Chantilly, Stone Bridge ready for rematch


Quarterback Sonny Romine (center), shown last year against Westfield, leads Chantilly’s triple-option attack against Stone Bridge on Friday. (John McDonnell/THE WASHINGTON POST)
September 6, 2012
Game of the week: No. 15 Chantilly at No. 3 Stone Bridge, Friday, 7:30

One year after Chantilly handed Stone Bridge its only regular season loss since 2009, both teams are approaching the rematch with different motivations.

For the Bulldogs (1-0), there’s the obvious theme of revenge. For the Chargers (1-0), the win serves as evidence that there should be no lack of confidence going into a marquee early-season matchup this fall.

Yet in both locker rooms, players and coaches are aware that there may be few similarities to draw from on the field when the teams meet on Friday night in Ashburn.

In last year’s loss, Stone Bridge quarterback Ryan Burns, a Stanford recruit, threw five interceptions. That is not likely to happen again, and the Chargers know it.

“A lot of those picks last year, we got very fortunate,” Chantilly Coach Mike Lalli said. “Either he got hit a couple times and the ball came off funny, or everyone has a bad throw here or there. We were very fortunate to get those interceptions. You can’t rely on five interceptions from an athlete of his caliber.”

Stone Bridge (1-0), meanwhile, received a monster game from Alabama-bound defensive end Jonathan Allen. The two-time All-Met lined up over center and was blocked one-on-one throughout the game. Bulldogs Coach Mickey Thompson doesn’t expect that to happen again.

Despite the adjustments that are likely to happen, the game should give both teams an indication of where they stand this season in the Virginia AAA Northern Region. And even more than revenge, Thompson said he has preached to his team how difficult a challenge Chantilly represents.

Chantilly’s triple-option offense is led by quarterback Sonny Romine and running backs DeAndre Harris and Ross Simms. Simms, who had eight carries for 58 yards and three scores in the Chargers’ 48-7 win over W.T. Woodson last week, provides an inside punch to set up Harris, who had six rushes for 152 yards.

“On film they are as good as any team we’ve ever played with maybe the exception of Phoebus,” Thompson said. “We’ll see if we can take it to a different level. … That’s the best Concorde team I’ve seen, at least on film, since we came into AAA [classification] in 2005.”

Around the Northern Region

Falls Church, with one winning season in the past 11 years, is not generally credited with having one of the top players in the Virginia AAA National District. This season is an exception. Several coaches cite junior Jordan Coneys as one of the district standouts. He caught nine passes for 57 yards and a touchdown last week in a 28-12 loss to Jefferson. He also starts at safety.

“He’s definitely a playmaker,” said Falls Church Coach Said Aziz, whose team plays at McLean this week. “He’s like Michael Jordan. You want the ball in his hands.”

Coneys, who last season had 37 catches for 560 yards and six touchdowns, grew up in Arlington and would have gone to Washington-Lee had the family not moved to Falls Church, Aziz said. ...

Bad news for Yorktown opponents, including Wakefield this week. They not only have to deal with junior running back M.J. Stewart, who has offers from Maryland and Virginia, but now also senior Arturo Brown, a transfer from Brooke Point who rushed 10 times for 122 yards and three touchdowns, including a 71-yard run, last week in a 42-28 win over Bowie. ...

Lee, which had lost at least seven consecutive games to Franconia Road rival Edison, can start a streak of its own by beating the Eagles on Friday. Lee won the game 54-12 last year.

Lancers junior Michael Jolly ran 17 times for 201 yards and scored four touchdowns, including one on a reception, last week in a 47-7 win over Marshall.

“He’s the best-kept secret in the region, but people will see how he is,” Lee Coach Clarence Martin said this preseason of the 5-foot-9, 180-pound Jolly. ...

Oakton opened the season with a huge defensive performance that could be a strong indicator of the Cougars’ potential. Despite graduating several starters on that side of the ball, Oakton held rival Madison to just 122 yards on 46 snaps in a 35-13 win. “I felt like we settled in a little bit defensively,” Cougars Coach Jason Rowley said.

