By Michael Pittinger
LoCoSports Staff Writer
Leesburg (October 4, 2015) – On October 1, Loudoun County High School (1-4) would battle Mother Nature and Park View High School (2-4) under the Thursday Night Lights as the Raiders would use their running attack to run past the Patriots, 35-26.
“Obviously, it is a tough loss, but I was proud of the way our players fought hard and came from behind after we lost the early lead,” Park View head coach Mick Mullins said.
Park View’s special teams would play a factor early in this game. It started on the opening kickoff when Patriots senior running back Herbert Martinez ran the ball back deep into Raider territory. That return would lead to a 1-yard touchdown run by junior running back Nikolai Hopkins.
“Our offensive line did a good job of controlling the line of scrimmage, and we were able to run effectively for most of the game.” Mullins said. “We still have to improve in all areas of our passing game to take advantage of a stacked box.”
Park View’s special teams would show up again on the Raiders’ first punt attempt of the game.
Loudoun County — attempting to pin the Patriots deep in their own territory — would not be successful as Park View senior linebacker Austin Pittinger got past the right side of the Raider line to block the punt attempt. With excellent field position, Patriots sophomore quarterback Adam Thorne would carry the ball one yard into the end zone to give the Patriots a 12-0 lead after the first quarter.
“We improved tremendously on special teams,” Mullins said. “Which was an emphasis this week, with a large return to set up a score and Austin Pittinger blocked the first punt for us all season which set up a score.”
The Raiders, however, would go on to score three straight times before the Patriots would score again. The first being early in the second quarter when Raider sophomore quarterback Cameron Corbett found his senior tight end Jordan Harris for a 19-yard touchdown pass. Then Loudoun County sophomore running back Dominic Baah would score his first of three rushing touchdowns with 37 seconds left in the first half from the Patriots 1-yard line.
“We have many players playing new positions, and they are working very hard,” Mullins said. “We had a number of players step up and play well, but we also continue to make mistakes that are very costly.”
The Patriots would score early in the fourth quarter when senior quarterback Chase Jefferson would score on a 2-yard touchdown run. However, Baah would go on to score two rushing touchdowns in the quarter to help Loudoun County secure their first victory of the season.
“Defensively we have to tackle better and improve our pass defense,” Mullins said. “We have made some improvements in all aspects of what we do, but there is more work to do.”
The Raiders will host the Dominion Titans in Leesburg on October 9, while the Patriots return home to Sterling to face the undefeated Heritage Pride.
1Q 9:11 PV Nikolai Hopkins 1-yard TD run (PAT failed)
1Q 5:28 PV Adam Thorne 1-yard TD run (PAT failed)
2Q 9:49 LC Cameron Corbett to Jordan Harris 19-yard TD pass (Bailoul PAT)
2Q 0:37 LC Dominic Baah 1-yard TD run (Bailoul PAT)
3Q 11:40 LC Cameron Corbett to Darius Taylor 67-yard TD pass (Bailoul PAT)
4Q 10:14 PV Chase Jefferson 2-yard TD run (Lampe PAT)
4Q 7:22 LC Dominic Baah 2-yard TD run (Bailoul PAT)
4Q 1:59 PV Nikolai Hopkins 2-yard TD run (Lampe PAT)
4Q 1:18 LC Dominic Baah 44-yard TD run (Bailoul PAT)