But the Raiders’ lone successful drive on an otherwise dismal night gave them a glimpse of what they can do when their spread offense is clicking.
Loudoun County relies on the spread; Hayfield makes habit of dramatic endings
A perennial run-first team, Loudoun County focused on its aerial attack against previously unbeaten Woodgrove, and quarterback Jake Lokey responded with a career night. The senior completed 12 of 19 passes for 235 yards and five touchdowns as the Raiders blasted the Wolverines 48-7 romp in Purcellville.
“We had one drive against Tuscarora where we only used the spread and that worked for us,” Lokey said. “We didn’t really know that our pass game would work as well as it did, but it was worth trying. Now I think you’ll see us using more balance.”
Lokey’s five touchdown strikes came in succession with the first three going to big-play receiver Brad Szoka , who scored on passes of 17, 10 and 46 yards to bring his season total to seven touchdown receptions. Lokey had not eclipsed 160 yards passing this fall and the touchdown count nearly doubled his season total (11).
The Wolverines (5-1) came into the contest averaging nearly 52 points per game and had given up only 28 combined. But the third-year team was largely untested in its non-district schedule, and the Raiders (4-1) came in fuming after their loss to Tuscarora and desperate to remain in the hunt for a district title.
Loudoun County’s defense was also much improved as it shut the Wolverines out through three quarters while slowing Josh Sweet, who still finished with 185 rushing yards on 32 carries.
“That was a must win for us. We’re not going to accept losing and we knew that if we went down two games behind Briar Woods, it was going to be hard to get back up,” Lokey said. “We came out hungry and we just played well all around. It was a huge win for us.”
Dominion’s Valenzuela emerges
At 6-3, and 220 pounds, Dominion’s Matt Valenzuela is a load to bring down, and this fall, the senior running back is becoming the Titans’ most dangerous offensive weapon. Valenzuela scored on a 25-yard touchdown run and a 17-yard reception to help the Titans edge Park View 20-15 in a meeting of Route 7 Sterling rivals on Friday. He now has six total touchdowns on the year to go with his 204 rushing yards and 284 receiving yards on 22 catches.
The win moves the Titans (2-3, 2-2) into the middle of the pack in the AA Dulles District — an already marked improvement after their winless 2011.
Despite the loss, which dropped them to 0-6, Park View found positives on Friday. The Patriots scored their first points of the season on Isam Shaban’s touchdown pass to Eduardo Avelar and used a 40-yard field goal from Daniel Boyce and a late Ryan Duncan touchdown run to give the Titans a scare.
Hayfield-Centreville goes down to the wire
Hayfield would have been content to kick the extra point and force a second overtime at Centreville on Friday. But an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against Centreville moved the ball to the one-and-a-half yard line.