Rene propels Maroon’s aerial attack
INTERSTATE ATHLETIC CONFERENCE FOOTBALL
Episcopal quarterback Henry Hay returned to the sideline and kept asking who caught his latest touchdown pass, even if he should have known better. The ball had gotten away from him on the release, Hay explained to wide receiver Chris Giblin, and “I just knuckleballed it.”
“So was that to me?” asked Giblin, who could now hardly believe he had seen fellow senior Patrice Rene leap and grab the fluttering throw from the air.
But Rene left everyone in Alexandria wondering what he might do next, leading Episcopal to a 34-12 win over Bullis on Saturday with an aerial attack few could have predicted. The Rutgers defensive back commit turned four of his five catches into touchdowns and finished with 164 receiving yards.
Hay had a career-high five touchdown passes, but Rene did much of the damage. His first two scores were short throws that he took the distance. His final two touchdowns involved dives to make the catch in the end zone.
Either way, Rene proved too much for Bullis’s inexperienced secondary, and the Maroon (4-0, 2-0 Interstate Athletic Conference) scored 34 straight points after the Bulldogs took an early 6-0 lead.
“When I’m playing, I don’t really think about anything. I just do what it is, and I feel it,” Rene said. “We’re definitely a running team, but once they started keying in on that, that opened up our passing game.”
Bullis (1-4, 0-1) suffered its first league loss since 2012, and the two-time defending IAC champions continued to struggle on both sides of the ball.
Playing in front of interim Maryland football Coach Mike Locksley on Saturday, Terrapins quarterback commit Dwayne Haskins Jr. completed 26 of his 38 passes for 284 yards and a touchdown, but the Bulldogs couldn’t generate much downfield. After junior Damani Neal (90 rushing yards) scored on the second drive of the day, Bullis was held scoreless until the final minute of regulation.
“This is big. We’d been thinking about this game,” said Hay, alluding to Episcopal’s secondplace finish behind Bullis in the IAC the past two years.
Afterward, Rene couldn’t pick one touchdown he liked better than the other. Maybe the last catch, he said, a 21-yarder in which he sprawled to the ground to corral his second score in two minutes to punctuate the afternoon.
Regardless, on a field featuring several college prospects, Episcopal had the best one.
“There’s a lot of good things that happened today,” Coach Panos Voulgaris told his players, “but we’re lucky to have Patrice Rene on our team.”
Keandre Jones blocks a punt that set up Tremayne Stott’s winning touchdown for Good Counsel.