In front of a packed house of maroon and gold faithful, Broad Run started Friday night's highly anticipated Battle of the 'Burn in near perfect fashion. Led by the gritty running of quarterback Brady Reitzel and tailback Da'Qwan Earl, the Spartans executed a methodical fifteen play, 75-yard drive that ate up nearly seven minutes of the first quarter, keeping the high-powered Stone Bridge offense off the field. The home crowd was raucous, and the Spartans appeared destined to capture an early lead and momentum in this clash of Ashburn football titans.
But in less than a minute, all of that changed.
The Spartans missed a short field goal as the drive stalled, and the Bulldogs needed just three plays to claim an early lead they would never relinquish en route to a dominating 37-14 win.
While Stone Bridge quarterback Ryan Burns accounted for most of the Bulldog scores, it was the diminutive tailback Rassaun Goldring who set the tone early for the big play cappability of their offense. Goldring--who is listed at 5-feet 8-inches tall, which would mean I must be 6-feet 10-inches tall--gained 55-yards on the Bulldogs first offensive play, and two plays later was in the end zone after a 23-yard touchdown run.
The score and early 7-0 lead hushed the Spartan home crowd and seemed to shift momentum decidedly in favor of Stone Bridge.
"That was really big," Stone Bridge head coach Mickey Thompson said about the early lead. "We were struggling to stop them. If they had put seven on the board, you start feeling the pressure to score, who knows if we would have gotten those runs because [Broad Run] would have been been so excited and really fired up. But it's a little deflating [for Broad Run to not score] and then turn around and two big runs and we're in the end zone. They just occupied seven minutes off the clock and got nothing."
The Bulldogs then turned to a quick passing attack that Burns executed to near perfection to extend the lead and eventually put the game out of reach. Burns went 4 for 5 on a second quarter drive -- including a pivotal 10-yard completion on fourth and nine from the Bulldogs own 35-yard line -- that ended with a 37-yard scoring strike to wide receiver D'Ante Yarborough and a 14-0 Bulldog lead.
Following a Stone Bridge field goal, the Spartans showed signs of life before halftime, when Reitzel hit Dorian Jenkins for a 71-yard touchdown pass. But Stone Bridge left little doubt as to how the game would end as they responded with another touchdown drive before halftime. A nice kickoff return by Goldring and another long completion from Burns to Yarborough setup the quarterback's 19-yard scoring strike to a wide open Jake Kuzbel. For the night, Burns completed 10 of 17 passes for 150 yards and three touchdowns, and the totals may have been greater but for a few drops by his receivers. Yarborough had six catches for 130 yards and two scores.
While the game ended in favor of Stone Bridge, the Ashburn community was the big winner Friday night. Droves of fans for both teams descended upon Broad Run, creating an electric, standing room only atmosphere for a high school game. The visitors stands were packed with Stone Bridge students clad in all white well before the game, and banners, flags, and face paint of all sorts flooded both sidelines.
"I love it," Goldring said about the Stone Bridge fan support, "They kept us in it, it felt like a home game."
Broad Run sponsored a succesful charity food drive in concert with the game, showing once again the Ashburn community's ability to turn a football game into something bigger.