On the other side of the ball, Oakton is led by senior Kyle Downer, a returning starter who is one of the top quarterbacks in the region. A true dual-threat, Downer is as likely to drop back and throw as duck his shoulder and run in between the tackles.

“We go as far as Kyle Downer takes us,” Rowley said. “Without him our offense is certainly not as potent. We rely on him heavily.”

Around Prince William

Woodbridge’s 32-0 loss last season to Broad Run, which had just moved up to the Virginia AA classification, was a low point in the Vikings’ 1-3 start. And it could have been worse — four Broad Run possessions ended on downs inside the Woodbridge 20-yard line.

The teams meet Friday at Woodbridge with the Vikings off to a 1-0 start.

Sophomore quarterback Mike Majette, in his second year as a starter , completed nine of 14 passes for 124 yards in a 27-7 win at Franklin County last week and senior Jaylen Avent rushed 20 times for 186 yards.

Last year against Broad Run, Majette completed eight passes for only 31 yards.

“He’s reading a lot better, starting to get comfortable with the quarterback position, when to tuck and run and when not too,” Vikings Coach Kevin Smith said. “He’s a quiet leader, not a vocal person. He’s a lead-by-example kid.” ...

It’s fitting that the viewing (at First Baptist Church of Woodbridge) for late Gar-Field statistician Ricky Arrington will be from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday night, at the same time his Indians will be playing at home against first-year Loudoun County school Champe.

Arrington, a 1973 Gar-Field graduate who died last month, was a sideline fixture for years in Prince William County. Many knew him better as the former chief of the Occoquan-Woodbridge-Lorton Volunteer Fire Department. He used to arrange to have a fire truck at Gar-Field home games to blast the lights and sirens after an Indians touchdown.

Gar-Field honored Arrington with a moment of silence before last week’s home game against Stonewall Jackson. ...

No. 2 Hylton plays at first-year varsity program Patriot on Friday. In time, this could be a big game in Prince William County. The Pioneers (1-1) picked up their first varsity win last week with a 38-27 victory over Brooke Point after going 19-1 at the freshman and junior varsity levels last year, when they did not field a varsity team.

Patriot is a growing program. You want quantification? The school had to order $5,000 worth of additional weights to accommodate the eager lifters in the school’s still-smells-new weightroom. As of late August, there were 180 players in the program. ...

Does any area school get more bad news in August than Osbourn Park? Two years ago, quarterback Dominique Terrell transferred to Osbourn. Last year, quarterback Denathan Dukes went down with a knee injury. And this season, the Yellow Jackets lost running back Damian Nicholson to a broken fibula in a scrimmage. Nicholson has offers from West Virginia and East Carolina. Osbourn Park (1-0) hosts No. 16 Battlefield (1-1) on Friday.

Around Loudoun

With the opening of Tuscarora and Woodgrove two years ago in Western Loudoun, Loudoun County and Loudoun Valley were handed new natural rivals in their own backyards.

But while the new programs have spiced up Friday nights in Leesburg and Purcellville, there’s nothing quite like County-Valley.

Loudoun’s oldest football foes renew their rivalry on Friday night at Valley with the hosts looking to avenge last year’s 32-19 loss in Leesburg. The Vikings (1-1) had won four straight in the series before last season but the two teams had not met since Loudoun Valley made the move to AAA in 2006.

The Raiders (1-0) throttled Freedom-South Riding 53-21 in their opener thanks to a breakout performance from running back Matt Arneson, who piled up 239 yards and four touchdowns on just 14 carries.

County will challenge the Vikings to stop their hard-nosed rushing attack, but senior quarterback Jake Lokey will also take a few shots downfield to top target Brad Szoka.

Valley bounced back from a Week 1 overtime loss at Fauquier with a 52-19 rout of James Wood. Sophomore Andrew Cordani rushed for four touchdowns against the Colonels, and the Vikings will lean on him heavily after they lost starter Bryce Wince to a broken leg in the contest.

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