Raiders capture season’s first victory by coming from behind on pesky Park View.
Final score –
Park View Patriots (2-4) 12 0 0 14 = 26
Loudoun County Raiders (1-4) 0 14 7 14 = 35
1 / 9:11 – Park View TD (Nikolai Hopkins 1-yd run; 2-pt pass failed)
1 / 5:28 – Park View TD (Adam Thorne 1-yd run; Anthony Lampe kick blocked)
2 / 9:49 – Loudoun County TD (Cam Corbett 19-yd pass to Jordan Harris; Othman Bailoul kick)
2 / 0:37 – Loudoun County TD (Dominick Baah 1-yd run; Othman Bailoul kick)
3 / 11:40 – Loudoun County TD (Cam Corbett 67-yd pass to Darius Taylor; Othman Bailoul kick)
4 / 10:14 – Park View TD (Chase Jefferson 2-yd run; Anthony Lampe kick)
4 / 7:22 – Loudoun County TD (Dominick Baah 2-yd run; Othman Bailoul kick)
4 / 1:59 – Park View TD (Nikolai Hopkins 2-yd run; Anthony Lampe kick)
4 / 1:18 – Loudoun County TD (Dominick Baah 44-yd run; Othman Bailoul kick)
Loudoun County High School, Leesburg, Va. (October 1, 2015) — We gotta admit, we’re kinda on a roll here with this Top Ticket thing.
After six football-weeks making semi-educated guesses about which single Loudoun-centric contest to cover, we haven’t had a bad one yet. First Tusky turns a 4th-&-14 into a late score, knocking off B-Woods. Then Potomac Falls nips rival Dominion by 1. Then Heritage ignited their season in a shootout at Valley. Then Broad Run crossed borders to thump powerhouse Centreville before surviving their ‘Burn neighbors from The Woods.
Total point differential (excluding the 35-point whupping Broad Run handed C’ville) in all of Viva Loudoun’s Top Tickets of the Weeks in 2015: 20.
And this week the Viva Touch was again magic, as we chose a game that wound up your typical closer-than-the-score momentum-swinging seesaw that didn’t come to rest until the final minutes.
The Loudoun County Raiders won – something they hadn’t been able to say after their first four outings – while denying the Park View Patriots their third victory and a mid-season .500 record…even though for most of the first half, it looked like County might be dealing with 0-5 and The View might be seeing playoffs in its future.
It goes to show it’s not necessarily two teams with gaudy records producing the best games. Matchups of squads who very badly desire avoiding another L wind up with them fighting hard and playing well for the W. That’s what our Top Ticket got us in to see this week.
The history-laden old-school showdown between the 62-year-old Raiders and the 40-year-old Patriots earned its Top Ticket status: nine touchdowns, two blocked kicks, long kickoff returns, second-effort planebreaks, a flea-flicker down to the 2, huge 4th-&-long conversions and 4th-&-short stops, a senior quarterback shaking off a tweaked ankle to keep his Patriots in it, and a three-TD, 161-yard coming-out party for an emerging sophomore running back.
Dom Baah was dominant out of the County backfield. He was fed to the Patriots in a steady diet, gaining five or more yards on his first six carries and averaging 5.5 yards-per-tote before breaking off a victory-assuring 44-yarder up the gut with under 80 seconds left.
“I didn’t feel nothin’. I just ran. I thought someone was chasing me,” the speedy sophomore laughed, unaware of how clear his sailing to the end zone was.
Baah is in his first varsity campaign, stepping into a featured role after last week’s injury to senior back John Jackson.
“It just feels good to get a win…. We came together tonight as a family.”
Baah and teammates were deservedly jubilant in the postgame huddle as they raised their helmets high into the cool October air.
“The kids never gave up,” said the Raiders’ interim head coach Steve Williams. “We’d struggled a little bit throughout the season and then we get down 12-0. We were really impressed with the way the kids fought, taking the lead at halftime…. They said, ‘Enough’s enough, we’re going to fight back.'”
The braintrust of Park View, which experienced winlessness just last year, was not pleased with the result but took solace in the fight.
“I’m proud of our guys. They fought hard,” said Park View’s second-year helmsman Mick Mullins. “From where we’ve come to where we’re at, we’re getting better and better and that’s all we can do.”
Indeed, it was the Patriots who seized control early, blitzing their hosts right off when Herbert Martínez took the opening kickoff 62 yards to the Raiders’ 19 to set up Niko Hopkins‘ first of two goal-line plunges to paydirt, pushing behind a sizable but youthful offensive line.
