Friday night football is back y’all! Fresh off a big win over Rockdale in a scrimmage, the Banneker Trojans sent a message to the rest of the teams in Region 5-AAAAA with a 35-22 win over the Booker T. Washington Bulldogs (6-AA).

There’s never been any love lost between the Booker T. Washington Bulldogs and the Banneker Trojans. Their battles from the 2000s are legendary.

Banneker’s First Drive Stops, Trojans Punt Inside 20 Yards

Nerves got the best of Banneker on their first possession. Back-to-back penalties forced the Trojans to punt from inside their 30-yard line.  The Bulldogs took advantage of the short field. The Bulldogs put the ball into the hands of Jordan Turner. Turner’s runs helped the team get close to the end zone, and he finally scored a touchdown by diving over the right side. But the Trojans’ special teams blocked the kick after the touchdown.

Trojans Respond

Good teams answer the challenge. The Trojans showed they had the makings of becoming one with a sustained drive and score. The Trojans Jamari Williams and Kelian Allen ran the ball effectively. Williams finished off the drive with a short run through the teeth of the Bulldogs’ defense into the end zone for a touchdown. The extra point kick after the touchdown was good, to give the Trojans a 7-6 lead.

Trojans Continue to Dominate in the Second Quarter

The Trojans kept up their good play in the second quarter, both on offense and defense. Senior linebacker LeShawn Stuckey ripped the ball from Turner that landed in the arms of Amarion Jones. The sophomore linebacker wasted no time securing the fumbled ball and running it back for a touchdown. The extra point kick went through the uprights, making the Trojans’ lead 14-6.

Washington failed to generate any offense on the ensuing drive returning the ball to the Trojans

Under junior quarterback Demarion Headspeth, the Trojans moved down the field. Once inside Bulldogs territory, Headspeth showed off his accuracy with a pinpoint 41-yard pass to senior wide receiver Jeremy Jenkins for a 41-yard touchdown.

Banneker picked up in the third quarter where they left off. On the first play of the new half, Headspeth threw a bomb to D’Shawn Moore-Forts for another Trojans touchdown. How Moore-Forts was able to sneak behind the Bulldogs’ secondary is a conversation for the Washington coaches on Monday.

Bulldogs Make a Comeback Effort

In the middle of the third quarter, the Washington Bulldogs picked up their play. Quarterback Tyrek Woods made a great throw to Joseph Rosser, moving the ball to the middle of the field. Woods kept chains moving running the ball with purpose. Woods kept the pressure on with a pass to Turner that gave the Bulldogs a first down near the Trojans’ 7-yard line.  Seconds later Turner was standing in the end zone, but unfortunately, a penalty negated the score. After a timeout, Turner got another chance and made it count by dashing over the left side for his second touchdown of the game. Woods called his own number running in over the left side for the 2-point conversion to cut into the Trojans’ lead.

One Step Forward, Two Steps Backward

The Bulldogs’ defense could not contain the multi-faceted Trojans attack. The Trojans responded to the Bulldogs’ resurgence with another statement touchdown. This time, Headspeth connected with senior H-back Tyquon Hollins, who eluded one defender and ran through an arm tackle for a 21-yard touchdown. The Bulldogs’ special teams blocked the point-after-try only they were called for offsides. Banneker used the new life and a direct snap to Woods that netted a 2-point conversion. The Trojans extended their lead to 35-14.

On the ensuing kick-off, Turner took matters into his own hands. The shifty back cut left towards the Washington sideline and simply outran the pursuit 70 yards into the end zone for his third touchdown. Cornelius Kemp scored the 2-point conversion to cut the Trojans’ lead to 13. Trojans 35-Bulldogs 22

Exciting Defensive Plays and the End

Tyquon Hollins and Moore-Forts made perhaps the two biggest defensive plays of the half by stopping Quindarius Warren. Hollins stopped Warren in the backfield for a loss of 7 yards. When Woods delivered a bullet into the arms of Warren in the end zone two plays later it was Moore-Forts on the scene to knock it out and prevent a Bulldogs touchdown.

The clock became the Bulldogs’ enemy as the Trojans took over on downs. Under pressure, Headspeth lofted a pass that Moore-Forts was able to climb his ladder -between two Washington defensive backs- to haul it in and keep the drive alive, and most importantly the clock running. Kellian Allen popped loose for a 16-yard gain to the Bulldogs’ 30-yard line to bring up 2nd and maybe 2 and the clock ticking under 3 minutes to play.

Trojans Head Coach Braxton Kelley opted to use it to his advantage and with running plays and a delay of game penalty to chew the clock down to a minute and forty seconds before punting the ball out of bounds to the Bulldogs 20.

Bulldogs’ Late Effort Falls Short

With 100 seconds left on the clock, the Bulldogs needed two scores and 80 yards to cover for the first one. Woods stood tall scrambling and finding Rosser near midfield that drew a pass interference penalty and a first down. It was a great effort but the clock expired a play later sealing the win for the Trojans. Banneker will travel west to play against New Manchester next week, while Washington will host Douglass at Lakewood Stadium.

There’s a history of great athletes playing in this rivalry, and fans might remember a play from September 24, 2000, when Ahmad Carroll, known then as Batman, stopped a Bulldogs player from scoring a touchdown. Carroll was known for his speed, setting a state record for the 100-meter dash in high school. Carroll literally appears out of nowhere running past two of his Astros teammates to tackle the Bulldogs’ running back at the 7-yard line. The play had everyone on their feet either applauding or staring in disbelief.

batman 2000


Washington – Banneker Game Photos

All photos by Jason McDonald, JM Photography/CORE360 Sports

BTW-Banneker 2023