By Morgan Widdifield
LoCoSports Copy Editor
Purcellville (September 14, 2015) — An intense battle between two schools showed to be the perfect backdrop on September 11, when awful tragedy struck. Many were honored from far and wide at Leonard Stadium in Purcellville , in a remembrance of the fallen, heroes and families. In a fierce battle to the last second, Heritage High School outlasted Loudoun Valley High School, 41-35, to avenge last season’s 35-7 defeat at the hands of the Vikings.
“It feels great, all this is our hard work coming to fruition,” Heritage head coach Reed Prosser said. “Our kids deserve it, they played hard and the right way, and I’m excited for them.”
The Pride(3-0) struck first when quarterback Alex Carlin completed a 17-yard touchdown pass to Cole Miller in their first drive of the game. The Valley defense came up big and blocked the 2-point conversion attempt.
Loudoun Valley (2-1) struggled to connect passes and find gaps throughout the first quarter.But quarterback Nick Kallivokas finally found Trey McDyre on a 21-yard touchdown pass, to take the lead, 7-6.
Heritage then surged as two touchdowns were completed right before the first quarter completed. Carlin completed both touchdowns to Miller, again, one a 55-yarder and another a 69-yarder, which ended the thrilling quarter 20-7, advantage Heritage.
“I know now that if we get down, we are going to fight,” Valley head coach Anthony Long said. “We got down, it was a really big deficit, no matter who you are playing, and it’s very easy to roll over, give a half-effort, but we fought. It was the first time we’ve had a true dog fight, and it’s good to see our guys fight, but we’ll learn from it.”
Valley suddenly came alive and scored on their opening drive in the second quarter, with a Kallivokas’ 13-yard pass to McDyre, leading the Vikes to within a score of the Pride. Heritage quickly answered with two touchdowns again, Carlin to Mitch Westbrook for 25 yards, then a Westbrook 1-yard run up the middle to give Heritage a cushy 20-point halftime lead.
The third quarter proved to be Valley’s saving grace, with two rushing touchdowns. The first was by McDyre, a 60-yard run. The second touchdown just minutes after by way of a Joseph LaFonte 14-yard run. Suddenly, the Vikings were once again within a single score of the Pride.
Just when it seemed it was going Valley’s way, Carlin scored a 24-yard rushing touchdown in the beginning of the fourth quarter, giving Heritage the 13 point lead.
“The offensive line blocks were great, the defense played well,” Carlin said. “It’s just pitch-and-catch and make a big play. It’s what the game plan was. We knew we could make big plays and that’s what we did.”
LaFonte came up big again and rushed for the final touchdown of the night, a 16-yarder. With seven minutes remaining, Valley was down just six.
The Vikings defense came up big, stopping an almost touchdown play with a big quarterback sack on third and goal, and tipping the 32-yard field goal attempt to give Valley their final chance at victory.
However, on the ensuing possession Valley turned the ball over on downs, around the Heritage 40, to seal the deal for a Heritage team that is not used to winning against the Vikings.
“They are a really good team and we were able to shut them down in the first half,” Prosser said. “They made a good run at us [in the third quarter]and were able to punch it in. We went three-and-out, and from that point on we got back on track. I was really proud of our defense because they made some stops. Our offense is better than our defense, but they really stepped up in a big game.”
The Pride will host the Freedom Eagles of South Riding on September 18, while the Vikings will travel to South Riding to face a tough John Champe team.
1Q 10:08 H Alex Carlin to Cole Miller 17-yard TD pass (2pt failed)
1Q 4:38 LV Nick Kalivokas to Trey McDyre 21-yard TD pass (Reeley PAT)
1Q 2:02 H Alex Carlin to Cole Miller 55-yard TD pass (Villalon PAT)
1Q 0:00 H Alex Carlin to Cole Miller 69-yard TD pass (Villalon PAT)
2Q 10:13 LV Nick Kalivokas to Trey McDyre 13-yard TD pass (Reeley PAT)
2Q 5:57 H Alex Carlin to Mitch Westbrook 25-yard TD pass (Villalon PAT)
2Q 0:00 H Mitch Westbrook 1-yard TD run (Villalon PAT)
3Q 11:26 LV Trey McDyre 60-yard TD run (Reeley PAT)
3Q 6:17 LV Joe LaFonte 14-yard TD run (Reeley PAT)
4Q 11:47 H Alex Carlin 24-yard TD run (Villalon PAT)
4Q 7:13 LV Joe LaFonte 16-yard TD run (Reeley PAT)