County’s first three snaps did nothing, and Park View senior Austin Pittinger got his left paw up to block the punt. Staked to another short field, backup quarterback Adam Thorne soon waltzed it in.
It took until County’s third possession to finally find the end zone, and even then it happened on a 4th-&-12 challenge met by sophomore QB Cam Corbett. The young man with the strong right arm rolled and threw to tall target Jordan Harris, who out-leaped a defender to haul it in before both tumbled onto the 0-yard line.
Corbett is seeing crisper offensive execution around him.
“Week One, it was tough because of this new offense we put in,” the sophomore QB said. “Now, it’s really improved. Receivers are running better routes and we have a new blocking scheme that’s working well.”
The defenses kicked in for a series of fruitless possessions on both sides, a lull finally broken when Corbett connected with senior Noah Perales on a 36-yard pass to flip the field. In the last minute of the first half, Baah was shepherded into the end zone and the Raiders owned the halftime advantage.
They upped it on the first snap of the second half. Speedster senior Darius Taylor was sent deep down the right side, catching Corbett’s pass several yards beyond any Patriot. He turned and carved a swift angle toward the scoring zone, outracing his man.
“The guys up top told Coach Gims that we could get vertical on them, and Coach Gims said, ‘Let’s take a shot,'” said Williams, referring to offensive coordinator Mike Gims and something his lieutenants spied while perched on the roof over us in the press box.
Park View signal-caller Chase Jefferson had suffered a blow to his ankle during the first quarter, but was back in for the third despite displaying gimpiness when walking. But the run-first QB looked just fine on the sprint, which he did more and more for increasing yardage.
“That was amazing, for him to be able to come back,” Mullins marveled. “His ankle’s hurt, he gets a treatment and he comes back. He’s a warrior.”
But Jefferson was hobbled by the interception bug, allowing two and nearly one more. Perales and Conor McNicholl each caught passes not intended for them.
County’s 21-12 margin persisted into the final frame – in which, turned out, 28 more points were to be scored.
Early in the fourth, Hopkins and Jefferson pulled off a flea-flicker to Michael Hernández that set up Jefferson’s two-yard squirm for a score. The Raiders responded with a scoring drive kept alive by a 4th-&-11 conversion when Corbett found Ryan Horner for a 20-yard advancement so that Baah could do the honors.
Their deficit back to nine, the Patriots weren’t done. With 2:43 left, they started and finished a 68-yard drive highlighted by Jefferson’s tackle-breaking 20-yard scramble and culminating in Hopkins’ bullrush into the end zone.
County grabbed Park View’s ensuing on-sides kick, and Baah parted the red sea one play later to set the final margin back at nine.
Both squads are playing a plethora of sophomores, many of whom playing positions that don’t get their names in the paper as much. But Mullins at Park View and Williams at Loudoun County are leading programs with definite resurgence potential next year or the next, primed to rekindle the fires of fine football traditions.
Loudoun County stats –
Rushing: Dominick Baah 21-161, 3 TDs; Darius Taylor 3-4; Cam Corbett 2-(-16)
Passing: Cam Corbett 12 of 22 for 183, 2 TDs
Receiving: Darius Taylor 3-69, 1 TD; Jordan Harris 3-30, 1 TD; Noah Perales 2-54; Ryan Horner 2-20; Sam Mallon 1-9; Dominick Baah 1-1
Park View stats –
Rushing: Nikolai Hopkins 23-90, 2 TDs; Chase Jefferson 14-98, 1 TD; Adam Thorne 8-9, 1 TD; Michael Hernández 3-14; Steven Berrios 1-2
Passing: Chase Jefferson 2 of 12 for 28, 2 INTs; Adam Thorne 0 of 1 for 0, 1 INT
Receiving: Michael Hernández 2-28
Other scores –
John Champe 43, Skyline 7
Tuscarora 70, Herndon 28
Briar Woods 42, Lee 14
Stone Bridge 41, West Springfield 10
Madison County 47, Riverside 6
Millbrook 54, Rock Ridge 0
Dominion 49, Freedom 7 (Fri.)
Off weeks for: Broad Run, Potomac Falls, Heritage, Loudoun Valley, Woodgrove
VivaLoudoun: We Live For Loudoun™
Written by Jason S Rufner
for Viva Loudoun Media Communications