Manassas Park Coach Jeff Lloyd said before his team's opening game last night against non-district foe Quantico that he wanted his team to set the tone with defense, establish a running game and then work on completing some passes. With juniors Devin Thornton and Nick Bertrand leading the way, the Cougars met all three goals within the first nine minutes of a 54-6 victory.
Thornton and Bertrand each scored two touchdowns to give the Cougars (1-0) a comfortable lead before visiting Quantico had earned a first down. The Warriors (0-1), who won the four-team Delaney Athletic Conference last season, were overmatched. They averted the shutout on junior Aulbrey Elisha's 72-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
"That is a well-coached team. They executed well, and we made too many mistakes," Quantico Coach Ken Woodie said.
After Quantico gained a net one yard on the game's first three plays from scrimmage, Manassas Park sophomore defensive end Michael Hopkins blocked Jesse Schenkoske's punt. Thornton scooped it up and ran 20 yards into the end zone for a quick 6-0 lead.
"The blocked punt was huge," Lloyd said. "Right away it deflated Quantico a little bit because they hadn't had a chance to play defense, and they were already down, 6-0.
The Cougars' defense held Quantico without positive yardage on its next three plays from scrimmage, and after a successful punt, Manassas Park's offense took the field for the first time. Bertrand bounced off the left side of the line on the first play and outraced the Warriors' secondary for a 32-yard score.
Manassas Park scored on the first play of its next drive when senior quarterback B.J. Treuting found Thornton with a 12-yard pass over the middle, and he took it the remaining 22 yards for a 20-0 lead. Bertrand needed two plays to add to the lead with runs of eight and 27 yards.
Quantico's most successful play was an inside reverse, which it ran to both sides. The Warriors ran the play five times for 102 yards, including Elisha's touchdown run. Aside from the touchdown, however, the Warriors totaled just 95 net yards.
Lloyd tempered his optimism, however.
"Quantico played as hard as they could, to their credit," Lloyd said. "What you don't want is for your players to think they are better than they are. This team was on the other end of results like these just a couple years ago, and we have some tough opponents ahead."
Quantico (0-1) 0 0 0 6--6
Manassas Park (1-0) 33 0 7 14--54
MP--Thornton 20 blocked punt return (kick failed)
MP--Bertrand 32 run (Treuting run)
MP--Thornton 34 pass from Treuting (pass failed)
MP--Bertrand 27 run (Treuting kick)
MP--Fitchett 26 run (kick failed)
MP--Newman 44 pass from Treuting (Treuting kick)
MP--Newman 6 run (Treuting kick)
Q--Elisha 72 run (run failed)
MP--Abrams 4 run (Treuting kick)
RUSHING--Quantico: Elisha 4-92, Anderson 13-35; Manassas Park: Bertrand 6-104, Abrams 10-70, Fitchett 5-57.
PASSING--Quantico: Schenkoske 1-10-2 15; Manassas Park: Treuting 4-8-0 106.
RECEIVING--Quantico: Anderson 1-15; Manassas Park: Thornton 2-46.