The injunction never happened, suspensions were never overturned and Woodson took the field for the annual D.C. Turkey Bowl championship game against Ballou without 18 players who were suspended due to an in-game brawl. What unfolded next was somewhat predictable if still controversial.
Some three hours later, Woodson’s five-year run as Turkey Bowl champion was over following a Ballou 21-14 victory.
While the game was close, Ballou led throughout. The Knights scored the game’s first two touchdowns and led 13-0 at halftime. Woodson struck back with a touchdown and two-point conversion in the closing seconds of the third quarter, but a touchdown and two-point conversion by Ballou kept Woodson at arm’s length with nine minutes remaining.
The Warriors added a touchdown midway through the final quarter but could never get the final score they needed, leading to emotional celebrations from the Ballou players.
While few will argue that Ballou is an unworthy champion, there is likely to be continued controversy over the timing of the suspensions which forced Woodson to compete without a number of the Warriors’ key players; while Eastern players involved in the same brawl will be suspended for the first game of the 2018 season, Woodson players were forced to sit out the Turkey Bowl.
That was bad luck for Woodson, and good luck for Ballou, whether it was decisive in the eventual outcome or not.