By Paul Tenorio
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, December 9, 2007
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Dec. 8 -- Twice before, Stone Bridge Coach Mickey Thompson had coached a team to a state championship game -- with Park View in 1999 and Stone Bridge in 2005 -- and twice before, Thompson had lost.
Thompson's sons, Patrick and Zach, remember both losses clearly: Patrick recalled the heartbreak in his house in 1999 when a narrowly missed field goal sent the Patriots and his father home without a title. "It was horrible," he said. And both sons were freshmen at Stone Bridge in 2005.
On Saturday in the Virginia AAA Division 5 championship game, Zach and Patrick played a part in their father's first state championship, with Patrick leading the way by throwing four touchdown passes to guide the No. 9 Bulldogs to a 38-0 victory over No. 5 Potomac at Scott Stadium.
For Mickey Thompson, seeing his sons play a part in his first state championship victory, and to win it at the University of Virginia, where he attended college, was the perfect end to a season that had seemed magical from the start.
"It was one of those things that people dream of," Mickey Thompson said before adding: "I did think that [this seemed like the year]. But I kept putting it out of my mind. It looked like it was meant to be, but you just never know what's going to happen."
Thanks to Zach Thompson and the rest of the defensive line, there was very little doubt after a scoreless first quarter as the Bulldogs held Potomac (13-1) to 66 rushing yards.
But Patrick Thompson's performance was even more special considering he almost never took the field. The junior quarterback injured his shoulder in the state semifinal on Dec. 1 against Phoebus and did not practice all week. But after pregame warmups, he said he felt his arm was fine, and after a scoreless first quarter, Stone Bridge (14-1) took over behind that arm.
Early in the second quarter, Thompson found senior Ryan Moody for a 42-yard touchdown -- the first of his three touchdown catches.
On the Bulldogs' next possession, Thompson again was the key, hitting senior Jeron Gouveia for 19 yards and then Moody for 33 yards to set up his 18-yard touchdown pass to tight end John Bladel. On the play, Moody hauled in a fade from Thompson in the left side of the end zone, but when the receiver hit the ground the ball bounced off his shoulder pads and into the air. Bladel, who had followed the play, dived and caught the ball before it hit the ground.
Stone Bridge ran the ball on 11 of its first 13 plays to start the second half, and on the 14th play, with Potomac anticipating a run, Thompson dropped back and found Moody again, this time for a 48-yard touchdown.
Moody, who finished with six catches for 158 yards, added a 20-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter. For the senior, who fumbled in the closing minutes of the 2005 state championship loss, the three-touchdown performance brought a sense of relief.
"I felt so bad for the seniors of that class and it still haunts me. I still think about it, I thought about it last night before this game," Moody said. "I told [Coach] Thompson before this game, I've told him all year that I owed him this ring. And I felt like I did a good job getting that ring for him."
And while Thompson acknowledged that this title meant a lot to him, he said he felt best knowing how much it meant to the players on his team.
"The thing that it feels good about is that they, the players, it was important to them," Thompson said. "It'll mean a lot more to me as I get older."
No. 9 Stone Bridge 38 No. 5 Potomac 0 Winning Hand: Mickey Thompson's teams are 19-0 in the playoffs when they score at least 21 points. Thompson is 21-11 lifetime in the postseason. Getting Defensive: Stone Bridge senior Jeron Gouveia, who will attend Virginia Tech next fall, finished with a team-leading seven tackles and two interceptions. No. 9 Stone Bridge 38 No. 5 Potomac 0 Winning Hand: Mickey Thompson's teams are 19-0 in the playoffs when they score at least 21 points. Thompson is 21-11 lifetime in the postseason. Getting Defensive: Stone Bridge senior Jeron Gouveia, who will attend Virginia Tech next fall, finished with a team-leading seven tackles and two interceptions.