Gonzaga wins first Washington, D.C., title game in 50 years

Gonzaga wins first Washington, D.C., title game in 50 years

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Gonzaga wins first Washington, D.C., title game in 50 years

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Gonzaga players celebrate its victory in DC championship game (Photo Erin A. Thacker/WUSA)

Gonzaga players celebrate its victory in DC championship game (Photo Erin A. Thacker/WUSA)

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: A previous version of this story included the incorrect team for Richie Petibon, Jabari Greenwood, Reggie Corbin. They are members of .

 

Gonzaga defeated reigning District of Columbia State Athletic Association’s (DCSAA) Class AA champs H.D. Woodson 29-6 in Sunday’s championship game at Catholic University Cardinal Stadium.

Last year, the Warriors of H.D. Woodson won the Class AA title by defeating Friendship Collegiate 25-8.

But this was the first year that D.C.’s top public and private schools played for a championship title since the 1970’s. The cancellation was an outgrowth of a riot that followed the 1962 game between the predominantly white fans of St. John’s and the predominantly African-American fans of Eastern. The game was attended by more than 50,000 people at RFK Stadium.

The public and private champions have been meeting in other sports, but football was the last sport to accept the concept.

To qualify for the championship, H.D. Woodson defeated Ballou 16-12 in the 45th annual Turkey Bowl and the Eagles of Gonzaga edged past Friendship Collegiate 20-19 in the Class AA semifinals.

The Eagles started out the season without a football field and began practicing at Cardinal Stadium. Gonzaga Head Coach Randy Trivers said the team had challenges from Day One but was able to end the season on a high note, winning the championship where it all started.

“When you can finish the season with a smile on your face after a victory, that’s a good thing,” said Trivers.

Trivers said this was not an easy season for Gonzaga, but the Purple Eagles stuck together and came out with a title win.
Gonzaga was without several injured starters in Richie Petibon, Jabari Greenwood and starting running back Reggie Corbin.

“I respect them a great deal,” said Trivers. “I’m very proud of this football team.”

Running back Tyree Randolph scored three touchdowns against H.D. Woodson. He said it was big for the 9-3 Eagles to defeat a team who started the game with a 11-2 record.

“Momentum really helped us in this game,” said Randolph. “Execution was a big part of our offense and why we clicked.”

Senior Linebacker Sean Fitzgerald was selected MVP of the game and said it meant a lot to go out and win the first D.C. state championship. He said the win was a fitting end to a great story.

“I’m so proud of the team,” Fitzgerald said. “I think this is going to pave the way for a lot of success within our program going forward.”

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Gonzaga wins first Washington, D.C., title game in 50 years
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