Archbishop Ryan blanks George Washington

YONG KIM / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Archbishop Ryan running back Samir Bullock rolls in for one of his three TDs in shutout of GW.
YONG KIM / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Archbishop Ryan running back Samir Bullock rolls in for one of his three TDs in shutout of GW.
Posted: November 29, 2013

WITH LESS than 2 minutes remaining in Archbishop Ryan High's 21-0 Thanksgiving takedown of George Washington, Samir Bullock, the Raiders' star running back, broke the huddle with a shoe untied.

Perhaps his fingers were numb from the frigid cold and windswept conditions at Mickey Young Memorial Stadium, or maybe his offensive line was just taking care of its guy.

Senior right tackle Joe Hansbury took a knee and did the loop-swoop-and-pull duties.

"I was standing there and saw his shoe was untied," said the 6-3, 280-pounder from Somerton. "I didn't want his shoe coming off and his foot getting stepped on. He's got a whole 'nother year to play!"

Up to code, Bullock grabbed the ensuing handoff and ran right, off Hansbury's backside for a big gainer. A holding flag on a wide receiver negated much of the run, but the sequence was still emblematic of the day.

Bullock, a junior who transferred from Father Judge, rushed for 280 yards and all three scores on 31 carries. In the process, he set a single-season Ryan mark for rushing yards in a season (2,055). The team also set a school record for points in a season (341).

"It was kind of hard with the field being a little cold and frozen," said Bullock, 16. "We started off a little edgy, but we came together as a team."

Players lost footing several times on the slippery surface. The temperature dipped so low that at around 9 a.m. a pipe connected to a water fountain at the stadium froze and burst, spewing water that field man Joe Finocchiaro had to quickly salt.

"If not for bad luck," said Finocchiaro, his face blown red from the relentless wind, "I wouldn't have any."

The conditions didn't slow Bullock much. He scored on runs of 40, 6 and 80 yards, but afterward he showed deference to the guys up front.

"Oh, my God," he said, "those guys are amazing. I'm blessed to be running behind them. This record, I give it all to them."

In addition to the 18-year-old Hansbury, Ryan's line was driven by its 17-year-old seniors.

Nick Werez is a 5-11, 225-pound right guard from Mayfair. Tom Haughey is a 6-foot, 255-pound left guard from Morrell Park. Andrew Voroscak is a 5-10, 240-pound center from Croydon. Nick Ostaszewski is a 6-4, 250-pound left tackle from Chalfont.

"Very proud of you," head coach Frank McArdle said postgame. "At times this year, when things weren't going well, it would have been real easy to fold up shop and go home."

After dropping its first three to start Catholic League AAAA play, Ryan won four straight to end the season. Bullock rushed for 876 yards in that span.

"I've never seen anybody run like that before," Haughey said. "I can't wait to see him next year."

Washington's defense was stout early. Senior Akinyeli "Ken" Everage was a catalyst all day and added a late sack. Hasan Brockman, another senior, was effective on both sides and intercepted a pass. Senior Zaire Hollerway was strong for stretches in the middle.

However, Ryan eventually controlled the line of scrimmage, and also benefited from a punt-killing, first-quarter wind.

The Eagles' longest punt netted 14 yards, and Bullock bounded for a 40-yard score a play later for a 7-0 lead after Joe Stock's extra point. The next drive needed only nine plays, 32 yards and a 6-yard Bullock run for seven more.

The back-breaker came on the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter, as Bullock bounced down the right side for an 80-yarder.

Defensively, seniors Jason Dones and Bobby Romano each notched interceptions. Hansbury also added a sack, and Andrew Hund had four tackles for losses.

In the end, Bullock ran away with a record, but the Ryan seniors got the victory they wanted to end their careers. And to the victors go the Thanksgiving spoils.

Werez, Haughey and Ostaszewski headed home for food and football. Voroscak headed to his grandmother's house for the same.

Hansbury went home for a feast prepared by Mom. His favorite dish?

"I just kind of pile everything on a plate and mix it together," he said. "So it looks like soup."

On Twitter: @AceCarterDN

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