In the Battle Of The ‘Ville, Valley goes up big but Woodgrove comes back even bigger, racking up five touchdowns in a two-quarter span.
Final score –
Loudoun Valley Vikings (7-3) 20 0 7 0 = 27
Woodgrove Wolverines (10-0) 7 21 13 7 = 48
1 / 9:20 – Loudoun Valley TD (Rasheem Thornton 1-yd run; Cameron Hippler kick)
1 / 2:29 – Woodgrove TD (Mike Kovich 1-yd run; Cameron Gieseman kick)
1 / 0:53 – Loudoun Valley TD (Nick Kallivokas 58-yd pass to Cameron Hippler; Cameron Hippler kick)
1 / 0:32 – Loudoun Valley TD (Nick Kallivokas 12-yd pass to Duron Norris; kick blocked)
2 / 10:07 – Woodgrove TD (Darrin Green fumble recovery in EZ; Cameron Gieseman kick)
2 / 6:38 – Woodgrove TD (Mike Kovich 29-yd pass to Russell Blackwell; Cameron Gieseman kick)
2 / 2:07 – Woodgrove TD (Mike Kovich 24-yd pass to Russell Blackwell; Cameron Gieseman kick)
3 / 11:08 – Woodgrove TD (Chima Kpaduwa 62-yd run; kick blocked)
3 / 6:53 – Woodgrove TD (Chima Kpaduwa 16-yd run; Cameron Gieseman kick)
3 / 4:29 – Loudoun Valley TD (Nick Kallivokas 8-yd pass to Duron Norris; Cameron Hippler kick)
4 / 11:57 – Woodgrove TD (Mike Kovich 1-yd run; Cameron Gieseman kick)
Woodgrove High School, Purcellville, Va. (November 4, 2016) — The Wolverines got the Vikings’ best, but in the end, the Wolverines got the best of the Vikings.
Loudoun’s two westernmost institutions of higher learning went at each other aggressively for 48 minutes in an annual clash dubbed the Battle Of The ‘Ville for Viva Loudoun’s TopTicket Of The Week between the Vikings of Loudoun Valley High School and their Purcellville-neighboring Wolverines of Woodgrove High School in a meeting that was almost as mean as it was green.
The sheeny green of the Wolverines, in front of a dually-packed and rambunctious house in the wavy foothills off Allder School Road, scored touchdowns three different ways in blasting off 34 straight points in 17 game-minutes to prevail, polishing off a kind of perfection with a 10-0 unbeaten undefeated unblemished unspoiled unrivaled untied unsurpassed a.k.a. perfect season.
It’s the first loss-free campaign in the Wolverines’ seven-year history, and they’re the sole Loudoun squad to achieve regular-season perfection among this year’s 15 varsity teams.
“They made some great plays and we had to make some adjustments,” said Woodgrove head coach Mike Skinner, whose team also came from behind in its 24-14 win over Dominion Sept. 16. “But I thought our kids battled back.”
Battling On the Ground and In the Air
Kickoff hadn’t happened yet, yet the sound of a loud crowd met the ear though Wolverine Stadium was pretty far off yet. Parking was at a premium and the two banks of grandstands, both brimming with green of one or another trim, explained why. Parents and grandparents and relatives and friends and fans and everybody and their uncle was there. The two student sections played cellphone-light tag from across the sidelines. The bands of both schools did their warmups as the players did. The crowd roared to approve the national anthem, loud again.
Each side wound up with several reasons to get loud. Things looked pretty good for Valley going into the second at 20-7, but they looked even better for Woodgrove going into the fourth at 41-27.
So our story begins in between. A couple minutes into the second stanza, Viking senior quarterback Nick Kallivokas found himself in the unenviable position of being quickly closed upon by three onrushing Wolverines while running madly through a deop part of the wrong end zone. In his effort to fling it he flubbed it and the fumble was recovered by Woodgrove’s Darrin Green.
Adding a pair of interceptions to his credit, Green was the game’s runaway defensive star. Skinner also gave props to senior defensive back Kevin Burke, who caused two fumbles.
“What helped us the most was our defense was so strong at containing the quarterback,” said the senior, whose sudden score leads this TopTicket’s recap because it ignited the Wolverines’ streak of five touchdowns (minus a blocked extra point).
Valley and Kallivokas responded with the same offense that had already produced two TD passes – one a short pass for a long run by Cameron Hippler (yes, the kicker, but also a 6-foot-2 wide receiver (and a senior)), the other a magnificent parabola arcing through the Loudoun night to drop directly into the hands of senior Duron Norris just as he turned to expect it – and another TD drive – senior Rasheem Thornton‘s take from a yard away – driven by Kallivokas’ passing acumen.
