just that, as running back Reon Hampton scored the games’ first touchdown on a 16-yard run. Last week Hampton led the team with three rushing touchdowns on 142 yards.
The Bulldogs’ defense forced four punts, an interception, sack, and a fumble recovery in just one half of football despite Ballard’s hurry up offensive game plan.
Garfield’s Jacolby Cochran made his presence known defensively and offensively, as he had the games’ first interception and returned a punt for a touchdown. As the first half came to an end Garfield led 21-0.
Receiving the ball to start the second half, Garfield continued their scoring momentum. E.J. Caminong scored on quarterback sneak and Raphiel Justice scored the teams’ final touchdown on a ‘pick six’.
Two second half miscues by the Bulldogs allowed Ballard to score 14 points, the most Garfield’s defense has given up in a single game this season.
Garfield would win 35-14 and improve their record to 4-0. Winning their first league game was essential, but they’ll face a tougher task next week against powerhouse Eastside Catholic.
Witherspoon says that although the team is playing well, the Bulldogs will have to continue focusing on the details that go into winning games and having a successful year.
“The key to success for us was to play physical and minimize the mental mistakes,” said Witherspoon. “We cut down on a bunch of things we have struggled to overcome in the previous games.”
“The energy and effort is at an all-time high right now, we want to continue that and build every week,” added Witherspoon “It starts in how we practice, that won’t change for us, but it will continue to intensify.”
Pictorial Highlights from Ballard High School vs Garfield High School Game