Reimers, Tuscarora slip past Woodgrove

Video: Tuscarora beat Woodgrove by a score of 35-31.

Noah Reimers grimaced with each measured step as he slowly walked off the field toward Tuscarora’s locker room.

The scoreboard lights flicked off behind him, wiping away the end result of the Huskies’ thrilling 35-31 victory against Woodgrove on Friday night in Leesburg. But the bruises, scratches and cuts that dotted the sophomore running back’s body left tangible reminders of each of his 27 carries and all five of his touchdown runs.

“He’s a monster. He’s crazy,” said Tuscarora senior offensive lineman Darius Anderson, who helped pave the way for Reimers’s big night. “What he can do without us is amazing.”

With Tuscarora trailing 31-28 and the final minute ticking off the clock, Reimers tore through Woodgrove’s exhausted secondary for an 18-yard touchdown run.

Sixty-four seconds prior, the Woodgrove sideline had erupted in celebration of Josh Sweet’s one-yard touchdown plunge. But in a second half that saw the Huskies (8-1) and Wolverines (6-3) combine for five touchdowns on their first five possessions, no lead was safe.

“I think they felt, we felt like, if we get the ball one more time . . . ,” Tuscarora Coach Mike Burnett said. “And that’s the first time since we started this program that we’ve felt that way. If you just give us one more chance, we can go down there and score.”

The Wolverines set the tone for the night with a 15-play, 80-yard opening drive capped by the first of Sweet’s three touchdown runs and took a 17-7 lead into halftime.

The two teams traded long touchdown drives to start the third quarter, both capped by touchdown runs from their bruising tailbacks, and after Reimers finished off an 18-play, 87-yard, clock-eating march, the Wolverines were left with 5 minutes 46 seconds to find an answer.

They handed the ball to Sweet (34 carries, 178 yards) on nine of the next 12 plays — the last resulting in his 11-yard touchdown run that ignited the Woodgrove sideline and gave the ball back to Tuscarora with 1:48 left and a 31-28 deficit.

Warren Miles returned the ensuing kickoff to the 50-yard-line, and after a pass interference penalty gave the Huskies the ball at the 18, Reimers took care of the rest.

The Wolverines got the ball back with 32 seconds remaining but Jack Coates intercepted a fluttering pass to seal the win and improve Tuscarora’s record to 4-0 all-time against their western Loudoun rivals.

Tuscarora junior quarterback Nick Azzarita completed 16 of 17 passes for a career-high 196 yards and Reimers and the offensive line wore down Woodgrove’s defense in the second half.

“That is what our program is based on, being able to grind someone and keep pounding them,” said Reimers, who finished with 148 yards on the night. “They keep calling my number and you know the lineman are going to block. You just run right behind them, and there’s holes everywhere.”

 
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