Oakton Overwhelms Bulldogs

Cougars Claim District Title as Four Players Combine for 327 Rushing Yards

By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Saturday, October 25, 2008; Page E07

Oakton managed only a one-yard gain on the opening snap of its 30-18 win at No. 18 Westfield last night. But that one yard went a long way for the third-ranked Cougars to make their point.

Senior quarterback Chris Coyer lined up with an empty backfield behind him, a twin set of receivers split wide to his right and another receiver to his left. Coyer then called for a shift to a tight formation that put him under center with both the Cougars' explosive running backs -- Jonathan Meadows and Trey Watts -- behind him.

Then Coyer took the ball himself for the modest gain. All the while, the other playmakers in Oakton's deep lineup chomped at the bit.

The shift was a bold and intimidating statement that showed the crowd of 6,000 that the Cougars (9-0, 5-0 Virginia AAA Concorde District) have the offensive talent, and then some, to do what they want, when they want.

"We were doing that to throw them off a little bit because we haven't gone under center all year," said Coyer, who capped the game-opening drive with a 22-yard touchdown pass to Jay Young.

Coyer, who passed for 99 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 97 yards and another score was one of four ball-carriers who combined for 327 rushing yards (6.5 yards per carry), including Watts (14 carries, 120 yards), Meadows (16-75) and Ryan Harris, who shares time with Coyer behind center and rushed four times for 35 yards.

The win not only avenged last season's 35-0 loss to Westfield (7-2,3-2), but also clinched the Concorde title for Oakton, which plays Herndon (6-3, 3-2) next week as it tries to finish with the school's first unbeaten regular season/

"There's people on the bench that, if they were at any other team at any other school, they could play," said Watts, a 5-foot-11, 187-pound senior.

Oakton dresses 65 players, has used 10 ball-carriers, had a game in which seven players scored, rotates defensive linemen on nearly every play and could end up with three players -- Watts, Meadows, and Coyer -- with more than 1,000 yards.

Last night, the star-studded rotation helped Oakton overcome a huge effort from Westfield senior running back Jordan Anderson, a 6-foot, 205-pound power-runner who scored on tackle-breaking efforts of 71 and 3 yards and recorded 134 of his 176 yards in the first half.

"We think of ourselves as blessed to have the talent that we do," Coyer said.

No.3 Oakton 30 No. 18 Westfield 18 A Web of Interest: A 6 minute 38 second YouTube video of Westfield's 35-0 rout of Oakton last season has received nearly 8,500 hits. A Nice Run: Westfield, which lost in double overtime to Herndon last week, suffered consecutive losses for the first time since it went 5-5 in 2001.

© 2008 The Washington Post Company