By Dan Sousa
Special to Viva Loudoun
Ashburn (Nov. 23, 2013) – While football fans around Loudoun and the state were dreaming of a first ever match-up between power programs Briar Woods and Stone Bridge, a very proud Broad Run team had other designs as the No. 7 seed Spartans shocked No. 2 Stone Bridge, 23-21, Friday Nov. 22 to knock the Bulldogs out of the 5A North playoffs.
“I feel like I’m dreaming,” said Spartan junior quarterback Brady Reitzel who scored on two second-half touchdown runs including the game-winner with 45 seconds left as Broad Run ended Stone Bridge’s 28-game winning streak against Loudoun opponents.
As the final second of the game ticked off, there was bedlam on the Broad Run sidelines and Spartans fans rushed the field to celebrate where two years earlier they had watched their team lose a 24-0 halftime lead to their Ashburn rivals and fall in overtime, 31-30.
“That overtime loss has been a thorn in my side,” said Broad Run senior running back and defensive back Da’Qwan Earl who started the 2011 loss and earned the redemption Friday with a big game on both sides of the ball including 91 tough yards rushing and an interception in the end zone.
Broad Run (9-3) – not Stone Bridge — travels to No. 3 Briar Woods (10-1) in the regional semifinals Friday, Nov. 29, for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff.
‘This is the best feeling in the world. It is long overdue,” said Broad Run junior Chuck Davis, who had a huge 32-yard leaping reception on a 2nd-and-33 play on the game-winning drive. “I told coach and Brady I wanted the ball in that situation. I went up and got it.”
The Spartans, coached by former Stone Bridge offensive coordinator Matt Griffis, had never beaten their Ashburn neighbors, coming into the contest with an 0-7 lifetime mark including a 33-14 loss to Stone Bridge in September.
“The feeling right now is euphoric. It is something you can’t buy,” said Griffis. “I’m kind of in a fog right now.”
Stone Bridge (9-3) failed to reach the 10-win mark on the season for the first time since 2001.
“We had too many penalties. You have penalties, you lose,” said Stone Bridge coach Mickey Thompson who has been the school’s head coach since it opened in 2000.
The Bulldogs were hampered by penalties on the night with a total of 85 yards including three penalties in the Red Zone on a failed drive and then two 15-yard fouls after the whistle on Broad Run’s game-winning drive.
The Bulldogs out-gained the Spartans in the loss, 392-242, including rolling up 305 yards on the ground with senior Sterling Dailey gaining 134 yards on 31 carries. Stone Bridge, however, was unable to score any points off two long drives in the first half — 12 play and 14 play — with the score tied 7-7.
“It is not so much a shock as we knew they had gotten better since we played them in September but we knew we could beat them. We made mistakes and we beat ourselves,” said Stone Bridge senior James Manning after a stunned Bulldog team broke their final team huddle of the year.
It was Manning’s 22 yard TD run and 2-point conversion with 5:57 left that put Stone Bridge up 21-17, after the Bulldogs had found themselves down 17-7 in the fourth quarter.
The game – and particularly the Spartans final drive – gave the fans plenty to talk about over the winter. While the Stone Bridge side will focus on the two big penalties – both which may have been taunting calls – the Broad Run boosters will look at two gutsy completions on 4th-and-5 and the Davis catch on 2-and-33.
The first escape came when Reitzel hit senior Travis Fulgham on a 7-yard leaping grab to move the chains on the fourth down.
With no time outs left, Broad Run made it on 3rd-and-1 with Reitzel gaining 10 on the read option keeper. With the ball at the Stone Bridge 22, Earl picked up 9 on two carries to set up 3rd-and-1 and the clock running under a minute.
Reitzel once again, pulled the ball back from his running back, and got around the right corner and dove into the end zone. The point after hit the left upright and bounced away which left Stone Bridge with a shot win it on a last second field goal.
The Bulldogs were able to move the ball just across midfield before the clock expired and the Spartans fans stormed the field in celebration.
Both teams scored on their opening drives before the game settled in with Stone Bridge senior D’Ante Yarborough gliding for a 43-yard TD and then Broad Run answered with junior Jashawn Banks capping a 76-yard drive with a 1-yard TD. Things then settled in and the teams went into halftime still deadlocked at 7-7.
Broad Run marched down on the opening drive of the second half — converting on 4th-and-7 with Reitzel and Fulgham hooking up for 14 yards — and got to the 19 before things stalled. Junior Sammy Sergei drilled a 36-yard field goal to put Broad Run up 10-7.
After the Spartans defense held Stone Bridge to a 3-and-out, the Broad Run offense took over at their own 46 after a 33-yard punt. Earl busted loose for 17 yards on the first snap to jump-start a Spartan drive that ended with Reitzel scoring from 7 yards out.
Trailing 17-7, Stone Bridge snapped out of their offensive funk and went 80 yards in 12 plays to cut the lead to 17-13 after a missed point after. The Bulldogs converted on 4th-and-1 on the drive with Collin Buckley bulling for 2 yards and it was Buckley starting from 4 yards out with 10:54 remaining.
The Stone Bridge defense was energized and forced a quick punt — a booming 56 yarder by Reitzel to pinned Stone Bridge back to their 21. The Bulldogs reeled off nine straight running plays with Manning dragging defenders into the end zone with 5:57 left. He then scored a 2-point conversion to put Stone Bridge ahead 21-17.
|Football: Broad Run 23, Stone Bridge 21|
|game played Nov. 22, 2013 in Ashburn, Va.|
|Broad Run (9-3)||7||0||10||6||23|
|Stone Bridge (9-3)||7||0||0||14||21|
|1: Stone Bridge||Yarborough 43 run (Smedley kick) 6:59|
|1: Broad Run||Banks 1 run (Sergei kick) 2:01|
|3: Broad Run||Sergei 36 FG 8:42|
|3: Broad Run||Reitzel 7 run (Sergei kick) 3:40|
|4: Stone Bridge||Buckley 4 run (kick missed) 10:54|
|4: Stone Bridge||Manning 22 run (Manning run) 5:57|
|4: Broad Run||Reitzel 3 run (kick missed) 0:45|
|BR: Earl 17-91, Reitzel 13-31, Davis 1-15, Hilberath 3-15, Banks 3-10. Total 37-147.|
|SB: Dailey 31-134, Buckley 7-63, Yarborough 5-63, Mannign 3-34, Thompson 5-11. Totasl 51-305.|
|BR: Reitzel 8-16-0, 95 yards|
|SB: Thompson 5-12-1, 87 yards|
|BR: Davis 2-48, Fulgham 4-40, Kryzwicki 1-7.|
|SB: Yarborough 3-55, Lynch 1-20, Purcell 1-12.|