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(Oct. 4, 2013) – Ok, so it’s not technically the halfway point for everyone, but believe it or not, every area high school football team will have played at least half of their regular season games come tonight. Wait, seriously? How can this be? Football just started, it’s going by so fast, like a week at the beach, ugh. If ESPN can have the ESPYs I guess that means we can have our own awards gala, and what better time than now? So, without further ado, so I give to you the First Annual (maybe?) Farrell on Football Mid-Season Awards. (Editor’s note: we like to think of them as the FOFMA’s)
Best performance after a loss: Maybe it was the fact that his team lost for the first time in over two seasons , or maybe it’s because Wolverines and Falcons are natures worst enemies, but whatever the reason, Briar Woods High School senior quarterback Trace McSorley had a bit of a game last Friday night. A week removed form having their 32-game winning streak snapped in a defensive slugfest against North Stafford, the Falcons looked to rebound from a lackluster offensive showing, and McSorley was their Dennis Rodman. (editor’s note: boys and girls, before he became North Korea’s Kim Jon Un’s BFF, Rodman was a rebounding fool in the NBA!)
In a performance that would make Johnny Manziel blush, McSorley threw for 400 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for 136 yards and three scores to lead the Falcons to the 45-16 romp. Perhaps most amazingly, McSorley was credited with all but three yards of the Falcons team total for the game. McSorley’s former teammate and now freshmen linebacker at the University of Florida Matt Rolin summed it up best on Twitter, “@MattRolin9: Lol Trace is Briar Woods football @TM7_NextGen way to put the team on your back.”
Best coaching job: Mike Burnett of Tuscarora has his Huskies off and running like a well-oiled (fed?) dog sled. The Huskies are a perfect 5-0, including a 35-34 nail-biter over traditional WV power Martinsburg, and a tough 21-14 win over Woodgrove. But even with these marquee wins, the Huskies face perhaps their toughest match up to date when they host Leesburg rival Loudoun County tonight in a rivalry game we previously identified as one of the area’s best. If that weren’t enough of a challenge, Tuscarora will then take on the high-scoring Broad Run Spartans, the school that Burnett left a few years ago after leading the Spartans to two straight state titles. If Burnett wants to vie for coach of the year honors, this tough two game stretch will say a lot.
Best running back: Ok, total cop out here, but you try to pick between Noah Reimers, Sterling Dailey, and Josh Sweet. Reimers leads the group with more than 760 yards rushing and six touchdowns, but he does have a game up on his fellow nominees. Sterling Dailey leads the area with eleven touchdowns and has racked up more than 670 yards this season, while Sweet has ten touchdowns and more than 450 yards. It also needs to be noted that while Reimers has more yards, Sterling and Sweet gain some bonus points for names more suitable for totally sweet nicknames. Who will be the area’s leading rusher come season end?
Best player you haven’t heard of… yet: Loudoun County junior quarterback Takwan “Tae” Crews-Naylor had some big shoes to fill as he stepped in for the now graduated Jake Lokey who has taken his talents to Shippensburg University. But rather than trying to be the next Lokey, Crews-Naylor is establishing a name for himself that includes not just Lokey-style pocket passing, but also rushing. The shifty quarterback has established himself as a dual threat, the threat of him running helping to open the passing game. Against Freedom, he ran for nearly 90 yards, but also completed a remarkable 12 of 13 passes for just under 300 yards. Although he’s had some ups and downs especially against tougher teams like Briar Woods, this talented junior with the hyphenated name and hyphenated game is definitely worth keeping an eye on this season and next.
Worst start to an NFL season by a highly-hyped local team: Ok, so I’m piling on at this point, but holy cow the Redskins have been awful so far, and barely redeemed any hope for this season with a win against the Oakland Raiders, one of the NFL’s most hilarious franchises. As I predicted, RGIII’s slow start has created a veritable firestorm of negative media coverage, and threatens to rip this team apart at the seams. Can anyone think of a roller-coaster ride of celebrity anywhere close to what RGIII is currently experiencing?
Last year he was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, seemingly capable of anything as he ran and threw and threw and ran his way around opponents and lifted this moribund franchise to the playoffs. Lauded as a hero, even a savior, the electric quarterback could do no wrong. But then he got hurt, and talked about being hurt and who was at fault for him getting hurt. And his dad talked about him getting hurt and whose fault it was for him getting hurt. He made commercials about getting better, and actually got better, sort of. Now, RGIII is facing a backlash of criticism that a few months ago would have seemed as unlikely as him being in the starting line up on opening day. Sure, he hasn’t been as amazing as last year, but he hasn’t been a complete bum either… he’s on pace to throw for well over 4,000 yards while completing more than 62 percent of his passes.
Bold prediction alert: The Redskins will be in contention for the NFC-East crown at the end of the season. RGIII will regain similar form to that he displayed last season and will finish the season with a top ten quarterback rating.
Best games you can’t miss or at least read about on vivaloudoun.com the next three weeks: Last week we discussed some of the best area rivalries, but what are the “Can’t miss” games on the immediate horizon?
October 4: An embarrassment of football riches, as Stone Bridge travels to take on traditional Fairfax power Westfield. Both teams are 3-1 with each team’s only loss against Lake Braddock. In addition, don’t miss the Battle of the ‘Burg as Tuscarora hosts cross town rival Loudoun County.
October 11: Tuscarora travels to Broad Run. As detailed above, Tuscarora coach Mike Burnett faces the team he guided to two straight state titles before taking his current job in Leesburg.
October 18: Another great night of area action, with Briar Woods hosting Broad Run in the Battle of the ‘Burn Part Deux. The last few years this Ashburn rivalry has produced great games and upsets. Just a bot north Loudoun County will host Woodgrove in what also promises to be a god game with playoff implications.