On a night during which North Stafford's high-powered offense struggled, the Wolverines took advantage of their opponents' mistakes, beating George Washington-Danville, 23-21, in the first round of the Northwestern Region playoffs tonight.
Still, North Stafford's first-ever playoff victory was a record-setting one. Quarterback Chris Ashinhurst threw for only 147 yards on the night, but it was enough to set the state record for passing yardage in one season. The senior's 3,054 yards passing surpasses Handley's Brian Partlow's total of 3,014 in 1994.
Also, junior wide receiver Nate Ilaoa caught five passes for 45 yards, in the process setting the Virginia AAA mark for yards receiving in a season. Ilaoa came into the game with 1,190 yards receiving, which tied him with Princess Anne's Charlie Carr, who set the mark in 1963.
The Wolverines (10-1) will play Hylton next Friday in the regional Division 6 final.
GW-Danville (8-3) was the impressive team early on, holding the vaunted Wolverines offense to only 95 yards in the first half and taking a 14-7 lead into halftime.
Danville squandered its opportunities to score in the second half, missing two field goals and fumbling into the North Stafford end zone for a turnover.
The Wolverines offense came alive after the first missed kick, with Allen Woodbridge scoring on a 5-yard run to cap an 80-yard, 11-play drive that knotted the score at 14 with 3 minutes 30 seconds to play in the third quarter.
North Stafford followed the Eagles' second failed field goal with another sustained drive, which ended with Woodbridge scoring from one yard out. Jeremy Bosken missed the point-after attempt, and the Wolverines led 20-14 with 5:30 remaining in the game.
The Eagles came apart on their ensuing possession when quarterback Jeremy Motley fumbled on his own 37 and linebacker Matt Barrett recovered for North Stafford.
Bosken made a 35-yard field goal, sealing the Wolverines' first-ever playoff victory.
"I can't describe it," North Stafford Coach Chris Beatty said. "To come down here and beat them with all of the tradition they've got. I've been involved in college and pro games, and this is the most excited I've ever been."
North Stafford (10-1) 7 0 7 9--23
GW-Danville (8-3) 7 7 0 7--21
GW--Lewis 43 run (Bass kick)
NS--Woodbridge 1 run (Bosken kick)
GW--Knight 33 run (Bass kick)
NS--Woodbridge 5 run (Bosken kick)
NS--Woodbridge 1 run (kick failed)
NS--Bosken 35 FG
GW--Echols 2 run (Bass kick)
RUSHING--North Stafford: Woodbridge 25-97, Edwards 3-15, Ashinhurst 8-5, Bucher 1-11; GW-Danville: Knight 9-53, Echols 4-27, Motley 23-76, Jackson 2-20, Lewis 5-42.
PASSING--North Stafford: Ashinhurst 15-26-1 147; GW-Danville: Motley 3-7-0 70.
RECEIVING--North Stafford: Bucher 1-4, Ilaoa 5-45, Woodbridge 2-6, Edwards 5-62, Baldwin 1-30; GW-Danville: A. Fitzgerald 1-43, Venable 1-4, Sittle 1-23.