Saturday, November 21, 2009

Stone Bridge returns to region finals

By Dan Sousa
Source: Special to the Loudoun Times-Mirror

For the Stone Bridge High football team, revenge was a side dish Nov. 20 as the Bulldogs turned the tables on Madison, the only team to defeat them this season.

The main course for the host Bulldogs was a complete performance on both sides of the ball, which led to a dominating 27-8 victory over the Warhawks in the Northern Region Division 5 semifinals.

And the game wasn't even as close as the final score indicates. Stone Bridge (11-1) did not allow Madison (7-5) to cross midfield until a final drive against the Bulldog second defensive unit. Stone Bridge junior Marcus Harris rushed for more than a 100 yards in the first half and finished with 171 yards on 28 carries, breaking the school's single-season rushing mark along the way.

"We have just been waiting to play well on both sides of the ball and special teams and this was the night we finally put it together," Stone Bridge coach Mickey Thompson said. "I don't think we can play any better than we what we played tonight."

All of this adds up to an incredible eighth consecutive trip to the regional finals. The Bulldogs will host Robert E. Lee for the region championship Nov. 27 at 1:30 p.m.

"Our season starts in the playoffs. A lot of other teams, it's a big thing to make the playoffs. But it's normal here," Stone Bridge senior lineman Mitchell Freitas said. "We've done this before, it's nothing new. We've come alive."

While Madison had defeated Stone Bridge a month ago, 28-14, by controlling the line of scrimmage, it was a different story Friday.

Stone Bridge, which was running a spread offense half the time in the first meeting, stuck exclusively to the single-wing and Harris, off a great angled snap from center Kyle Wrenn, cut back the fifth Bulldog snap of the night and was into the secondary before most people on the field could find him and he sprinted untouched 56 yards for the first score.

Later in the game, Harris broke Devon Brown's school record of 1,745 rushing yards in a season. Harris now has 1,768 and counting.

"It feels real good for my name to be put up there with some of the top running backs that have come out of here," Harris said.

While it was a different Stone Bridge offense Friday, it was also a different Stone Bridge defense as the Bulldogs bunched the line of scrimmage and stuffed the Warhawk running attack.

After picking up two first downs on the opening drive of the game, Madison failed to move the chains on its next seven possessions and didn't get another first down until less than five minutes remained in the game and Stone Bridge leading comfortably, 27-0.

With the run game mired, the Warhawks couldn't pass against the Bulldogs, going just 4 of 15 for 24 yards and Stone Bridge corner Dexter Rogers intercepted a pass.

Kyle Gouveia added 70 yards rushing and two short touchdown dives, including one on the first drive of the second half to make it 21-0. Abdul Shaban added two field goals to pad the lead.

Northern Region Division 5 semifinal
Stone Bridge 27, Madison 8

First Quarter
SB: Harris 56 run (Shaban kick) 5:49 (drive: 5 plays, 82 yards, 2:12)

Second Quarter
SB: Gouveia 1 run (Shaban kick) 10:11 (drive: 11 plays, 55 yards, 5:48)

Third Quarter
SB: Gouveia 1 run (Shaban kick) 8:51 (drive: 8 plays, 60 yards, 3:09)
SB: Shaban 24 field goal 0:57 (drive: 14 plays, 73 yards, 6:43)

Fourth Quarter
SB: Shaban 35 field goal 5:27 (drive: 13 plays, 52 yards, 6:22)
M: Roland 32 run (Powers from Roland) 1:51 (drive: 10 plays, 66 yards, 3:36)

Inidividual leaders

Rushing: M-Roland (5 for 41 yards, TD); SB-Harris (28 for 171 yards, TD), Gouveia (13 for 70 yards, 2 TD)

Passing: M-Roland (4 of 15 for 24 yards, Int.); SB-Rody (2 of 3 for 34 yards)

Receiving: M-Powers (2 for 19 yards); SB-Harris (1 for 20 yards), White (1 for 14 yards)


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