When previously unbeaten Liberty, up by three points with less than four minutes remaining Friday, purposely sent yet another boot out of bounds to keep the ball out of his hands, Tapscott dutifully made his way upfield to go on offense.
His coaches waved him back. Instead of the Cougars taking possession at the 35-yard line as they had done after the previous out-of-bounds kicks, they decided to make their Fauquier County rivals kick again.
The next kickoff sailed down the middle of the field.
“I kind of smiled when I saw it in the air,” said Tapscott, who had already returned two kickoffs and a punt for touchdowns this season.
Tapscott caught the ball around the 16-yard line, ran straight and found a hole, and 84 yards later, fourth-year program Kettle Run (7-0) was on its way to a 20-16 win against a team that had outscored it 174-14 the previous three years.
Later in the game, Tapscott forced a Liberty incompletion on fourth down to help preserve the win.
The Cougars' first touchdown came on a 40-yard fumble return by junior Michael Parker, who scooped up an errant pitchout. That was Kettle Run’s sixth defensive touchdown in the past five games.
Had Kettle Run not been built, Tapscott would have attended Liberty (6-1), where his brother, Kenny, played on the Eagles team that walloped Kettle Run, 81-0, in the Cougars’ inaugural game. . . .
The connections came on four different routes, two of which were completions in the end zone and two others that were catch-and-run scores by Ravenel.
“I wasn’t so much targeting him; he just happened to be the one open and he made a lot of great plays,” Grebe said. “He just runs really good routes and he’s got great hands. If I put the ball in his area, he’s going to catch it.”
“He apparently had a lot of faith in me and I have a lot of faith in him and the team has a lot of faith in us,” Ravenel said.
Grebe started two games last year, and in the first one, he and Ravenel teamed up for 188 yards in completions and three touchdowns.. . .
It’s been a next-team-up sort of season in the Virginia AAA Commonwealth District. Colonial Forge, North Stafford and Brooke Point all have been ranked at some point only to lose and fall out of the rankings.
Case in point: North Stafford beat Colonial Forge, 34-0. Colonial Forge beat Brooke Point, 28-26. Brooke Point beat North Stafford, 38- 3. Stafford had won four straight until a 24-7 loss at Mountain View on Friday,
North Stafford, the only team with one district loss, concludes the regular season with games against Stafford, Battlefield (non-district) and Orange. Brooke Point’s two district losses have been by a total of three points, including 24-23 to Massaponax on Friday.. . .
Woodbridge, which hosts No. 5 Hylton on Friday, ran its series record to 7-0 against Freedom-Woodbridge with a 28-10 win. Senior Jarrell Greer ran for 102 yards and junior Logan Farrar scored two touchdowns.
Gar-Field senior David Bailey returned an interception 50 yards for a score in the fourth quarter to seal a 15-7 win over Forest Park. The Indians’ defense limited Forest Park to 37 rushing yards on 38 attempts. Gar-Field senior Joseph Whitfield recorded 2.5 sacks and forced two fumbles.
Mistakes plagued No. 9 Stone Bridge early in the season as the Bulldogs made some adjustments offensively and players struggled to adapt.
Since a loss to Chantilly on Sept. 10, however, Stone Bridge (6-1, 4-0 AAA Liberty) has made strides offensively and has cut down on its errors. The Bulldogs are averaging 40 points per game since the Week 2 loss, and the play of some younger starters has improved. That showed again in a 49-7 win over Marshall (1-6, 0-4 AAA Liberty) on Friday.
“We’re not close to there, we’re making progress though,” Stone Bridge Coach Mickey Thompson said. “We’re 100 percent better than where we were the first two or three weeks of the season. The mistakes are fewer and fewer but they’re not going away. Where it was 40 mistakes a game it’s now gone down to 20 mistakes a game. . . . If you’re going to be good on offense, you can’t have that.”
The Bulldogs have been boosted by a run game that found a trusted feature back in senior transfer Stephen Trivieri, who scored a touchdown for a sixth straight game in the win over Marshall. Trivieri has rushed for 668 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Junior quarterback Ryan Burns, who has drawn offers from several programs, including Stanford, has limited his interceptions after throwing five against the Chargers. He has thrown just two since – and none since a 31-30 win over Broad Run on Sept. 23.
Burns was 7 of 18 for 186 yards and two touchdowns in the win over Marshall.
“The more game experience he gets with the different things we’re doing it’s going to get better and better,” Thompson said. “It’s taking a little time for him and also taking time for everyone else.” . . .
Yorktown (7-0, 4-0 AAA National) remained undefeated with a 21-0 win over Langley (3-4, 2-2 AAA Liberty) on Friday. It was the Patriots third shutout of the season and the fifth time they held an opponent to 13 points or fewer.
Running back M.J. Stewart, who had rushed for over 225 yards in the previous two games, sprained his knee in the first quarter and did not return to the game. Yorktown Coach Bruce Hanson said it is a low-level sprain and Stewart should return soon.
“Real pleased where we are offensively and defensively,” Hanson said. “Special teams have been decent. I’m pleased, yeah. We’re undefeated. Can’t get much better than that.”. . .
Wakefield (1-6, 1-3 AAA National) picked up its first win of the season by downing winless Falls Church, 27-20, on Friday night. The Warriors were boosted by four interceptions, including two by junior Khory Moore, who also rushed for 101 yards and a score and had 47 yards and two touchdowns receiving.. . .
Stuart downed Edison (2-5, 2-2 AAA National) in a barnburner, as the teams combined for 92 points in the Raiders 49-43 win. Stuart (3-4, 1-3 AAA National) was led by RB Chris Kirby, who rushed for 212 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries. Senior defensive tackle Tony Konjevoda led the way on the other side of the ball with an interception, fumble recovery, and five tackles for loss.