Corey Bull’s name conjures up an image of relentless tenacity and power. The Roosevelt senior running back displays both on the football field.
It isn’t unusual for Bull to plow over defenders — he’s rushed for over 200 yards in a game twice this season. Yet on a day in which he posted 81 yards and a touchdown, it was a phenomenal interception by Bull at the goal line that made the difference in a 17-14 Roosevelt win over Lawrence in a Nassau III regular-season finale Saturday.
Bull chased down the deep pass from Akym Land with just under seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter and Roosevelt leading by four, essentially securing the win entering next week’s league playoffs.
The play served as redemption for Bull after fumbling near the end zone on the previous possession.
“That was pretty big,” Bull said of the interception. “I was frustrated after the fumble.”
While Bull is normally the main attraction for Roosevelt, Kevon Hall — who says he’s certainly considered Bull a mentor over his first two seasons — also helped set the tone by racking up 108 yards on 19 carries.
“No, I didn’t expect to have this kind of impact this soon,” Hall said.
Trailing 14-10 in the early stages of the fourth quarter after surrendering a 10-0 first half lead, Roosevelt received what proved to be the game-winning score on a 37-yard touchdown pass toward the right corner of the end zone from Stephen Vailes to Farrakhan Anderson with 11:52 remaining.
But at the end of the day, it was really about the defense for Roosevelt, which forced 6 Lawrence turnovers (three interceptions and two fumbles).
Defensive end/tight end Isaiah Mitchell came up with two key plays for the Rough Riders. With the Golden Tornado leading by four at the Roosevelt 23 about midway through the third quarter, seeking to extend their lead, Mitchell picked off a quick pass and returned it to the Roosevelt 35 yard-line.
Mitchell later blazed through the offensive line and blocked a field goal attempt that would have tied the game early in the fourth.
Roosevelt coach Joseph Vitto knew this was important entering the playoffs.
“It was good for our confidence. Lawrence is one of the better programs on Long Island.”
Bull’s dynamic performance, however, could not be understated.
“He resembles a lot of a bull,” said Hall. “The aggression, the speed, the authority. He does it all.”