Final score –
Freedom Eagles (1-5) 0 0 0 0 0
Briar Woods Falcons (5-1) 7 24 14 7 52
1 / 5:58 – Briar Woods TD (Dillon Blevins 5-yd run; Jackson Funke kick)
2 / 7:38 – Briar Woods FG (Jackson Funke 24-yd kick)
2 / 5:56 – Briar Woods TD (Dillon Blevins 3-yd run; Jackson Funke kick)
2 / 4:45 – Briar Woods TD (Connor Bottcher 25-yd interception return; Jackson Funke kick)
2 / 0:32 – Briar Woods TD (Dillon Blevins 2-yd run; Jackson Funke kick)
3 / 8:59 – Briar Woods TD (Dillon Blevins 5-yd run; Jackson Funke kick)
3 / 4:49 – Briar Woods TD (Josh Thomas 50-yd run; Jackson Funke kick)
4 / 8:04 – Briar Woods TD (Dillon Blevins 3-yd run; Jackson Funke kick)
Briar Woods High School, Ashburn, Va. (October 2, 2014) — VivaLoudoun asked our fans to decide the Top Ticket game for Week 6, and the fans’ vote went to the birds as we were sent to the annual Bird Bowl between the Falcons of Briar Woods High School and Eagles of nearby Freedom High School.
All of our area’s high school football contests were held on Thursday in Week 6, due to Friday night being the celebration of Rosh Hashanah. It may have been the start of a new year for the Jewish faith, but it was the same old thing for football at Briar Woods (5-1). The Falcons — one of the top programs in Virginia with three recent state titles under their bill — racked up 384 yards of offense, 265 of those from the running game, in turning aside their neighbors from the other side of Route 50, the Freedom Eagles (1-5).
“We came out a little slow, but it shows that we can respond to anything,” said Falcons senior quarterback Jake Maffe, who ran the offensive effectively while his line kept him unsacked. “We came out in the second half firing on all cylinders.”
Briar Woods amassed 38 points in the middle two quarters to vanquish their longtime rivals, but the Eagles’ used stout defense to hang with their highly ranked foes. An early interception of a Maffe deep ball by a leaping, diving Brett Dineen, and strong line play led by massive (6-foot-6, 265-pound) Eric Whitehead, kept Freedom within striking distance until the contest was more than 16 game-minutes old.
“In the first quarter we allowed seven points to one of the top teams in the state,” pointed out Whitehead, a senior leader receiving interest from Division I-AA and Division II programs. “I think we’re improving a lot. We have a really good coach [Jared Van Acker], so as we keep learning we’ll be a lot better.”
Whitehead finished with a game-high six tackles, including one for lost yardage when Briar Woods was on the doorstep of its second touchdown,
forcing a short field goal.
But the Falcons dominated the game from the mid-second onward. Senior running back Dillon Blevins, in as the featured back to spell Anthony Martinez, scored the second of his five rushing touchdowns, punishing the Eagles for muffing a kickoff catch.
Briar Woods’ defense got in on the action with the next Freedom possession. Connor Bottcher stepped in front of a Tylor Rael pass to the left flat, then sailed clearly 25 yards to the end zone for the game’s only non-offensive score.
Brandon Polk, a dynamic athlete committed to play for Penn State, dazzled the home crowd with a juking, speeding 47-yard gain on a wideout screen, setting up another short Blevins TD scamper.
The Falcons’ depth chart got a valuable workout, as nine men rushed the ball, and Maffe was excused from signal-calling duties by the fourth quarter.
It was not all rosy for the home team. Briar Woods was whistled for 10 penalties, and had two scoring plays — a Blevins run and a long catch-and-run by senior Tristan Carter — called back on holding infractions.
But the victory was accomplished with ease, and the Falcons continued their roll toward yet another postseason appearance.
“The expectation at a program like this is always to win the state championship,” Maffe said. “We don’t want to lose another game.”
Photo Gallery of this game can ve viewed by clicking here.
Freedom stats –
Rushing: Tylor Rael 17-4; Brett Dineen 7-3; Mohammad Qadiri 2-10
Passing: Tylor Rael 3 of 10 for 37, 1 INT
Receiving: Brett Dineen 2-25; Ajay Patel 1-12
Briar Woods stats –
Rushing: Dillon Blevins 20-119, 5 TDs; Josh Thomas 3-65, 1 TD; Brandon Polk 3-25; Jalen Thomas 3-21; Bradley Block 3-9; Jake Maffe 2-8; Jacob Rosen 2-7; Conner Hart 1-7; Jonathan Villatoro 1-4
Passing: Jake Maffe 5 of 10 for 119, 1 INT
Receiving: Brandon Polk 4-72; Tristan Carter 1-47
Other scores –
Dominion 28, John Champe 27
Woodgrove 14, Heritage 0
Tuscarora 21, Loudoun County 8
Loudoun Valley 41, Park View 6
Westfield 15, Stone Bridge 9
Broad Run JV 28, Rock Ridge JV 14 (Monday)
Off-weeks for: Broad Run, Potomac Falls
Written by Jason S Rufner