Sterling, Va. — After falling in their Homecoming game just two weeks before, the Briar Woods High School football team was looking to spoil the Potomac Falls High School Homecoming on October 13 in Sterling.
On a night when the Panthers inducted its 2023 Athletic Hall of Fame Class and announced its Homecoming royalty, the Falcons did just that, posting their first shutout of the season, 28-0.
“We try to play every play with intensity,” Briar Woods head coach Mike Burnett said. “If you’re up four, if you’re down four, it doesn’t really matter: just play hard on every play.”
The Falcons got their offense moving early with an opening drive that consisted of 11 plays and 65 yards including a 4th-and-7 conversion, before junior quarterback Brady Carmical hit junior running back Trey Dudley with a 32-yard touchdown pass to cap off the drive.
The Panthers were not as fortunate on their first possession. After pushing the ball into Falcon territory, multiple penalties cost the Panthers big plays and ultimately pushed them back to inside their own 40-yard line where Briar Woods junior cornerback Colin Capistrant snatched an interception to give the Falcons the ball back in Panther territory.
The early touchdown and turnover surged the momentum on the side of the Falcons. Briar Woods used that momentum in the closing minutes of the first quarter when Carmical found junior receiver Tyler Yoder down the left sideline for a 57-yard touchdown reception.
“In past games, Yoder and Capistrant have had a safety over top of them not letting us throw the deep ball,” Carmical said. “When you press the two best wide receivers in Loudoun County that’s what happens.”
The Falcons’ air raid play calling continued to dominate in the second quarter as Carmical found Capistrant on a similar play for a 65-yard touchdown. Carmical finished the night passing for 266 yards and four touchdowns on only thirteen attempts.
“So far this season teams have not let us pass the ball,” Carmical said. “Tonight, they stopped the run and let our receivers shine, and our offensive line was fantastic.”
The second half for Briar Woods was all about the defense. Senior outside linebacker Stephen Wyviorka played the best game of his career and made a major impact defensively. Wyviorka finished with two sacks—tripling his total on the year—while adding a fumble recovery.
“The first half I struggled, but the second half I really played my part in the defense,” Wyviorka said.
The Panthers’ offense continued to hurt themselves with penalties throughout the second half, including four offensive penalties that set promising drives back.
Briar Woods will travel to Lightridge on October 20 in hopes of extending their lead in the VHSL Region 5D standings. Potomac Falls will look to improve their playoff chances when they head to Leesburg to play Riverside on the same night.
“Every game is big now. The thing about winning is that every time you win, the next game gets that much more important,” Burnett said. “We have to stay on top of the power points and make sure we are in a good position for the playoffs.”
|1Q||5:55||Briar Woods||Brady Carmical to Trey Dudley 32-yard TD pass (Alex Crabb PAT)||7-0|
|1Q||2:30||Briar Woods||Brady Carmical to Tyler Yoder 57-yard TD pass (Alex Crabb PAT)||14-0|
|2Q||1:32||Briar Woods||Brady Carmical to Colin Capistrant 65-yard TD pass (Alex Crabb PAT)||21-0|
|4Q||11:55||Briar Woods||Brady Carmical to Colin Capistrant 5-yard TD pass (Alex Crabb PAT)||28-0|