Ashburn, Va. — On a cool, crisp October night, the Stone Bridge High School football team roared out of the tunnel ready to battle the reigning VHSL 4A State champion Woodgrove Wolverines. After getting punched in the gut in the game’s opening two minutes, the Bulldogs dominated the second half, rolling to a, 44-14, Potomac District win on October 18 in front of a Homecoming crowd in Ashburn.
“We got a lot of boys on offense who can make things happen,” Stone Bridge senior running back Jared Cole said. “It’s a really exciting thing when it’s all clicking.”
Facing a 3rd-and-10 on their opening drive, Woodgrove senior quarterback Brett Johnson rolled out of the pocket and hit senior receiver Tyler Blizzard down the sideline. Blizzard snuck between two Stone Bridge defensive backs and escaped 69 yards for a touchdown.
“Our focus is not where it needs to be. We’ll get better at that. We’re just not playing really crisp football right now,” Stone Bridge head coach Mickey Thompson said. “I think some of it is we’re looking at who we’re playing, and we’re not focused on just getting better.”
On the ensuing drive, Stone Bridge elected to go for it on 4th-and-13 from their own 24 yard line. Stone Bridge junior quarterback Billy Wiles dropped back and was met five yards in the backfield by Woodgrove senior defensive lineman Theodore Wilson, who sacked Wiles forcing a turnover on downs.
“I put us in a bind going for it on fourth down,” Thompson said. “I’ve got to do a better job coaching.”
The Bulldogs defended the short field, eventually taking over on downs at their own 22. From that point forward, it was the Jared Cole show.
On his first touch of the night, Cole broke through the Woodgrove line and stumbled 30 yards downfield to put the Bulldogs in Wolverine territory. Six plays later, Cole scored his first touchdown of the night on a 3-yard run.
“We started off slow in the first half, but the offensive line played really well in the second half and opened up some big holes for me,” Cole said. “We just got back to our roots, and we were able to make things happen.”
After a Woodgrove response early in the second quarter – the Wolverines’ last score of the night – the teams traded series before Cole carried in his second touchdown of the night, this one from five yards out.
Three minutes into the second half, Cole – who rushed for 132 yards and 4 touchdowns on just 10 carries – scored from 15 yards out.
We just got back to our roots, and we were able to make things happen.
On the Bulldogs’ next offensive series, Cole carried a 1st-and-goal rush down inside the Woodgrove 1-yard line, setting up a 1-yard touchdown run by Stone Bridge sophomore running back Eli Mason.
“With all the weapons, you’d think we’d be really sharp,” Thompson said. “We lost our main weapon, Tai Felton. We’re down one guy, but you can see all the guys we can get the ball to.”
Then early in the fourth quarter, Cole broke free again, rushing 45 yards for his fourth and final touchdown run of the night.
We’re down one guy, but you can see all the guys we can get the ball to.
—Stone Bridge head coach Mickey Thompson
For good measure, Mason scored on a 5-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth as the Bulldogs celebrated their Homecoming win.
Stone Bridge (7-0) will look to use that second half momentum as they travel to Briar Woods (5-2) on October 25. Woodgrove (3-4) will look to bounce back when they travel to Potomac Falls (3-4) on October 25.
“Briar Woods is doing well. Potomac Falls is starting to play well. And then we have Broad Run,” Thompson said. “It’s almost like we need someone to smack us in the mouth, but I don’t want that. Hopefully, we got the point tonight.”
Mike Ferrara captured 80+ photos at the game…
|1Q||10:53||Woodgrove||Brett Johnson to Tyler Blizzard 69-yard TD pass (Kollin Samaha PAT)||0-7|
|1Q||4:45||Stone Bridge||Jared Cole 3-yard TD run (Jason Arajuo PAT)||7-7|
|2Q||11:47||Woodgrove||Brett Johnson to Daniel Pavolic 8-yard TD pass (Kollin Samaha PAT)||7-14|
|2Q||0:51||Stone Bridge||Jared Cole 5-yard TD run (Cole 2pt conversion)||15-14|
|3Q||8:38||Stone Bridge||Jared Cole 15-yard TD run (Dylan Dastejerdi PAT)||22-14|
|3Q||2:55||Stone Bridge||Eli Mason 1-yard TD run (Mason 2pt conversion)||30-14|
|4Q||8:28||Stone Bridge||Jared Cole 45-yard TD run (Jason Arajuo PAT)||37-14|
|4Q||5:26||Stone Bridge||Eli Mason 5-yard TD run (Alan Tran PAT)||44-14|