Undaunted by the end-zone turnover putting their rivals six measly points away, the Vikings took to the air again. Kallivokas connected with Norris for a field-flipping 41 yards. A few plays later, though, Woodgrove sacked the QB to cause a fumble which senior Aaron Fitzwater covered up, killing the Vikings’ rally.
“We just kind of shot ourselves in the foot, and you can’t do that against a good team and give them that many chances,” said Valley head coach Anthony Long. “I think if we control the ball and get out of that half with a lead, we might make them a different team.”
The Wolverines didn’t bother with a rally. Senior QB Mike Kovich rolled right, saw where fellow senior Russell Blackwell was going to be and threw it there. Blackwell caught it in his lap while tumbling backward, well within the end zone. With senior Cameron Gieseman‘s kick, it was the Wolverines’ first lead.
They extended it four minutes later, two minutes before the half, when Kovich hooked up with Blackwell on a slant to the center of the goalline for an eight-point intermission cushion.
“As soon as we opened it up, it was a little more fluid and we got our rhythm throwing the ball,” Kovich said.
They extended it not one minute after the break when senior RB Chima Kpaduwa picked his way through people, slipped a tackle and made a beeline for the pylon. And again about four minutes later on Kpaduwa’s equally impressive TD dash, tripping but not falling as he staggered and tumbled into the end zone.
The ultimate margin of victory’d been reached midway through the third. The sides exchanged TDs thereafter – Kallivokas with another Norris-seeking lob to the end zone’s deep corner, and Kovich with a short sneak (running behind senior fullback Zach Stanley and senior lineman Cameron Kilgour) across for six to finish a drive fueled by senior Mason Gryniuk first-down catches – but the Wolverines retained their Battle Of The ‘Ville supremacy for the sixth straight year.
“It’s one of the best rivalries around. We always play each other hard,” said Kovich, who played middle school football with and against most of his Valley counterparts. “It’s a great opportunity.”
Until meet again…and when they do, there will be loud.
Play On In the Playoffs
So enough of this regular-season business. That’s 10 games over 11 weeks to rank 16 teams which – once played off – decides the one and only Group 4A champion.
It could be Woodgrove. The Wolverines are undefeated (see above), they’ve scored three times as many points as they’ve given up (469-153), and they’re a flat-out good team. They’ll commence their second season by welcoming either Champe or Charlottesville to town Nov. 18, a win in which would equal the program’s largest-ever win output. Woodgrove amassed 11 victories a year ago.
Unlike the Wolverines, the Vikings have to travel for their first playoff tilt, but not too far. On Nov. 11, Valley has a date with Millbrook up near Winchester.
Clean Sweepin’ Wolverines
Victory was sweet the previous evening too, when Woodgrove won the annual Powder Puff clash in the Battle Of The ‘Ville by a 21-13 score.
The announced crowd of 3,356 was treated to not one, but two band-and-guard performances at halftime. The Marching Wolverines of the Woodgrove band took center stage first to present their “History of the Pyramids and the Pharaohs,” featuring enormous hieroglyphic writing on oversized cartouches while the color guard wore a modern interpretation of ancient Egyptian dress.
Then the Marching Vikings of Loudoun Valley did their thing on the field, showing off their show called “Beyond” with the music of Star Trek and Gustav Holst’s “The Planets.”
Woodgrove stats –
Rushing: Chima Kpaduwa 21-142, 2 TDs; Mike Kovich 16-59, 2 TDs; Michael Stephens 4-8
Passing: Mike Kovich 14 of 16 for 216, 2 TDs
Receiving: Mason Gryniuk 8-120; Russell Blackwell 4-68, 2 TDs; Ben Castellano 2-28
Loudoun Valley stats –
Rushing: Tyler Hunt 2-1; Rasheem Thornton 5-(-8), 1 TD; Jake Huerbin 1-(-4); Nick Kallivokas 4-(-11); Derek Goings 2-(-19)
Passing: Nick Kallivokas 15 of 27 for 293, 3 TDs, 1 INT; Derek Goings 3 of 6 for 18, 1 INT
Receiving: Sam Allen 8-109; Cameron Hippler 3-100; 1 TD; Duron Norris 2-53, 2 TDs; Jake Huerbin 1-3
Other scores –
Broad Run 28, Tuscarora 14
Stone Bridge 41, Briar Woods 20
Heritage 37, Loudoun County 14
Champe 31, Freedom 7
Dominion 57, Park View 20
Potomac Falls 49, Thomas Edison 0
Off weeks for: Rock Ridge; Riverside
VivaLoudoun: We Live For Loudoun™
Written by Jason S Rufner
for Viva Loudoun Media Communications