Brambleton, VA (October 31, 2014) – With 7:49 remaining in the game, the home team Briar Woods Falcons had a 7-0 lead and the ball on their 26 yard line. The Falcon defense had been shutting down the Potomac Falls Panthers (5-4) all evening, but the offense hadn’t penetrated into the Panther red zone until late in the third quarter when they got to the Panther nine yard line before giving the ball up on downs. On the ensuing series the defense caused a three-and-out via punt. Josh Thomas fielded the punt on the Panther 38 and returned it 15 yards to the 23. The Falcons would only get the ball to the 14 before again yielding on downs.
Again the defense responded when LB Dylan Bowie caused a fumble that was recovered by LB Jack Knight, 54 yards away from the end zone. Finally, a 32 yard pass from QB Jake Maffe to WR Brady Scott resulted in the game’s first touchdown. K Jackson Fence gave the Falcons a 7-0 with 10:53 remaining in the game.
The Panthers got to midfield on their next drive but were again forced to punt, their seventh and final punt of the game. Now the Falcons had the ball at their 26 yard line with 7:49 showing on the clock and a chance put the decisive points on the scoreboard or run out the clock. But the Falcon offense gave the ball up on a fumble caused by and recovered by Panther OLB Wanya Allen. They were 34 yards away from tying the game or taking a lead. When on fourth and goal on the four yard line with 1:10 left in the game OLB Jordan Hinson broke up a Panther pass, it looked as if the Falcon had escaped with the victory. But a yellow flag had been thrown: the call was holding against the Falcons. Given one more try from the two yard line Allen caught the touchdown pass from RB Tommy Hardman. The Panthers went for two and were successful as RB R.J. Fleki penetrated into the Falcon end zone for an 8-7 Panther lead.
Down by one point with only 1:06 to go, a comeback was unlikely but not impossible. Maffe led the Falcons on a 42 yard drive, giving the team a chance to win the game on a 44 yard field goal. The attempt however failed and the Falcons’ record dropped to 7-2.
The fact that the Falcons out-gained the Panthers by a margin of 274 to 112 and had 17 first downs compared to just six for the victors was of no consequence. They allowed the Panthers to stay close and they were able to transform a turnover in Falcon territory to go-ahead touchdown.
Football however, has a way of offering redemption to a team that suffers a rough loss. Next week the Falcons finish the regular season against the 9-0 Tuscarora Huskies at the Huskies home field in Leesburg. In the past four years, Charlie Pierce’s Briar Woods Falcons have won one must-win game after another. By winning all their games, the Huskies have made themselves the “team to beat” in Loudoun County. That in turn gives the Falcons, especially the seniors, an opportunity to erase the bad taste of a loss on Senior Night with a victory in the unofficial Loudoun County Championship game over an undefeated team on their home field.
Article written by Viva Loudoun intern George Khalsa.