Stone Bridge's Victory Comes at a Big Price
Saturday, November 1, 2008
While the Stone Bridge players sprinted toward the scoreboard in the minutes following last night's dominant 42-14 win over visiting W.T. Woodson, a victory that sealed their fourth consecutive Virginia AAA Liberty District championship, Bulldogs Coach Mickey Thompson walked behind his team, a more reserved look and demeanor about him.
No. 2 Stone Bridge had performed well, with senior running back Daniel Allen leading the way with 165 yards and two touchdowns.
But a team already missing star senior quarterback Patrick Thompson because of a high-ankle sprain saw two more senior starters go down with injuries -- linebacker Travis Hannam (ankle sprain) and defensive lineman Jimmy Bradford (shoulder) -- putting a damper on the victory.
"I never take anything for granted and I'm excited about this" title, Mickey Thompson said. But "I would be really excited if we didn't have two guys hurt. They mean more to me than any district title. I want them on the field in the big games. If we get them back and I get my son [Patrick Thompson] back, I'd be a happy person right now."
Despite the injuries, Stone Bridge (10-0, 7-0) seemed to not miss a beat. Without Patrick Thompson, the Bulldogs looked to their wealth of offensive talent to fill the void, and Woodson (7-3, 6-1) could not keep up.
Senior Michael Prince also continued to make plays, scoring his 17th and 18th touchdowns of the season. Marcus Harris and Nick Sheehan added scores for the Bulldogs.
John Bladel and Kyle Gouveia, filling in at quarterback, each threw for a touchdown.
The win spoke as much to Stone Bridge's depth as it did anything else, and with two more starters going down, the defense hopes to take a cue from the offense as the Northern Region playoffs start next week.
"We're going to have to have younger guys step up, other seniors step up," Allen said. "Travis and Jimmy are both big-time role players and we need them so hopefully they'll be back, [but] hopefully other guys can step up."
No. 2 Stone Bridge 42 W.T. Woodson 14 District Wins: Stone Bridge not only captured its fourth consecutive Liberty District title, it also extended its unbeaten streak in the district to 28 games. Northern Region Seedings: Stone Bridge would have earned the top seed in the region playoffs with an Edison loss, but the Bulldogs got the No. 2 seed after Edison beat Chantilly.