Not many would have predicted such an outcome, but the Ballou Knights are the D.C. State Athletic Association champions. The Southeast D.C. school pulled off a 39-28 upset of Friendship Collegiate on Saturday at Georgetown University. It’s the Knights first state championship. It’s just the second time since its installment that a DCIAA champion has won the DCSAA title. It’s the first time since 2013 when H.D. Woodson won.
Highlights from Game:
“Ain’t nobody believe in us, and we had to prove it to the city,” Ballou OL/DL Romeo Leftwich told the Washington Post following the game. “Now we’re state champions, and they can’t say anything.”
Ballou QB Terrlonta Buchanan accounted for five touchdowns. Buchanan completed 15-of-22 passes for 261 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 76 yards and three touchdowns. He would have had four scores on the ground, but he fumbled on the goal line in the third quarter. The fumble was recovered by Leftwich for a Ballou score. Buchanan was named the game’s MVP.
Ballou jumped out to a 12-0 lead on a pair of scores by Buchanan. But, Friendship Collegiate battled back and took a 22-18 lead into halftime. Friendship Collegiate got a 75-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Chris Ferguson and a pair of touchdown passes from QB Dyson Smith.
Ballou outscored Friendship Collegiate 21-6 in the second half.
Ballou bottled up Friendship Collegiate’s passing game with seven sacks.
Lavonte Gater led Ballou with seven receptions for 112 yards. Martin Johnson had five receptions for 83 yards and caught both of Buchanan’s touchdown passes, including the game-sealer in the fourth quarter that put Ballou ahead by the final score 39-28.
Ballou head coach Minoso Rodgers was an assistant for Friendship Collegiate from 2008-2015.
Ballou finishes the season 9-4 as the DCIAA Stars champions as well as the DCSAA champs. Friendship Collegiate falls to 8-4.