Ashburn, Va. (December 1, 2016) — We’ve seen this movie before. And it had an awesome ending.
The Bulldogs of Stone Bridge High School are primed for Friday night’s postseason clash versus the Panthers of Massaponax High School, a showdown to decide which school gets to call itself the champion of Region 5A North…and which gets a shot at the season’s biggest prize.
In fact, it’s the third straight postseeason those dogs have had to deal with these cats. Those previous dealings include the Panthers’ 29-25 triumph over Stone Bridge in the third round of the 2014 ‘yoffs (their only win ever over the Bulldogs)…and last year’s epic, terrific, awesome comeback win when Stone Bridge turned a 13-point halftime disadvantage into a 50-49 victory, made possible when head coach Mickey Thompson dared to go for a late-game fate-deciding two-point conversion, and his Bulldogs dared to make it happen.
A win would grant Stone Bridge (11-2) a spot in next week’s Group 5A state-championship contest, a lofty height the Bulldogs have reached five times before, most recently a year ago when Stone Bridge turned late-season .500 mediocrity into a miracle run to the ultimate game. Plenty of guys in Bulldog uniforms remember those Massaponax tests quite clearly, and they’ll be back on the same field Friday night to make some more memories.
Senior quarterback Easton Turner will operate the famed single-wing, handing to senior backs Joshua Breece and Leland Girdy, mixing it up with junior fullback Bradley Block. Junior wideouts Daniel Thompson and Tyrese Johnson are legitimate home-run threats. On defense, senior lineman Daniel Renaud, senior defensive end Aidan McFarlane and senior d-back Dohnavyn Jefferson stabilize arguably the Bulldogs’ best team defense in years.
They’ll seek to contain Massaponax’s (12-1) dynamic duo of quarterback Kamrin Jackson (more than 500 yards passing and more than 1,200 yards rushing) and running back Trey Watkins (23 touchdowns from over 1,500 rush-yards).
Both of these gridiron squads have pommelled their ways to this crossroads: The Panthers have claimed their three playoff contests by a 24.6-point average; the Bulldogs have surmounted their three postseason challengers by a 25.3-point margin. Past history suggests that there will be no such differential this time.
The Bulldogs are ready, the Panthers are ready. We’re ready too, hitting the road to bring you the game through photos, tweets, quotes, stats and in-depth coverage that makes this the Viva Loudoun TopTicket Of The Week. Keep up with us @VivaLoudoun.
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Written by Jason S Rufner
for © Viva Loudoun Media Communications