While RGIII's unexpected visit to Broad Run's win over Patriot High School created a lot of Ashburn buzz Friday night, across town Stone Bridge and Briar Woods were buzz-sawing through district foes and shutting down two of the areas leading rushers to extend their unbeaten streaks this season.
Stone Bridge (6-0) hosted the Langley Saxons (3-3) and lightning quick running back Philip Mun, who entered the game on the heels of a 224-yard rushing performance against Madison. The Bulldogs’ defensive game plan focused on shutting down Mun and the Saxons option attack by playing disciplined, assignment-based football to avoid getting juked by the misdirection offense. While stats don't always tell the full story of a game, in this case they do. The Bulldogs bruised and battered the Langley ball carriers, holding Mun to a season low 40 yards rushing, and leading Stone Bridge to a 27-6 win despite struggles on offense.
"All week we had a good defensive plan, we were working hard, and our scheme was pretty much flawless," said senior defensive end Jesse Mizell. "That's why we came through and pretty much stopped a good running back."
The Bulldog offense started the night well but quickly stumbled into a series of drive-killing bad snaps and interceptions. Keyed by a long third down conversion pass from Ryan Burns to Jimmy Higgins, Stone Bridge got on the board first with a 6-yard touchdown run by Sterling Dailey. Dailey added a third quarter 74-yard touchdown run and finished the night with 104 yards on the ground.
After the opening drive touchdown, the offense sputtered. During the next three drives, the Saxon defense stopped the Bulldogs on a fourth down conversion attempt, intercepted a Burns pass, and forced a punt. It wasn't until a good punt return by Rassaun Goldring gave the Bulldogs the ball on their own 33-yard line that they were able to get on the board again with a short Cameron Reynolds run to extend the lead to 14-0.
In the second half, the Stone Bridge defensive players took scoring into their own hands. After Burns threw his third interception of the night — which killed a drive started after Jonathan Allen blocked a Langley punt — Christian Strahin picked off a Langley pass and returned it 18 yards for a score.
"Strahin: all year he has three pick sixes, four interceptions, he's just been aggressive on the ball,” Mizell said. “Our d-line is pretty big so we get our hands up and the quarterback can really see, and he's good at jumping passes."
The Bulldogs next travel to Marshall (0-6).
Meanwhile Friday, the Briar Woods Falcons also were shutting down a standout running back. Woodgrove's Joshua Sweet entered the game with more than 1,100 yards on the season, including a ridiculous 297-yard, six-touchdown game against Potomac Falls. But on this homecoming night at Briar Woods, things weren't so sweet for Woodgrove. Clad in the stylish blue and orange camoflauge patterned homecoming jerseys, the Falcon defense held Sweet to 47 yards. On offense, Trace McSorley led an aerial assault that blew the doors off the Wolverines en route to a 47-16 win.
In recent games, Briar Woods relied on a heavy dose of Cory Colder carrying the ball to set the tone on offense. But with Colder held to just three yards, McSorley and the talented crew of Falcon receivers took over. McSorley threw six touchdown passes — four in the first half — completing 22 of 31 passes for 337 yards. Cam Serigne and Devin Ramos each tallied more than 100 yards receiving, while Matt Rolin may have been vying for playing time in Steve Spurrier's South Carolina offense next year, hauling in two touchdown passes.
Six players led the defense, racking up at least eight tackles, including Rolin, Chris Larco, Mike Barta, Darrell Ramey and Josh Jacob. Ramey had a game high 11 tackles and a sack.
The Falcons next play at Heritage High School (2-4).