Sunday, October 12, 2008

Football: Stone Bridge 38, Langley 0

By Dave and Suzy Barta
Special to

Ashburn (Oct. 11, 2008) - The toughest obstacle undefeated Stone Bridge High School faced Friday night may have been themselves. Whistled for 15 penalties, the Bulldogs nevertheless methodically dispatched AAA Liberty District foe Langley behind another big night from Daniel Allen. The fleet running back rushed for 185 yards and four touchdowns, leading Stone Bridge (7-0, 4-0) to a 38-0 Homecoming victory.

Langley (3-4, 2-2) opened the game with the ball on its own 14, and a 19-yard completion gave the Saxons some breathing room to the 36, but the drive progressed no farther. An excellent punt drove Stone Bridge back into its own end, and the Bulldogs began on their own 16.

Coming out in their signature single wing, the Bulldogs gave the Saxons a heavy dose of Allen, who rushed for 43 yards on six carries and moved the ball to the Langley 30. Keying on the run, the Saxons were burned on 3rd-and-1 when Nick Sheehan released from his tight end position and pulled in a Patrick Thompson pass for the first score of the night. A penalty for celebrating moved the PAT back to the 18, but Abdul Shaban was solid and put the Bulldogs in front 7-0.

Langley started on its own 11, and quarterback Patrick Kelly brought them to the 30 with two completions, but again the drive stalled. Stone Bridge took possession on the Bulldog 35, and a big 39-yard pass from Thompson to Michael Prince took them all the way to the 9. On 1st-and-goal, Allen followed the line surge and bowled in for his second TD. The snap for the extra point was muffed, but Stone Bridge was in control 13-0.

In the next series, the Saxons got their only big run of the night when tailback David Helmer broke free for 16 yards, but the rest of the drive netted nothing. Another fine punt left Stone Bridge on its 38, and Bulldogs proceeded to alternate big plays with various assorted penalties. The end result was the same, however, when Allen powered in from the 8 for the touchdown. The conversion attempt failed and the score remained 19-0.

Langley was having no success on the ground and went to the passing game, but the results were no better. The Saxons ultimately punted from the 27 and gave Stone Bridge the ball at midfield. Allen ripped off two big runs of 15 and 23 yards before Prince came left on a counter play and found a cozy lane down the sideline provided by excellent blocking by the Bulldogs. Shaban suffered a rare blocked PAT, and Stone Bridge led 25-0.

Langley QB Kelly again found some success throwing the ball, and the Saxons had their first threatening drive when they pushed to the Stone Bridge 26. But on Third down Allen showed his defensive skills when he intercepted Kelly at the goal line, killing the effort.

Thompson’s favorite target was Andrew Ansell in the next series, and the two hooked up for 20 and 23 yard completions, bringing the ball to the Langley 42. On second down Allen broke free and raced in for his third score of the night. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful, and the Bulldogs led 31-0 at the half.

After intermission, Stone Bridge went on a clock-eating drive of 15 plays and 84 yards, once again battling penalties along the way. The Bulldogs got a scare when Zach Thompson was helped off the field after apparently taking a helmet to the knee after a reception at the Saxon 3. Allen finished off the drive by punching in from there, and Shaban’s kick put Stone Bridge out of reach 38-0.

Langley started from the 25 on the next series, and on third down John Bladel stepped in front of Kelly’s pass to nab the interception. But traveling down the sideline he was stripped of the ball and Kelly gained a measure of revenge when he covered the ball at the Saxon 18. The visitors went in reverse from there, eventually punting from the 1.

Stone Bridge running back Marcus Harris got the call this series, carrying the ball six of the next seven plays. The lone exception was a 23-yard run by Prince, who appeared to score from 36 yards out but a holding penalty nullified the score. On 2nd-and-goal from the 1, Harris appeared to have scored but fumbled the ball into the end zone and the Saxons took over on the twenty.

Langley then put together its best drive of the night, their only success being through the air. Kelly completed six of ten and drove the Saxons to the Bulldog 5, but was intercepted in the end zone by Zach Miller to snuff out the drive with 0:42 left in the game.

For the second time in three weeks, Allen scored four touchdowns and now has 15 on the season. The offense was balanced and overpowering, totaling 550 yards (289 rushing, 261 passing). The Bulldog rush defense was rock solid for the second straight week, limiting the Saxons to a ridiculous eleven yards on 21 carries.

Stone Bridge goes on the road next to rival Madison for a match up of perennial Liberty District powers.

Friday, October 10, 2008 – Stone Bridge vs. Langley

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