* 'HUGE' WIN: In a disjointed 19-0 home loss Monday night to Osbourn, Stonewall Jackson did not look like a team that could recover in time to knock off Fauquier just four days later. But that's what the Raiders did in a 22-15 road win Friday.
"It was a little bit of a surprise," Coach Jim Powell said. "It's huge. We're extremely young, and I think it will help our confidence. It might not help us win, but it will really help us practice better."
Stonewall has just six seniors and starts 11 sophomores. That has put pressure not only on the handful of veteran players but also on the young Raiders who have been forced to learn on the job.
The seniors "are kind of swamped right now," Powell said. "It's hard for [six] kids to lead 40 others. But they've been doing an excellent job of leadership. Even in our losses, they've probably been our most consistent players."
The seniors, many of whom were crucial to the win at Fauquier, are linemen Brian Hastadt, Chandler Terry and Josh Challberg; receiver/defensive back John Puvogel; linebacker Nick Maxwell; and defensive back Joe Montagna.
Puvogel secured the win Friday with an interception around the Stonewall Jackson 15-yard line late in the fourth quarter.
* BACKFIELD LOSSES: Manassas Park not only lost its chance to move to 4-0, it lost key players on consecutive downs Friday night in the fourth quarter of a gritty 21-14 setback at King George. The winning touchdown came on a 35-yard interception return with about 10 minutes left in the game.
Sophomore running back/rover Jonathan Abrams separated his shoulder. The Cougars, idle next week, hope he can return by the Strasburg game on Oct. 1. Senior running back James Fitchett sustained a cracked right shinbone and is likely to be out for the season.
"Abrams is the one kid we really can't replace on either side of the football," said Coach Jeff Lloyd, who thinks his team can salvage a lot of good from a narrow loss to an unbeaten Virginia AA team that uses far fewer two-way players than the Cougars.
"It's disappointing in the fact that we're no longer undefeated and that we had a chance to beat a team a lot of people didn't think we could," Lloyd said. "But the gratifying thing is that down the road this game is going to help us out if we beat some people and get to the playoffs. This was a playoff-type atmosphere, and we rose to the challenge."
With the score tied at 14, Manassas Park lined up to attempt a 38-yard field goal late in the third quarter, but because of a high snap, senior holder Brett Jenkins tried unsuccessfully to turn the mishap into a touchdown.
Jenkins and senior quarterback B.J. Treuting had hooked up on a 26-yard touchdown pass and two-point conversion to tie the game at 14 in the third quarter. Junior Nick Bertrand carried 21 times for 213 yards and a touchdown. A Bertrand fumble at midfield set up King George's second score.
Lloyd said if his team had been able to score a touchdown to pull to within 21-20, he would have attempted a two-point conversion.
"We were gassed," he said. "We had nothing left."
* SHIRT TALE: When the Osbourn players emerged from their postgame huddle after a 19-0 win Monday at Stonewall Jackson, it was obvious that senior punter/kicker Sean McLaughlin had dressed for the occasion.
He peeled off his jersey to reveal a "Beat Stonewall" T-shirt, a gift from younger brother Aaron.
"I wasn't trying to upset any of [the Stonewall players], I just did it for the guys to get them fired up," McLaughlin said. "I'm not trying to make any grudges. I'm a kicker, but I like to get fired up for the games."
McLaughlin, the All-Extra punter last season, kicked field goals of 24 and 25 yards against Stonewall Jackson, and came up just short on a 47-yarder.
"I hit it straight, but I didn't hit it as well as I thought I could," said McLaughlin, who booted a 33-yarder in the season-opening loss at King George.
* BOOSTER REMEMBERED: McLaughlin's T-shirt paled in comparison to a much greater inspirational factor Monday night--the death the previous day of longtime Osbourn supporter Johnnie Foster. He was 79.
Foster was a fixture at Osbourn football games and even rode to away games with the team.
"The kids took that to heart," said Eagles Coach Randy Bove, who planned to honor Foster by taking a team-signed football to the funeral home. "That kind of lit the spark underneath our kids. I told the kids that's what football's all about--someone like that. . . . He just comes and supports the team."
As a first-year coach, Bove was surprised when, on the way to his first scrimmage, he saw an unfamiliar elderly man--Foster--riding the team's bus. The Osbourn veterans told Bove about Foster's staunch support and his habit of bringing bubble gum for the players and sunflower seeds for the coaches.
Foster was so well known in the Osbourn community that Athletic Director Wayne Gryder put his funeral arrangements on the school's activities hot line.
* SPECIAL TEAMS WOES: Stafford used the return of a blocked punt and the recovery of a fumbled punt to set up both its touchdowns in a 13-12 win over Osbourn Park last week. Friday night, in a 20-0 loss to Courtland, it was special teams play that most hurt the Indians.
A blocked punt set up one touchdown, and the Cougars scored another touchdown off a fake field goal.
Stafford has been shut out in four of its past 11 games and has scored just one touchdown in four other games during that stretch.
* WEIRD SCHEDULE: With his team unable to practice Wednesday and Thursday because of the heavy rain brought by Floyd, Brooke Point Coach Tom Berry was fretting not only about the lack of practice time to prepare for Osbourn Park but also about his players' disrupted home routines.
"I had to call all our kids Thursday and say, 'Look, we might play Friday, so you guys don't stay up late tonight,' " Berry said. "They slept in late Thursday morning, and then they get out of a schedule.
"Here we are going through a walkthrough in the gym [Friday] afternoon, and I'm looking at my Wednesday and Thursday practice schedules: We didn't do this, we didn't get to go over this again. Thursday's our day when we just sharpen everything up. We couldn't even sharpen. We were kind of scrambling."
The short practice week did not seem to hinder the team, particularly defensively, in a 20-0 win at Osbourn Park. The Yellow Jackets started four possessions on the Brooke Point side of the field, but the Black-Hawks allowed them to reach the 15-yard line just once.
Brooke Point has allowed just 17 points in three games heading into its meeting this week with No. 14 North Stafford. The loss was Osbourn Park's fifth by shutout the past 10 games.
One bright spot for Osbourn Park was the punting of junior Jimi Hooper, who booted a 56-yarder in the third quarter that rolled to a stop at the 4-yard line. Another punt by Hooper was downed at the 14.
"I didn't know whether to order hip pads or diapers."
--Stonewall Jackson Coach Jim Powell on his team's youth. Because of transfers and ineligibilities, the Raiders have just six seniors.
Stonewall Jackson 22, Fauquier 15
Brooke Point 20, Osbourn Park 0
Courtland 20, Stafford 0
Brentsville 36, Colonial Forge 6
King George 21, Manassas Park 14
Virginia Beach Catholic at Quantico
Woodbridge at Dinwiddie
Dunbar at Hylton
Annandale at Gar-Field
Park View at Osbourn
North Stafford at Potomac
Quantico at Randolph-Macon, 4
Chantilly at Stonewall Jackson, 7:30
Osbourn at Gar-Field, 7:30
Hylton at Osbourn Park, 7:30
Potomac at Woodbridge, 7:30
Brooke Point at North Stafford, 7:30
James Wood at Stafford, 7:30
Ireton at Brentsville, 7:30
Bull Run District