Stone Bridge tops Hayfield, 35-7, to win Northern Region Division 5 title
Saturday, November 27, 2010; 1:41 AM
For the better part of the opening drive of the second half of top-ranked Stone Bridge's 35-7 win over Hayfield in the Virginia AAA Northern Region Division 5 final, the Hawks moved the ball down the field against the Bulldogs.
Leaning on their inside runs and big plays in key moments - a 21-yard pass on one third down, an 18-yard run on another - the Hawks moved into the Stone Bridge red zone. On the sideline, Bulldogs Coach Mickey Thompson knew that what ensued over the next few plays might decide the game.
If Hayfield punched it in, the Hawks would be within a touchdown of Stone Bridge and have momentum. If the Bulldogs could hold them, the ball would go back to an offense that hadn't been stopped with just a few minutes remaining in the third quarter.
On third and seven from the 14-yard line, Stone Bridge linebacker Mike Tompkins burst through the middle of the line, forcing Hayfield quarterback Jason Stewart to the outside, where he was sandwiched by Tompkins and sophomore defensive end Jon Allen for a seven-yard loss. Stewart's fourth-down pass sailed incomplete.
Less than three minutes and 79 yards later, Stone Bridge running back Adrian Thomas ran in from 11 yards out to all but ice the game.
"That was huge that we got the stop there because once we got that stop, you knew we were going to move the ball," said Thompson, whose team won its seventh region championship. "I thought that was essentially the ball game."
It appeared early on as though the game might be yet another blowout for Stone Bridge (13-0).
Hayfield (8-5) pooched its opening kickoff, perhaps to avoid the Bulldogs' dangerous returners, but ended up kicking it right to senior Kyle Gouveia. Gouveia weaved inside and back out to the right sideline, taking the kick 83 yards for a touchdown.
"We knew that they pooch a lot and they pooch to the opposite side of the field," Gouveia said. "And I knew what I was going to do if I got the ball and it worked out well."
Hayfield went three and out on its first drive, and Stone Bridge moved right down the field, needing just seven plays to move 52 yards - capped by Brian Rody's seven-yard touchdown pass to Spenser Rositano.
The Hawks answered with a 12-play drive to pull within a touchdown with just more than two minutes left in the first quarter, but Stone Bridge again responded.
Marcus Harris's one-yard touchdown run capped a 12-play, 64-yard drive that gave Stone Bridge a 21-7 lead.
After the big stop in the third quarter and Thomas's touchdown run, the Bulldogs' defense forced another three and out and Rositano caught his second touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter to send the Bulldogs to the state playoffs for a fourth straight season. They will travel to the winner of Saturday's Northwest Region final between No. 3 Osbourn (11-0) and Mountain View (8-3).
"It's great," Rositano said. "All the hard work from the summer, lifting through the season and just working together and doing the little things has helped us out to get this championship."