Positive and Negative Reactions
The list of errors ran long for Heritage after its 28-14 loss to Brentsville on Monday night.
So too, though, did Heritage Coach Wes Driskill's list of positives.
That's because despite an array of miscues -- from poor punt snaps to fumbles and missed assignments -- the Pride fought back from a 21-0 deficit at home early in the second quarter to put the Tigers on their heels in the second half. Heritage yielded only 165 yards of total offense for the game but was undone by poor field position. All three of Brentsville's first-half touchdowns came on drives that began inside Heritage's 11-yard line.
"There's no question that, fundamentally, we weren't very good," Driskill said. "Especially not on special teams or with our ball protection. It's not like we don't practice those things, but we have to be ready to execute them.
"But we have some time to bounce back before we open up our district schedule against Broad Run [Oct. 1]. We have time to rally around each other and fix our mistakes. There are still seven games left, and a lot can happen in that time."
And unlike a year ago, when Heritage struggled -- it averaged five points per game -- the Pride (1-2 overall) has the firepower this season to score in a hurry. Heritage is averaging 20.7 points per game on the strength of junior quarterback Bryan Brosnan (7 of 14 passing, 153 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception against Brentsville) and an array of talented receivers. Six players this season have caught passes, including touchdowns receptions by Chris Hunter (2), Quinn Tibbs (2) and Chris Smith (1).
"We didn't give up in this game, and I'm very proud of that," Driskill said. "And, even more importantly, we worked together as players and coaches to find ways to adjust to what was happening on the field. And you saw the difference that made in the second half. We just need to keep fighting."
Many Happy Returns
Eighteenth-ranked Stone Bridge continued to roll through its nonconference schedule Monday with a 49-27 victory over visiting Bishop O'Connell. The scoring was highlighted by two big special teams plays, a 72-yard punt return by senior Khalil Conteh in the second quarter and a 93-yard kickoff return by junior Nate Hawkins in the third.
Conteh had two kickoff returns for touchdowns in 2003, but this was his first punt return for a score. It was also Hawkins's first touchdown on special teams.
Stone Bridge also had four players score rushing touchdowns and got a 50-yard scoring pass from senior Sean Ryan to senior Brian Calloway.
"Offensively, we seemed to hit a better stride this week," said Stone Bridge Coach Mickey Thompson, whose team will next play Oct. 1 in a AA Dulles District battle against rival Park View. "And defensively we've shown some great signs. We have all the makings, if we put it together, to be a really good team. But right now we're still making some mistakes in our alignments and assignments that we need to fix, some errors that led to touchdowns in this game. We won't be able to afford to have those kinds of errors against Park View."
Double (Overtime) Trouble
Fauquier narrowly missed giving Coach Tom Ferrell the 58th victory of his career -- one that will make him the school's all-time winningest coach -- Monday night with 6-3 loss to Culpeper in double overtime. The visiting Falcons, who got a career-high 140 yards rushing from senior Chris Douglas, fumbled the ball six times.
Culpeper had six miscues of its own -- all coming on missed field goals. Freshman Carter Mills, who hit from 37 and 29 yards, missed from 35, 49 and 44 yards and had attempts of 54 (Matt Heflin), 39 (Derek Clegg) and 29 (Douglas) yards blocked.
-- Angela Watts