ARLINGTON, Va. (WUSA) -- Friday afternoon was supposed to be a substantial test for Bishop O'Connell. The Knights have a brand new coach in Del Smith, a quarterback with high expectations in Leighton Dassau and a newly implemented spread option attack.
O'Connell passed its season opening test with flying colors, trouncing crosstown rival Ireton 27-12. The Knights' offense operates almost entirely in the shotgun and revolves around the option attack.
Senior running back Kamrin Moore and sophomore Anton Woody were both elusive and powerful, as they decimated the Cardinal defense. Moore scored on a 35-yard scamper down the left sideline early in the second quarter, giving O'Connell a 21-0 lead.
It was Dassau who left the afternoon crowd of more than 3,000 people in awe with his skill set. The quarterback -- who is also a baseball star -- impressed with his sharp accuracy on a pass over the middle, his ability to extend the play with his legs, but most importantly, his decision making. Dassau scored on a 19-yard quarterback scramble, giving the Knights a 27-0 lead in the third quarter.
"We are so excited about Leighton," said head coach Del Smith about his senior quarterback. "In previous years he was in systems where he wasn't really set up for success. We like him running the ball, he can scan the field and he has a live arm."
When asked if he prefers to run the ball or throw it, Dassau smiled: "Whatever coach calls for, I'll execute it to my best."
Smith has instilled hard work and discipline in his players, well, because he's working hard too. During summer workouts, Smith commuted everyday from Charlottesville, Va., leaving his house at 3:30 a.m. for 6:30 a.m. workouts.
"I talk to our guys all the time about starting fast and finishing strong," said Smith. "I do think we started fast ... we came out of the gates hot. We were able to run the football."
O'Connell's defense does have to be commended too. Ireton's two touchdowns came in the fourth quarter, when the game was out of reach. The Cardinal's barely had time to throw any deep passes, which heavily impacted their game plan.