Final score –
Broad Run (9-4) 0 7 0 7 14
Tuscarora (13-0) 14 7 7 7 35
1 / 9:33 – Tuscarora TD (Noah Reimers 54-yd run; Finley Underhill kick)
1 / 0:18 – Tuscarora TD (Noah Reimers 4-yd run; Finley Underhill kick)
2 / 7:27 – Broad Run TD (Brady Reitzel 8-yd pass to Tyriek King; Will Sherman kick)
2 / 0:24 – Tuscarora TD (Daniel Smith 1-yd run; Finley Underhill kick)
3 / 1:04 – Tuscarora TD (Noah Reimers 1-yd run; Finley Underhill kick)
4 / 8:12 – Tuscarora TD (Noah Reimers 53-yd run; Finley Underhill kick)
4 / 4:26 – Broad Run TD (Brady Reitzel 21-yd pass to Chuck Davis; Will Sherman kick)
Tuscarora High School, Leesburg, Va. (November 28, 2014) — It had kind of a holiday feel, playing in the bright afternoon hours of Black Friday in the 5A North region semifinal as the turkey still settled. But it was just another day at the office for the Tuscarora Huskies, who got up big and never let go Nov. 28 in Leesburg.
Behind a stingy defensive unit supported by four more scores by Noah Reimers, the Huskies dispatched the Broad Run Spartans by three touchdowns and put the fifth-year program into the region championship game — effectively making Tuscarora a final-four team.
“A lot of kids get nervous when you get to this stage. I don’t feel like our kids were nervous at all,” said Tuscarora head coach Michael Burnett. With each win, the Huskies are setting new school records for deepest playoff run.
The Huskies’ roll continued unabated in the region semifinal. Accepting the game’s first possession, Tuscarora junior quarterback Daniel Smith and his big offensive line set the tone early, driving through Broad Run’s defensive front for a fourth-down conversion. One play later, Smith handed it to Reimers, who exploded up the middle and didn’t stop until the end zone, half a field later.
The Spartans’ defense held on Tuscarora’s next drive, despite the short field created by the Spartans’ offense’s bad snap. But the Huskies were back at it at the end of the opening quarter, feeding Reimers for another scoring scamper.
Broad Run endured an early spate of dropped passes and misfires to find paydirt in the second stanza. Taking advantage ideal field position when Meech Hembry recovered a Reimers fumble, the Spartans started on the Huskies’ 33 and made a key third-down conversion.
Then senior quarterback Brady Reitzel zipped it to Tyriek King on a flanker screen. King used a block by fellow wideout Marcel Mingo to reach the goalline, and Broad Run cut the lead in half.
But throughout the contest, the Spartan defense developed no answer for Reimers and Tuscarora’s highly polished offensive line. Reimers scored twice more, sandwiching a lead-extending sneak by Smith which culminated a seven-minute half-ending drive featuring two fourth-down conversions.
“We’re not really the biggest line out there. We just try to get off the ball as fast as we can and work with what we’ve got,” said David Chalmers, a husky 6-foot-3 senior lineman currently receiving significant interest from collegiate programs.
Chalmers and Jack Corso have been linemates since the youngest ages of organized football. Chalmers said he feels the individuals along the offensive line have gelled into a solidary unit. He and Corso, Noah Trone, William Larson, Noah Klemm, Riley Hartman and Anson Brasselle have manned the Huskies’ vaunted offensive line corps throughout this successful campaign, forming a unit Burnett calls “fun to watch.”
“We all communicate really well and have a good bond,” Chalmers said. “Everyone knows what everyone else is doing.”
As the second half dawned, Reitzel and the Broad Run offense tried to answer. The drive started with a pair of first downs, then quickly ended when Tuscarora safety Anthony Zorb out-fought receiver Chuck Davis for a Reitzel pass, resulting in the Spartans’ second turnover of the game.
The Huskies executed another time-consuming drive to soak up the bulk of the third quarter, punctuated by a short Reimers jaunt across the finish line. He would add a long TD run later to up his season total to 46, easily a new high for a Tuscarora player.
“The great thing about Noah [Reimers] is we give him a one-foot hole and he can squeeze right through it. He can make a lot out of nothing,” Chalmers said.
Burnett is looking to return to the state championship game, an accomplishment he earned twice while at the controls of Broad Run’s program in both 2008 and 2009. Since starting Tuscarora’s team in 2010, he has quickly raised expectations at the newest Leesburg school.
“In beating really good teams, you have to be mentally focused and confident,” Burnett said. “I felt like today we came out and played one of our best football games of the year…. That makes me feel good about the next couple of weeks.”
Broad Run’s season comes to a close with nine wins, including two playoff victories.
“I was proud of how hard our kids played all year long,” Spartans head coach Matt Griffis said. “We played in a lot of tight ballgames, but they never quit. That’s all you can ask.”
Since 2007, a public high school from Loudoun has sent its football team to a state championship game, usually winning it. Whether the Huskies join the ranks of Stone Bridge, Broad Run and Briar Woods as Virginia’s gridiron champions from the county of Loudoun will be determined this upcoming weekend. Stay tuned.
Tuscarora stats –
Rushing: Noah Reimers 36-226, 4 TDs; Daniel Smith 6-17, 1 TD; Ishmael Williams 6-17; Bryce Sorrell 2-1; Mateo Taylor 1-3
Passing: Daniel Smith 6 of 8 for 67
Receiving: Jordan Fisher 2-46; Bryce Sorrell 2-14; Jason Chubbuck 1-9; Noah Reimers 1-(-2)
Broad Run stats –
Rushing: Brady Reitzel 14-28; Clyde Bryson 4-17; Willie Smallwood 2-4; Kyle Brickerd 1-3; Meech Hembry 1-1; Chuck Davis 1-(-2)
Passing: Brady Reitzel 13 of 25 for 158, 2 TDs, 1 INT
Receiving: Chuck Davis 4-53, 1 TD; Tyriek King 3-48, 1 TD; Jaleel Robinson 2-23; Marcel Mingo 2-14; Andre Chinnery 1-10; Willie Smallwood 1-10
240 photos shot by Viva Loudoun photographer can be viewed here.
Other scores –
Massaponax 29, Stone Bridge 25
James Monroe 34, Loudoun Valley 19
5A North final –
No. 2 Massaponax (13-0) @ No. 1 Tuscarora (13-0), Friday 7 p.m.
Written by Jason S Rufner