Colby Bonds devoted himself throughout the offseason, a regular in the weight room and doing conditioning runs. The Hylton High linebacker and running back had scored his team’s first touchdown of the season in the first quarter of Friday’s season opener against Mount Vernon, stripping the quarterback and taking the ball 62 yards to the end zone.
But as the game hung in the balance in the final seconds, even Bonds himself could hardly believe how the decisive play unfolded.
With the game tied 28-28, Mount Vernon lined up for a potential game-winning field goal. “I was like, ‘If we don’t make a play here, it’s over,’ ” Bonds said. “Their kicker had been nailing 50- and 60-yarders in pregame.”
Hylton Coach Tony Lilly said he remained confident that the Bulldogs’ special teams would come through in the clutch. Defensive end Devin Bowen swooped in from the edge to block the kick and Bonds was stunned as he picked up the ball on one bounce and raced for a 57-yard touchdown with eight seconds left.
“I was like, ‘Wow, the ball is in my hands. I’ve got to go. I can win the game for us,’ ” Bonds said. “I was cramping, but I had to find a way to get there.”
For his efforts, Bonds was named the Military Bowl DC Touchdown Club High School Football Player of the Week. He also rushed 12 times for 70 yards on offense.
“I just wanted to try to do whatever I can to help us win – on offense and on defense,” Bonds said. “I don’t really care about stats. All that matters to me is that we win games.”
Others considered for this week’s Player of the Week were:
Friendship Collegiate LB Ahmed Bailey had two sacks and two more tackles for loss as the Knights beat Wilson, 26-0
Stone Bridge RB Zakias Moore rushed for 110 of his 128 yards in the second half and scored two touchdowns in the third quarter after the game was tied to lead the Bulldogs to a season-opening 28-14 over Centreville.
Langley RB Tre Vasiliadis rushed 22 times for 206 yards and two touchdowns and returned a kickoff 77 yards for another score in the Saxons’ 31-28 loss to Edison.
Bullis QB Christian Veilleux threw three touchdown passes, including a go-ahead 32-yarder to Ashton Allen on fourth down midway through the fourth quarter, as the Bulldogs rallied to beat Carroll, 35-33.
St. John’s QB Sol-Jay Maiava threw two touchdown passes and rushed for two more scores as the Cadets beat Deerfield Beach (Fla.), 52-30.