Purcellville, Va. — The rivalry between Loudoun County High School and Loudoun Valley High School is the oldest in the county. It dates back to 1963, the year Loudoun Valley opened—nine years after Loudoun County opened its doors—and since the two campuses are only separated by eight-and-a-half miles, a healthy rivalry has developed in the last 59 years.
Since 2000, the Captains and Vikings have played each other 17 times, with the Captains holding a slight 9-8 lead in the series during that time. In more recent history, the Captains have won the last four matchups with the Vikings last victory coming in 2016.
The Captains continued their recent success in this rivalry as they defeated the Vikings, 27-6, on September 24 in Purcellville.
“Being the new guy at County, I didn’t realize until this week what a big rivalry this was,” Loudoun County head coach Matt Reidenbaugh said. “It hit me about Wednesday or Thursday, and I just stopped and I was like ‘Man, I underestimated the potential distraction for the kids,’ and all the drama behind the scenes, so we talked about it before the game, we talked about yesterday, and then you come out here, and it’s a great environment.”
Loudoun County struck first as junior running back Jason Murray broke free and scored on a 37-yard touchdown run just over two minutes into the game.
The score remained 7-0 in favor of the Captains until Loudoun Valley senior quarterback Logan Small connected with junior receiver Julien Randolph for a 16-yard touchdown pass with eight minutes left in the second quarter. With their kicking unit on the field, the Vikings opted to go for two, but the Captains weren’t fooled and stopped the play in its tracks.
Given the fact that the Captains had outscored their opponents 154-32 in their first three games heading into this contest, it seemed surprising that they only held a 7-6 lead heading into halftime.
“I think our kids just were a little over amped, so halftime was a blessing because we got that extra few minutes there for the Hall of Fame induction,” Reidenbaugh said. “We used those extra few minutes to make a couple minor schematic adjustments but really to just calm our kids down for the third quarter, and it showed on the field.”
The halftime break proved to be beneficial for the Captains as they received the ball to start the second half, and on their second play of the drive, Loudoun County senior quarterback Jimmy Daughtrey went around the left side and sprinted down the sideline for a 69-yard touchdown run—a play which Reidenbaugh thought set the tone for the rest of the game.
“We always kind of start off a little shaky,” Daughtrey admitted. “We’ll get that fixed up, but coming out of halftime, we were pumped up. Coach got us fired up and made a great play call, and I was able to read it well.”
On the next possession, Loudoun County sophomore defensive end Chase Kibble blocked a Loudoun Valley punt, and the Captains recovered it at the Vikings’ 3-yard line.
On the next play, Daughtrey took it in himself for his second touchdown of the night to make the score 20-7 with ten minutes left in the third quarter.
Then about six minutes later, Murray scored on a 10-yard touchdown run to make it 27-6.
For the entirety of the second half, the Loudoun County defense stepped up to the occasion. After rushing for 43 yards on 15 carries in the first half, the Vikings mustered just 16 yards on 13 carries in the second half. Through four games, the Captains have now allowed just 40 points.
“I think it allows you on offense to take some shots and take some chances because you trust those guys on the other side of the ball,” Reidenbaugh said. “Our defensive coordinator Rob Jackson is doing a great job, as are all our coaches. We gave up a couple of big plays tonight on defense, but we just kept reiterating ‘we’re fine,’ so give our kids credit, they just lined up, snapped it again, and eventually they settled into the game.”
The Loudoun Valley defense did an excellent job of keeping the Captains’ passing game under control. Daughtrey finished just 3-of-10 for 62 yards. That made Loudoun County somewhat one dimensional, but they dominated on the ground as they racked up 266 yards on 36 carries: Daughtrey finished with 9 carries for 107 yards and two touchdowns, while Murray had 21 carries for 150 yards and two touchdowns to go along with one reception for 32 yards.
“He’s a tank,” Daughtrey said of his backfield mate. “That’s how he runs. He’s got a couple moves on him, but he likes to run people over.”
The Captains (2-0, 4-0) will look to stay unbeaten when they host their rival Tuscarora Huskies (1-1, 4-1) on October 1 in a huge Dulles District matchup between two potential playoff teams. The Vikings (1-2, 3-2) will travel to Leesburg on October 1 and take on an undefeated team for the second straight week in the Heritage Pride (3-0, 5-0).
“Next week will be fun,” Reidenbaugh said. “It should be a great game, a great atmosphere, and a great thing for Leesburg.”
|1Q||5:33||Loudoun County||Jason Murray 37-yard TD run (Jonathan Haslet PAT)||7-0|
|2Q||8:17||Loudoun Valley||Logan Small to Julien Randolph 16-yard TD pass (2PT failed)||7-6|
|3Q||11:08||Loudoun County||Jimmy Daughtrey 69-yard TD run (PAT muffed)||13-6|
|3Q||9:38||Loudoun County||Jimmy Daughtrey 3-yard TD run (Haslet PAT)||20-6|
|3Q||3:53||Loudoun County||Jason Murray 10-yard TD run (Haslet PAT)||27-6|