By Joe Skinner
LoCoSports Social Media Editor
Ashburn (November 19, 2016) — In one of the biggest football rivalries in Loudoun County, the Broad Run High School Spartans (9-3) traveled the two-and-a-half miles down Ashburn Farm Parkway to face the Stone Bridge High School Bulldogs (10-2) in the Battle of the ‘Burn. The Spartans beat the Bulldogs back on October 14 with a last second touchdown, but Stone Bridge won when it mattered as they raced past Broad Run for a 28-7 win in a VHSL 5A North region quarterfinal.
“We were able to connect on a few long passes,” Stone Bridge head coach Mickey Thompson said. “They were in man to man coverage and we just took advantage of that.”
Stone Bridge came out of the gates hot as they scored on their first possession with a 40-yard touchdown connection from senior quarterback Easton Turner to junior receiver Tyrese Johnson before the ten minute mark in the first quarter.
The Bulldogs’ defense also played a big role in the win, forcing several turnovers, including one fumble recovery by junior linebacker Joe Nameth that kept the momentum on the home team’s side for the entire first half.
“For defense, [Broad Run] brought a lot in the box, and then they leave the corners off,” Johnson said. “So if you put up a move then we could get out and pound it down their throats.”
The Bulldogs’ hard-hitting defense kept the Spartan offense off the field for a majority of the first half, and was able to pitch a shutout for all but the last ten minutes of the game. Big plays from Nameth, junior defensive end Jack Kosko and junior safety Bradley Block kept the fast-paced Broad Run offense at bay.
“We work hard every day and we work together as a team, and nothing can beat a team that plays together,” Johnson said.
The Bulldogs broke the game wide open late in the first quarter when Turner hit Johnson for a 53-yard touchdown with four minutes left in the opening quarter. Senior wide receiver Leland Girdy tallied a rushing touchdown with 1:27 to go in the quarter from nine yards out.
“[Our defense] played just like we did last time, we pretty much shut them down last time and we did it again,” Thompson said.
Another touchdown pass — this time from Turner to junior tight end Daniel Thompson with 1:24 in the third quarter — gave the Bulldogs a commanding 28-0 lead, and there were no signs of fracture in the strong Stone Bridge defense.
The only points for the Spartans came on a 10-yard touchdown rush from senior running back Meech Hembry, but it was too little too late for Broad Run as a lost fumble locked up the playoff win for the Bulldogs.
Stone Bridge will travel to Stafford for a VHSL 5A North region semifinal to take on the Brooke Point High School Blackhawks (11-1) on Friday, November 25 or Saturday, November 26.
1Q 10:09 SB Easton Turner to Tyrese Johnson 40-yard TD pass (Block PAT)
1Q 4:02 SB Easton Turner to Tyrese Johnson 53-yard TD pass (Block PAT)
1Q 0:53 SB Leland Girdy 6-yard TD run (Block PAT)
3Q 1:24 SB Easton Turner to Daniel Thompson 40-yard TD pass (Block PAT)
4Q 9:53 BR Meech Hembry 10-yard TD run (Buri PAT)