Ashburn, Va. — Since he took over the reins of the Panthers football program in 2016, Potomac Falls High School head coach Paul Barnes has tried to turn the Panthers into a perennial contender. Based on their five consecutive playoff appearances and a 15-9 record over the past two years, it appears as though Potomac Falls is knocking on that exclusive door.
The Broad Run Spartans, however, had other ideas as the two teams met at Broad Run on August 24 to open the 2018 season. The high-powered Broad Run offense – led by junior quarterback Mitch Griffis and junior running back Tim Baldwin – scored 31 points, as the Spartans defense held the Panthers scoreless in a 31-0 win.
Griffis and Baldwin wasted little time after receiving the opening kickoff. The Spartans drove down the field in eight plays covering 80 yards. Griffis hit three different receivers totaling 50 yards, and Baldwin went for 36 yards on his four carries, including a 9-yard run for his first touchdown of the season.
On the Spartans’ second drive, Baldwin added 40 more yards on five rushes, including his second touchdown on the game.
Griffis – a Wake Forest-commit – scored his first touchdown of the season on a 3-yard touchdown run, after delivering a 28-yard strike on a 3rd-and-17 to save Broad Run’s third possession. He added to his touchdown count when he found sophomore receiver Jake Busser in the back of the endzone as halftime approached.
Griffis looked more than sharp in completing 18 of 21 passes for 306 yards and a touchdown, while running for another. Baldwin totaled 116 yards rushing on 15 carries and added two touchdowns rushing.
On the other hand, the Potomac Falls offense never found its stride. Broad Run – led by first-year defensive coordinator Terence Glenn – held the Panthers to just one yard of total offense on their first two drives.
“We love coach Gordon, but we really wanted to get the shut out for coach Glenn,” Broad Run senior captain Ryan Gorey said. “It feels good to look up and see a zero up there for his first game.”
Things aren’t all bad for the Panthers, as their young linemen played more consistently in the second half. Potomac Falls also had to play without Virginia Tech-commit Dean Ferguson, who will add an extra layer of explosiveness on both sides of the ball when he returns.
Potomac Falls (0-1) will have a chance to bounce back when they host Sterling-rival Dominion (1-0) on August 31. Broad Run (1-0) will look to continue its winning ways when it travels to Leesburg to battle district rival Tuscarora (1-0).
“[Moving forward,] we have to cut down on the penalties and play disciplined football,” Gorey said. “Especially against teams like Tusky.”