Football: Woodgrove Rolls Through Independence in Potomac District Duel

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Ashburn, Va. — From his first touch to his last, Woodgrove junior running back Tony Cammarota made his presence known. On the first play from scrimmage, Cammarota went up the middle to pick up seven yards. Then on his third to last play of the game, he broke free for a 21-yard carry, all but putting the game on ice. And in between those two runs, Cammarota carried the ball 22 times for more than 150 yards and three touchdowns as the Wolverines rolled past the Independence Tigers, 38-22, on October 28 in Ashburn.

“He just wears defenses down,” Woodgrove head coach Derek Barlow said. “I see a hole and think we’ll get three yards, and the next thing you know it’s 10 then 15 then 20. He’s tough, he hits the hole, then just looks for daylight.”

Finishing his night rushing the ball 26 times for 187 yards—more than 7 yards per carry—it was Woodgrove’s methodical rushing attack that gave the Wolverines the edge.

Late in the first quarter, Cammarota scored his first of three rushing touchdowns from three yards out to put the Wolverines up 7-0.

After an Independence touchdown and traded field goals in the second quarter, Cammarota broke free for a 41-yard run to set his team up 1st-and-goal from the 7 early in the third quarter. Two plays later, Cammarota helped the Wolverines retake the lead as he burst into the endzone on a 7-yard touchdown run.

“We got a few big plays that opened things up for us,” Cammarota said. “Then we just used our usual game plan: running up the middle, four yards at a time.”

Late in the third, Woodgrove stuck to their game plan as senior athlete Price Williams carried in a 2-yard touchdown to extend the Wolverines’ lead to 24-10.

Just before the end of the third quarter, Woodgrove junior defensive back Jaden Boring picked off Independence senior quarterback Josh Hand, setting up the Wolverines in Tiger territory.

Then as they had done throughout the night, the Wolverines meticulously moved the ball down the field before Cammarota ended his night with a 3-yard touchdown run.

You never like losing, but I left last week’s game happy and upset, asking ‘where has that been all year?’ If we can play like that against Stone Bridge, we should be able to execute against anybody.

—Woodgrove head coach Derek Barlow

Just when it looked like the Tigers were out of real estate, Hand scored on a 4-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter. The Wolverines blocked the point after, maintaining a 31-16 lead.

On the ensuing kickoff, Independence attempted and recovered an onside kick, and less than two minutes later, Hand once again found his way into the endzone, this time on an 8-yard carry. The extra point would have made it a one-score game, but the Woodgrove special teams unit once again proved stalwart, blocking their second straight point after attempt.

Trailing 31-22, Independence had one final shot late in the fourth quarter, but Woodgrove junior defensive back Alec Hughes put the nail in the coffin when he returned an interception 30 yards for a touchdown.

“The defense was great. We run a similar offense to Independence, so our defense practiced against it all week,” Barlow said. “They run some more heavy stuff, so we had three different defensive packages ready at all times. We were running kids on and off all night, so it got a little chaotic at times, but the kids did a great job of knowing their roles.”

The Wolverines (6-2, 28.625) will continue to solidify their roles in their final regular season matchup of the season against rival Loudoun Valley (4-5, 20.750) on November 5 in Purcellville, a tune up for what they hope is a deep postseason run. Independence (7-2, 26.111) will look to bounce back from their second straight loss when they travel to reigning VHSL 5A State champion Stone Bridge (9-0, 35.111) on the same night.

“It’s a huge win, so I’m really proud of our guys. They kept clawing and that’s all we can ask,” Barlow said. “I know it’s cliche, but we just want to do what we do and not worry about the opponent. Rivalry games are fun for the kids, but we just have to execute our assignments against the other team wearing green and gold.”

Katey Jackson captured 300+ photos at the game!

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Scoring Plays
PeriodTimeTeamGoalScore
1Q3:19WoodgroveTony Cammarota 3-yard TD run (Kollin Samaha PAT)7-0
2Q11:52IndependenceJosh Hand 43-yard TD run (Eeshwar Nathan PAT)7-7
2Q5:53IndependenceEeshwar Nathan 28-yard field goal7-10
2Q1:50WoodgroveKollin Samaha 34-yard field goal10-10
3Q7:42WoodgroveTony Cammarota 7-yard TD run (Kollin Samaha PAT)17-10
3Q1:27WoodgrovePrice Williams 2-yard TD run (Kollin Samaha PAT)24-10
4Q11:11WoodgroveTony Cammarota 3-yard TD run (Kollin Samaha PAT)31-10
4Q6:43IndependenceJosh Hand 4-yard TD run (PAT blocked)31-16
4Q5:01IndependenceJosh Hand 8-yard TD run (PAT blocked)31-22
4Q2:56WoodgroveAlec Hughes 30-yard interception return TD (Kollin Samaha PAT)38-22
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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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