Bulldogs claw all the way back

September 23, 2011

Stone Bridge running back Stephen Trivieri crouched on the sideline, eyes closed, as the Bulldogs lined up for an overtime extra point Friday night.

He couldn’t bear to see senior place kicker Ben Lambourne’s kick through the uprights, but he certainly heard the crowd of approximately 7,000 react to the conversion that gave the Bulldogs an improbable 31-30 win over Ashburn rival Broad Run at Stone Bridge.

The Bulldogs trailed 24-0 at halftime before rallying with three touchdowns and two-point conversions. Broad Run scored on its first overtime possession, but the Spartans missed the extra point, opening the door for No. 13 Stone Bridge (3-1).

Trivieri scored three of the Bulldogs’ touchdowns with runs of 60, 3 and 1 yards. In overtime, he went in from a yard out, setting the stage for Lambourne’s kick.

“I’m just getting acquainted with everything but from what I know we have a pretty big rivalry with Broad Run,” said Trivieri, a transfer from Canada. “I knew if it meant a lot to me just being here, it meant 100 times more to everyone else.”

The schools are 2.6 miles apart, draw from the same talent pool and have combined for three state titles in two Virginia classifications since 2007. But this was the first time they’d played since 2004, and the game lived up to its billing.

No. 8 Broad Run (4-1) dominated every facet of the first half, running at will and holding Stone Bridge to just 60 yards of offense. At halftime, Stone Bridge Coach Mickey Thompson rallied his team.

“It’s a game of football,” Thompson told them. “But right now it’s more than that.”

The turnaround came when it looked like things had just gotten worse.

A Stone Bridge fumble gave Broad Run the ball at the Bulldogs 1-yard line with a chance to expand the lead. Instead, All-Met defensive lineman Jonathan Allen would break through for tackles for loss on third and fourth down.

Those plays turned the momentum.

Eight plays later, Ryan Burns found Stan Johnson for a 43-yard touchdown, then hit a two-point conversion to cut the lead to 16. On the next possession, facing fourth and one, Trivieri broke through for a 60-yard touchdown with two minutes remaining in the third quarter.

“You see a lot of people,” Trivieri said. “And then you see nothing and then you just hear the crowd roaring.”

Another two-point conversion cut it to eight points, and on the next possession, another fourth-down conversion set up Trivieri’s three-yard touchdown run and two-point run tied the game with 4:13 left in the game.

In overtime, Broad Run scored first but missed the extra point, and Trivieri’s final run, a one-yard score, and Lambourne’s kick sealed the win in the “Battle of the ‘Burn.”

“It was big for the guys who didn’t get a chance to play them, it was big for them and it was big for our program and it was big for this year,” Thompson said. “It means nothing. We got to win a championship. But it feels great right now.”

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