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A triple-header: AAA Northwest Region postseason recap

Because of Saturday’s triple-header at Liberty High School in Bealeton, I thought I’d call a bit of an audible for my weekly summary of the Northwest Region. By clicking through to the additional text, you can read three game recaps from Saturday’s action.

To kick things off, third-seeded Colonial Forge was upset by No. 6 Franklin County on a last-second field goal by Colby Boone, 37-35. The kick, which cleared the uprights by, oh, about six inches, came three plays after Franklin County converted on fourth and 14.

No. 4 Brooke Point lost quarterback Gary Pisall on the first drive of its game against fifth-seeded William Fleming. While this would obviously cripple any team, it was even worse for the Black-Hawks, who run a no-huddle, pass-happy offense. In Pisall’s absence, sophomore Zach Deutel led Brooke Point to a wild 44-35 win.

The nightcap was sort of a blowout, with No. 3 Osbourn rolling to a 56-15 victory over sixth-seeded GW-Danville, proving that it’s the playoffs and, yes, the Eagles are intent on making some sort of statement. Figure that Osbourn has played in two of the past three Virginia AAA championship games, beating Chantilly in 2006 for the state title.

Don't forget: Riverbend plays at Osbourn Park Monday night in the other Division 6 quarterfinal contest. I'll be traveling to Virginia Beach for field hockey but Mark Giannotto will be there. Maybe we'll be able to talk him into throwing up a blog post with some extras from that one.

Quarterfinal results

Division 6

No. 6 Franklin County 37, No. 3 Colonial Forge 35
No. 5 Riverbend (8-2) at No. 4 Osbourn Park (8-2), Monday, 7

Division 5

No. 3 Osbourn 56, No. 6 GW-Danville 15,
No. 5 William Fleming 35, No. 4 Brooke Point 44

Semifinal schedule (Times/date TBA)

Division 6

No. 6 Franklin County (9-2) at No. 1 Battlefield (10-0)
Riverbend/Osbourn Park at No. 2 Woodbridge (10-0)

Division 5

No. 4 Brooke Point (7-4) at No. 1 Massaponax (8-2)
No. 3 Osbourn (8-3) at No. 2 North Stafford (7-3)

Last-second field goal sinks No. 14 Colonial Forge

The madness could’ve been avoided with one defensive stop. Facing fourth and 14 from the Colonial Forge 45-yard line, Franklin County quarterback T.J. Shaw chucked a prayer toward wide receiver Thad Basham along the left sideline.

Bashman went up and got the jump ball, pulling it down at the 12 for a 33-yard gain. Three players later, Franklin County kicker Colby Boone pushed a 33-yard field goal barely through the uprights to give his team a 37-35 lead with 1 second left.

“In football, there are a lot of plays where you can go back and say, ‘If you make that play, we win,’” Colonial Forge Coach Bill Brown said of the fourth down completion. “That was huge at the end of the game. That play was the play.”

With the 37-35 loss -- Colonial Forge fumbled the ensuing kickoff -- the Eagles’ otherwise remarkable season ended with a thud. Still, Colonial Forge (9-2) made its first postseason appearance since 2006 and returns a host of talented playmakers.

Tim Scott, who was shaken up early in the second quarter, returned in the second half and the junior finished with a team-high 131 rushing yards on six carries. He also scored the Eagles’ first touchdown on a 66-yard run that was made possible by a fantastic kick-out block from Trey Reed, who’s another one of Colonial Forge’s dynamic returning players.

Junior quarterback Blake Frohnapfel connected on four of his 11 passes for 150 yards while accounting for four touchdowns. His twin brother, tight end Eric Frohnapfel, hauled in three passes for 126 yards and a touchdown.

“We came into the game and I guess we thought we were going to win; I guess we were probably looking forward too much,” Blake Frohnapfel said. “It’s really heartbreaking for our seniors because this is their last game, and you always think about how you could’ve done more.”

Colonial Forge, though, had trouble containing Franklin County’s Tae Gilbert, who ran for 207 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries. He also caught three passes for 45 yards and another score.

Brooke Point wins but loses QB Pisall

The pass he threw was intercepted in the end zone when Brooke Point quarterback Gary Pisall went tumbling to the turf on the 11th play of the his team’s 44-35 win over William Fleming. Though the Colonels were flagged for a late hit, Pisall broke his left collarbone and was lost for the game -- and the season.

