Szoka has ‘night to remember’ for Loudoun County, Dominion breaks 13-game losing streak

September 10, 2012

With his team looking to build its lead over rival Loudoun Valley just before the half Friday night, Loudoun County Coach Todd Hill implored his team to deliver a big play on a punt return.

And when the low line-drive punt skipped toward Brad Szoka, the senior return man delivered.

Szoka made one man miss, cut back across the field and outran everyone into the end zone for a 65-yard touchdown that helped the Raiders pull away for a 42-7 win.

But the big return was only the first in a night full of highlights for the wide receiver, defensive back and kick returner. Barely two minutes after the return, Szoka hauled in a 26-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Jake Lokey to give the Raiders (2-0) a 28-7 halftime lead. And after the break, he finished off his career night with a 75-yard interception return for a touchdown and another long touchdown catch.

“It was a night to remember for me,” Szoka said.

Through County’s first two games, Szoka has six total touchdowns — three receiving, two on interception returns and one punt return. His ability to produce big plays any time he touches the ball is a big reason the Raiders have piled up 95 points in two games.

“He’s a play-maker. He just has that instinct,” said Lokey, who has been throwing passes to Szoka since the two joined the same sixth grade youth team. “We’re always on the same page, and it’s awesome knowing that he’s thinking what I’m thinking.”

That connection provides an ideal balance for an attack led by senior running back Matt Arneson, who already has 32 carries for 410 yards and five touchdowns.

The Raiders host Sherando (1-2) on Friday before two tough tests against fellow Virginia AA Dulles District contenders Tuscarora (2-0) and Woodgrove (3-0) in consecutive weeks.

“As seniors, we’ve been waiting a long time for this year. We’ve got a lot of depth and we’re just real excited,” Szoka said. “We feel like this is our season.” . . .

Dominion snapped its 13-game losing streak with a thrilling 34-28 overtime win at Heritage on Friday night. The win was the Titans’ first since they edged Park View on Oct. 29, 2010.

The Titans (1-1) trailed 28-14 midway through the fourth quarter but scored twice late to force overtime. Garrett Robinson’s 10-yard touchdown run capped the comeback and snapped the streak.

Robinson rushed for 218 yards and two touchdowns on only nine carries for Dominion, which travels to No. 10 Briar Woods on Friday. . . .

Woodgrove is scoring points by the truckload this season, and Friday night’s 60-21 win over Potomac Falls included a record-setting performance from the area’s leading rusher.

Junior Josh Sweet carried 32 times for 297 yards and six touchdowns — the most ever by a Wolverines player. He ran in the game’s first three touchdowns and scored twice in the first quarter (on runs of 5 and 65 yards), twice in the second (1 and 3), once in the third (15) and once in the fourth (35).

Sweet already has amassed 543 yards on 60 carries for the 3-0 Wolverines, who have outscored their opposition 177-28.

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