Sophomore running back Aizsha Horne had 156 rushing yards and one touchdown in McKinley Tech’s 24-0 win over Theodore Roosevelt on Oct. 24 in Washington, D.C. Just three weeks away from playoffs, the McKinley Tech Trainers (5-3) showed why they sit atop their division in the District of Columbia Interscholastic Athletic Association (DCIAA) Stripes league bout.
The Roosevelt Roughriders (1-7) weren’t able to establish a rhythm on offense, especially the run game. In the first quarter, McKinley’s senior linebacker Qadry Harris turned a fumble recovery into a touchdown, putting McKinley’s first points on the board. Although Roosevelt blocked the extra kick, multiple penalties and hard-nosed defense prevented the team from being in a position to score.
“We played good/contain defense. As long as we knew we could keep them from getting to the outside, we would be fine,” said McKinley head coach Robert Lee.
With 19 seconds remaining in the first half, McKinley senior quarterback Ramon Leonard suffered a right knee injury and would not return to the game. He was 6-of-12 for 53 passing yards in the first half. Senior wide receiver Zachary Denney would fill the quarterback position in the second half.
“After my quarterback went down, I knew the next person to step up was me,” said Denney after the game. “So I had to get into my head that I had to step up and be a team player, and do what I had to do for my team to get this victory.”
Led by Denney and Horne, McKinley smoothly transitioned from spreading the ball around the field to focusing primarily on the run game. Denney held on to quite a few quarterback keepers, and finished with 56 rushing yards and a touchdown. Horne—the workhouse running back—scored a 4-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
“When it was time to run and we had to depend on it, the offensive line stepped up and got their man out the way. The running backs were hitting the holes, and we just got it moving,” said Denney.
Junior kicker Tyler Castle also made a 27-yard field goal.
Roosevelt will square off against the Phelps Architecture, Construction and Engineering Panthers on Oct. 30. McKinley Tech will face the Cardozo Clerks on Oct. 31. Both games are DCIAA-Stripes matchups.