Ashburn, Va. (November 10, 2016) — The second season is here. It’s time for one-and-done. We’ve reached the zero-hour.
Welcome to the playoffs, when the true story of the season is written.
Ten Loudoun teams have earned playoff bids this fall. Two of them have first-round byes and three others start off at home, so we could be here at while.
For this postseason-opening Viva Loudoun TopTicket Of The Week, we’ll be at the only game in town involving two teams from town: The Spartans of Broad Run High School doing a do-over with the Huskies of Tuscarora High School.
I say “do-over” because not one week ago the Spartans and Huskies just faced off in both squads’ regular-season finale, as Broad Run doubled up Tuscarora 28-14. That one was in Leesburg and this one will be in Ashburn, but no matter. The game starts off 0-0, just like the teams’ second-season records do.
Tuscarora took a bumpy ride to the playoffs. The Huskies (5-5, 69.0 rating for 10th in 5A North) have won by as much as 34 and have lost by as much as 35. They’ve won four in a row, but they’ve lost two in a row twice. They’ll take one of those two-game loss streaks into the playoffs.
They’ll do so with one of the younger starting lineups head coach Michael Burnett has fielded since he founded the Tuscarora program. Fifteen of the Huskies’ 22 starters have yet to achieve senior status, including sophomore featured back Jaylon Lundy, a triumverate of sophomore runners in Taye Davis, Renny Adjei and Leron West, and a fancy-footwork sophomore quarterback by name of Justin Allen. Senior wideout Bryce Sorrell provides stability and production.
The Huskies played the second toughest schedule in Region 5A North (behind only that of Stone Bridge), a challenging slate which helped Tuscarora rank ahead of three teams with more wins in the regional ratings.
Broad Run (8-2, for 5th in 5A North) has done it with defense. The 108 points they’ve given up is, by far, the lowest total among 24 Region 5A North teams, better than Stone Bridge’s second-best 135. On their current six-game win streak, the Spartans have let in seven or fewer points four times.
It’s an experience-laden bunch back there on head coach Matt Griffis‘ defense for the Spartans, led by linebackers Foster Vargo and Michael Arrington on the inside and Michael Middleton and Meech Hembry on the outside.
The offense begins with Hembry, the Spartans’ powerful high-scoring senior slashback. Sometimes he’s in the backfield all by his lonesome and sometimes there’s a quarterback back there, either senior runner Ryan Braithwaite or freshman thrower Mitch Griffis.
We’ve got a TopTicket to the Spartans versus the Huskies in the playoffs and we’re gonna bring it all to you. Follow along with the live-tweeting @VivaLoudoun.
VivaLoudoun: We Live For Loudoun™
Written by Jason S Rufner
for © Viva Loudoun Media Communications