Into his spot under center stepped sophomore Zach Deutel, who was about to get the first significant action of his varsity career. As I wrote above, this would be an unsettling development for any high school team, let alone pass-happy Brooke Point.

To quickly prove how much Brooke Point (7-4) depends on Pisall, the 6-foot senior attempted nine passes on his team’s first drive before getting hurt; he completed eight of them for 44 yards. During the regular season, Pisall hit on 170 of his 286 passes for 2,304 yards and 19 touchdowns while only throwing six interceptions.

Deutel was more than serviceable in relief, completing 16 of his 23 passes for 142 yards and a pair of scoring strikes, one to Virginia Tech-bound wideout E.L. Smiling, who finished with seven catches for 111 yards and a pair of touchdown receptions

“We talked Friday that someone was going to step up,” Brooke Point Coach Jeff Berry said. “We said it was going to be someone that we didn’t expect, but I guarantee you nobody thought it was going to be Zach Deutel. He showed a lot of chops out there.”

The Black-Hawks scored the first 17 points of the game before William Fleming answered with 28 straight, a stretch that culminated with one of Deutel’s passes getting returned 34 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter.

Deutel, though, quickly shelved that memory and connected on seven of his next eight attempts for 75 yards to lead a pair of touchdown drives that gave the Black-Hawks a 31-28 lead with 8:38 left to play in the fourth quarter.

William Fleming quarterback Devin Dean (23 carries, 113 yards) answered with a 49-yard touchdown run to put William Fleming ahead, 35-31, with 5:48 to go, but Deutel connected with Smiling on a four-yard strike with 2:10 play.

Arturo Brown (10 carries, 66 yards) would later score the second of his two touchdowns to finally give the Black-Hawks some breathing room.

“It looked like to start the second half that they were ready to blow us out of the building, but we just made some plays,” Berry said, “and that’s something we hadn’t been able to do at times this year. We picked a good time to start doing it.”

In the postseason, Osbourn is at its best

Watching Osbourn’s 56-15 dismantling of GW-Danville, I don’t know whom I felt worse for: the Eagles’ radio broadcasters or the players themselves. No matter how you slice it, Saturday was a tough one to take for GW-Danville.

For Osbourn, though, it was something Coach Steve Schultze called, “fun football,” describing, essentially, how pretty much everything went right for his team in this game.

Schultze also added: “We’ve been capable of this kind of output all year, but we haven’t had it. We still had a few turnovers and a few bad snaps that I’d like to take away, but I thought offensively we were playing pretty good ball.”

Indeed, Osbourn (8-3) has been able to peak in the playoffs. The Eagles went 14-0 to soar through the 2006 postseason, beating Chantilly in the Virginia AAA championship game. And last year, despite a 3-4 record on Oct. 17, 2008, Osbourn knocked off Battlefield and Woodbridge to capture the Division 6 region title and reach the state title game.

“There’s an expectation here to make it to the playoffs and hopefully make it farther than the first or second round,” said quarterback Thomas Keith, who threw for 154 yards, ran for 143 more and totaled three touchdowns (two running, one passing).

One interesting development that came out of Saturday’s rout was Osbourn’s above-average use of the single wing formation; the Eagles relied on the single wing almost exclusively in the opening quarter before integrating more plays out of the spread.

With a talented bunch of ball carriers, including running back Vidal Greene -- who had 49 rushing yards and a touchdown while also throwing a first-quarter scoring pass to Robbie Carter -- Osbourn has the flexibility to make both formations work.

Schultze hemmed and hawed about which formation to start with but settled on a few series based out of the single wing. The result: Osbourn scored on six of its first eight offensive possessions, including three of five in the first half.

“I’m always thinking, ‘Should we start out in spread or start out in [single wing]?’” Schultze said. “I wanted to try and knock them out a little bit and get the ball in Vidal Greene’s hands and get going early. It seemed to work.”

By Jason Mackey  |  November 15, 2009; 5:50 PM ET
Categories:  Battlefield , Brooke Point , Cardinal District , Cedar Run District , Colonial Forge , Commonwealth District , Football , Massaponax , North Stafford , Northwest Region , Osbourn , Osbourn Park , Riverbend , Woodbridge  
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