Inspired Oakton Thumps Langley

Photos from Oakton's 42-3 win over Langley in high school football on September 26, 2008.
By Preston Williams
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, September 27, 2008

No. 4 Oakton entered the season with the seemingly winning combination of a stacked roster and bitter feelings from losing its final two games and missing out on the playoffs a year ago.

Langley last night became the latest team to absorb the Cougars' wrath in a 42-3 nondistrict road loss in which Oakton (5-0) racked up 332 rushing yards in equaling its win total from last year.

"At the end of last season, we had absolutely everyone on the team in the weight room," said senior quarterback Chris Coyer, who picked up 152 rushing yards on only six carries last night. "You could just feel it every day when you stepped in the weight room and every day during two-a-days that everyone wants it.

"We're not going to be happy until December 7th," Coyer added, in regard to date of the Virginia AAA Division 6 championship game. "Our team motto this year is, 'Finish 15 as one,' and we're going to stick to it."

Coyer scrambled for a 34-yard touchdown and turned a quarterback draw into a 72-yard score, both in the final 2 1/2 minutes of the first quarter. Senior running back Trey Watts turned passes from both Coyer and senior quarterback Ryan Harris, who shares time with Coyer, into touchdowns on a rainy homecoming night. Watts finished with 134 yards on nine touches.

"I didn't dream it would end up like this," Oakton Coach Joe Thompson said of the lopsided win.

The Saxons (3-2) were playing without two of their top players. Senior quarterback Danny Pritchett severely sprained his ankle last week and is expected to miss two more games. His brother, junior linebacker Austin, the team's leading tackler, tore his ACL in an earlier game and is out for the year.

Another Saxon, senior defensive back Tim Harmon, was taken from the sideline in an ambulance during the second half last night with a possible abdominal injury.

Even so, Langley expected better.

"We had older guys making too many mistakes," said Saxons senior running back David Helmer, who was held to 63 yards on 26 carries. "And when older guys start making mistakes, younger guys start falling down, too."

Oakton senior linebacker Jack Tyler and junior defensive back Andrew Leonard had interceptions, each after Langley had penetrated the Cougars' 30-yard line. Just two more highlights in a game full of them.

"I said from the very beginning of the season that our objective is to put a better quality product on the field than we have the last two years," said Thompson, whose team hosts Chantilly next week. "That means kids that are more focused, kids that are more committed, kids that are in better shape, kids that are executing better. I think we're doing that."

No. 4 Oakton 42, Langley 3 Royal Honor: Oakton senior receiver Jay Young was announced as homecoming king but bypassed the ceremony, as did other football players on the homecoming court. On the Move: Six of Oakton's first seven plays of the second half went for first downs.

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