Even though it entered the season having won 49 of its last 52 games, there was doubt surrounding No. 11 Broad Run. Maybe not among the Spartans themselves, but among others, now that the team would be playing in the Virginia AAA classification instead of the smaller AA.
Broad Run had not beaten a high-quality AAA opponent during its recent dominating streak, so the 32-0 blanking of Woodbridge on Saturday afternoon at Tuscarora was more than just another victory. It was a lopsided win over an AAA team that has reached the playoffs the past seven seasons.
It’s usually folly for a program that’s been as successful as Broad Run (3-0) to play the “no-respect” card, but the Spartans are indeed playing it, because that’s the vibe they say they get from players at AAA programs.
“We played all these teams at U-Va. seven-on-sevens and they were always saying something,” senior linebacker Danny Gallagher said. “People talking, friends going to Stone Bridge, everything. We know they don’t give us respect in that division. Hopefully, we earned it right here.
“Everybody thinks, ‘Oh they’re AA, they’re small, they can’t put up with our athletes.’ We can put up with you. We can play with anybody in the state.”
The Spartans might have earned a few more believers Saturday, perhaps some wearing green and gold. Broad Run rattled off 20 first downs with a balanced offense, took advantage of Woodbridge mistakes early and had four possessions end on downs inside the Vikings 20-yard line. The Spartans have allowed one touchdown in 12 quarters this season.
Broad Run stopped Woodbridge (0-2) on fourth and short on the Vikings 33-yard line on the game’s first possession to set up a touchdown, and a stuffed run off a bounced punt snap gave the Spartans the ball at the Woodbridge 15 to help make it 13-0 in the first quarter.
A pass interference penalty negated a Woodbridge interception in the end zone on the first possession of the third quarter, and two plays later the Spartans went up by three touchdowns.
Not counting flurried possessions to end each half, Woodbridge managed only three first downs.
“It was a big win for our guys,” Broad Run Coach Matt Griffis said. “There are great AA programs and there are great AAA programs. You’ve got to go in and establish yourself. Nobody [in Prince William County] knows who we are. They don’t really pay attention to AA, and I don’t expect them to because that whole county is AAA. It’s a different brand of football. You’ve got to be prepared for it.”