Football: Broad Run, Stone Bridge Open 2019 Atop LoCo Top 5

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Loudoun County, Va. — As the high school football season starts in Loudoun County, a few local teams have started to stand out from the crowd, while several others are potential contenders. In a four-region county, we wanted a way to put things into perspective. Enter: the LoCo Top 5.

Of course, if you’re into hard numbers, check out the full Region 6B, Region 5C, Region 4C, and Region 3B standings.

1a. Broad Run (1-0)

It’s way too early to make any real predictions about where teams fall in Loudoun County, but all eyes are locked in on Broad Run. After reclassifying from 5A to 4A, the Spartans have their eyes on the ultimate prize: a state championship. In their season opener on August 29, the Spartans got a taste of playoff-caliber football when they held off the Tuscarora Huskies, 28-26. Led by senior quarterback Mitch Griffis – who scored four touchdowns in the win – and a ridiculously good defense, Broad Run will have a target on its back the entire season.

1b. Stone Bridge (1-0)

There probably won’t be much separation between Stone Bridge and Broad Run throughout the season, so we’ll be in for a real treat when the Ashburn rivals square off on November 8. In the meantime, the Bulldogs will continue to battle through the VHSL Region 5C without the Spartans. Stone Bridge, however, will have to overcome a new obstacle in the reigning VHSL 4A State champion Woodgrove Wolverines, who reclassified up to 5A this fall. Senior running back Jared Cole, junior receiver Tai Felton, and junior quarterback Billy Wiles headline a Bulldogs offense that put up four scores against 2018 VHSL Region 6D semifinalist Centreville on August 30.

3. Woodgrove (1-0)

Coming off a VHSL 4A State championship in 2018, Woodgrove knew it had some key holes to fill in 2019, including replacing all-state quarterback Graham Walker. Senior quarterback Brett Johnson – who transferred from Heritage at the end of last year – led the Wolverines to a win over rival Loudoun Valley in Purcellville on August 29. Johnson threw for 145 yards and a touchdown while rushing for a second score as the Wolverines put up 469 yards of total offense and shut out the Vikings, 20-0. Moving up to 5A will pose new challenges for the Wolverines as perennial powerhouse Stone Bridge now stands in their way.

4. Tuscarora (0-1)

Eight Loudoun teams won in Week 1 so having a team that dropped their season opener this high on the list might surprise you…if you know nothing about high school football in Loudoun County. Tuscarora has become a consistent contender each fall, and despite falling to No. 1a Broad Run on August 29, the Huskies showed why they deserve to be in the conversation. Tuscarora’s defense – led by junior defensive end Matei Fitz and senior defensive end Noah Gick – is relentless and held a high-powered Spartans offense at relative bay during Week 1. On the offensive side of the ball, senior quarterback Ethan Gick is an elusive, dual-threat playmaker who will keep defenses guessing all fall.

5. Potomac Falls (1-0)

Rivalry games are always tough, and when you open the season with one, the emotions always run high. But for the Potomac Falls Panthers, they were as cool as could be, as they shut out Sterling-rival Dominion, 33-0, in front of a home crowd on August 29. The Panthers have options at quarterback and saw a scenario play out in Week 1 where they had to turn to sophomore quarterback Matthew Graham, who took care of business. Senior receiver Jalen Coker should draw double teams all season, leaving opportunities open for the rest of the Potomac Falls receiving corp.

On the bubble: John Champe (1-0), Loudoun County (1-0)

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Owen Gotimer

Owen Gotimer has a passion for helping people grow and self-educate through new media. Owen spent his college years at Syracuse University, where he studied broadcast and digital journalism in the renowned Newhouse School of Public Communications. In his "free time", Owen volunteers as a varsity baseball coach at John Champe and is the president of the Jeffrey C. Fowler Memorial Scholarship.

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