But this year, there’s an added ingredient to Yorktown’s winning formula: Fullback Arturo Brown. The senior has totaled more than 100 yards in each of the Patriots’ three games this fall.
“It helps to have a dual threat, and we’re going to give them the ball as much as we can and hopefully get some yards,” Hanson said.
Racking up yards — and points — hasn’t been a problem for the Patriots thus far. Stewart and Brown have combined for 739 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns on a squad that’s averaging nearly 51 points per contest.
Yorktown’s string of success, though, will be tested Friday when it travels to National District rival Hayfield (2-1) for what Stewart calls “the biggest game of the year.”
“I’m not saying the rest of our district is weak, but Hayfield is a tough team and it’s a game that everybody wants to see,” said Stewart, who is averaging 11.2 yards per carry.
Coming off last week’s 24-17 loss to Madison, Hayfield will be looking to bounce back behind its own high-powered offense. Hanson told his team this week that it must minimize the Hawks’ big-play ability, especially through the air. In other words, he will once again be leaning on Stewart, who also plays defensive back for the Patriots.
Game to watch: Tuscarora (3-0) at Loudoun County (3-0), Friday, 7 p.m.
When Tuscarora knocked off Loudoun County last September, the win marked the second-year program as a legitimate contender in the AA Dulles District — and much sooner than many expected.
Both teams enter Friday’s rematch in Leesburg with perfect records and playoff aspirations, and on the same night Stone Bridge and Broad Run are set to clash in the rivalry nicknamed the “Battle of the ’Burn,” it’s the “Battle of the ’Burg” that could be the best ticket in Western Loudoun.
“To be honest, I think last year’s result surprised some people because no one really thought we were that good. That win kind of put us on the map,” Tuscarora Coach Mike Burnett said. “But now we have to show that we can win big games. Friday is the first step.”
To do that, the Huskies must slow Loudoun County senior running back Matt Arneson, who already has 521 yards and five touchdowns this season. A year ago Tuscarora limited County to just 61 yards on 28 carries — a total the Raiders must significantly boost to open up their offense.
“We have to keep them honest, and we have to force them to stop both elements of the game,” Loudoun County senior quarterback Jake Lokey said. “We’ve thrown a couple new plays in and we have a bunch of good pass plays, but establishing the run game makes it a lot easier on me.”
Lokey’s primary target through the air is 6-foot-1 senior wide receiver Brad Szoka, who already has six touchdowns this season, including a pair of punt returns for scores.