Monday (Afternoon) Quarterback
Finally, a weekend full of football! Between the Forest Park-Loudoun Valley game Friday night, my alumni flag football game and all the college games on Saturday and yesterday's full slate of NFL games, I certainly got my fill of the action.
But just in case you haven't, here are some of the top story lines from the weekend in Loudoun football.
The Weekend's Top Stories
5. Broad Run and Loudoun County are the teams to beat in the Dulles District - Most expected this coming into the season, but both the Spartans (3-0) and Raiders (2-0) are rolling through their non-district schedules. Broad Run hit the road and gave Jefferson a 40-7 beat down in West Virginia while the Raiders traveled to Front Royal and routed Warren County 42-7. T.J. Peeler and Adrian Flemming each found the end zone twice for the Spartans and continue to be the top players at their respective positions in the league, and the ground game continues to churn out yardage and points for County. The Raiders get a tougher test this week in the form of undefeated Sherando (3-0), but so far so good from both squads.
4. Brandon Lee is the most dangerous quarterback in the Dulles District and Michael Devaney is a big-play machine - With two 80-yard touchdown runs and a scoring pass to tight end Jordan Owens, Park View senior QB Brandon Lee has now had a hand (or a leg) in seven of the Patriots' 10 touchdowns this season. At 6-1, 196 pounds, he's built like a tight end but can throw the deep ball or sprint out of the backfield and down the sidelines. Sooner or later, opposing defenses are going to need to spy him with one of their linebackers just to make sure he doesn't take off for another long TD. The Patriots (2-1) are also getting outstanding play on the other side of the ball from senior linebacker Michael Devaney who returned a blocked put for a score in Friday's win over Liberty, giving him two defensive TDs on the season to go along with two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and 14 tackles on the season.
Lee, Devaney and company now get a week off to plan for their visit to Ashburn to face rivals Broad Run in one of the most eagerly anticipated district openers in the region.
3. Stone Bridge is still Stone Bridge - They may have lost nearly their entire starting lineup on both sides of the ball last season, but Stone Bridge doesn't appear to have lost their toughness or their swagger with all the graduations from the spring. Three of the few holdovers from last season - One Man Band Spenser Rositano, equally versatile Kyle Gouveia and senior RB Marcus Harris - have carried this team thus far (which worries Coach Mickey Thompson - more on that in Thursday's Print Extra Edition) and will continue to use their utility knife skill sets to produce on both sides of the ball. The Bulldogs (2-0) are not blowing people out as they have in years past but these type of grind-it-out wins will only make their inexperienced players stronger and better prepared for the Liberty District. No one's sleeping on the boys from Ashburn, but now even a short catnap is highly cautioned.
For the second consecutive week, Heritage made a strong showing but wasn't rewarded with a result. Going against two of the top teams in the state last season, the Pride (0-2) have held their own and look like a nice darkhorse pick in their first season in the AAA Cedar Run.
2. Loudoun Valley is on the rise - I witnessed Valley's 22-15 come-from-behind win over Forest Park first hand on Friday night and came away impressed. The Vikings (2-1) dominated play in the first half, eating up the clock with long drives and recovering two fumbles, but went into the locker room with little to show for it, trailing 7-3 after a long touchdown run on a short pass by Bruins quarterback Jared Johnston. As recently as last season, the Vikings might not have been able to overcome their early offensive foibles, and they certainly would not have bounced back from two third quarter interceptions which killed critical drives. But junior QB Andrew Taylor, senior backs Bernard Thompson and Ricky Simmons and a reliable receiving corps showed plenty of resolve in helping the boys in green storm back with two scores in the final minutes to claim a dramatic victory. This could be one of those pivotal wins that helps a program take the next step in the long process of reaching contender status and it certainly resonated in the players I spoke to following the game. "We don't quit," Thompson said. "We just knew we had to do something and change the game. Everyone wanted this game and showed our toughness coming back and winning it."
1. The Eagles are flying high - When Freedom hired Park View assistant Mick Mullins to be its new head coach, most expected a turnaround was in the cards for a program that had struggled to get off the ground in its first few years. But few outside of South Riding expected results this soon. With Friday's 12-6 win over Brentsville, the Eagles (2-0) opened the season with back-to-back victories for the first time since 2006 and have already eclipsed their win total from the last two seasons combined. Senior tailback Jeff Pugh has rushed for 338 yards and four of the team's five touchdowns on 42 carries and a defense that was gorged for 43.8 points per game a year ago has limited it's first two opponents to a total of only 22. There is still much work to be done before the Eagles can contend for a playoff berth or league crown, but they're miles ahead of where they were a year ago and the fan base in South Riding has plenty to be excited about each and every Friday night. Next up for the Eagles is Kettle Run - their third straight AA Evergreen opponent and another young program looking to establish itself in 2009.
What are some other story lines from the weekend? Share yours below!
September 14, 2009; 3:43 PM ET
Categories: Broad Run High School , Football , Freedom High School , Heritage High School , Loudoun County High School , Loudoun Valley High School , Park View High School , Stone Bridge High School
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