WAPO | Nov 24, 2018 - From ‘two seconds’ to ‘two rings,’ Bell football wins another D.C. title - Columbia Heights Educational Campus

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From ‘two seconds’ to ‘two rings,’ Bell football wins another D.C. title
By Kyle Melnick
November 24, 2018

Bell QB Jeremiah Richardson scores a clinching touchdown in the fourth quarter against Kingsman Academy. (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

As Bell football players danced around the D.C. State Athletic Association Class A championship trophy after their 32-22 win Saturday night, defensive lineman Jeremiah Richardson remained on the team’s sideline as tears streamed down his face.

After losing on the final play in last year’s D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association Gravy Bowl, Richardson didn’t know whether the Griffins would ever hoist Gravy Bowl and DCSAA trophies in the same year. While Richardson usually only plays defense, he had been practicing at quarterback the past two months, waiting for the moment Bell needed to energize its offense midgame.

That occasion came against Kingsman Academy (12-2) in the DCSAA Class A championship Saturday. Richardson played on both sides of the ball and accounted for each of Bell’s second-half touchdowns to lead the Griffins to a comeback victory at Georgetown University.

“It’s so special to win this,” Richardson said. “I’ll remember this forever.”

Last week, Bell (11-0) won its first DCIAA Gravy Bowl after losing in the Stripes division title game four consecutive years. Bell players remind themselves of their last-second defeat to Theodore Roosevelt in last year’s Gravy Bowl by wearing shirts under their jerseys that read “Two seconds.”

Bell's Brenden Edwards catches a third-quarter touchdown pass against Kingsman's Corey Alston.(Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Still, the Griffins didn’t seem to carry last week’s momentum into Saturday. They allowed their first points since Sept. 14 and trailed by eight at halftime.

Ronnell St. John has powered Bell’s offense this season, but the quarterback struggled Saturday, so Richardson replaced him in the second half.

Richardson turned momentum Bell’s way by stripping a Knights running back and running 68 yards for a touchdown at the beginning of the third quarter. He returned to the sideline and placed his right index finger over his lips, imploring the Kingsman Academy fans standing behind Bell’s sideline to quiet down.

On Bell’s ensuing drive, Richardson connected with wide receiver Brenden Edwards for a touchdown to provide the Griffins their first lead.

Richardson rushed for two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, and after his final score with 41 seconds remaining, the senior walked toward the sideline and shook his head side-to-side while his teammates prepared an ice water bath for Coach Daniel Tyson.

Bell Coach Daniel Tyson get doused with water the end of the game. (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post

“I told ya’ll I had ya’ll,” Richardson shouted to his team.

The Griffins posed with a trophy for the second consecutive week after their victory, holding up two fingers and shouting “Two rings.”

“I can’t remember the last time I felt like this,” Tyson said. “All I wanted to do was bring a championship to Bell.”

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