Manassas Park 20, Broad Run 7
Trailing by 13 points early in the fourth quarter of its loss to the Prince William County school Manassas Park on Friday night, Broad Run showed signs of a drive.
Senior quarterback Ryan McNey completed a 22-yard pass to Tyler Skidgel, and the Spartans ran to the line of scrimmage looking for a quick play. But confusion reigned, and Broad Run had to call a timeout. Two plays later, the Spartans fumbled away possession.
Such bursts of proficiency followed by missteps characterized Broad Run's 20-7 loss. Turnovers, penalties and missed assignments hurt the Spartans (0-2) as much as did Manassas Park (2-0) senior quarterback Jay Terrell, who had almost 200 yards of total offense and was involved in the Cougars' three scores.
"We've got to stop making so many mistakes," Broad Run Coach Ken Belchik said. "We made enough for four games tonight. We're just going to have to get back down to basics in the next week to make sure we do better than this one."
Some of the Spartans' errors, four turnovers chief among them, could be excused because of a lack of experience. Broad Run returned just three starters from last season, the lowest number in the AA Dulles District.
One player with experience, senior quarterback Alex Feemster, injured his Achilles tendon in the second quarter, and after trying to play on it for a series missed the second half. His status is uncertain for Friday's game at Jefferson (W.Va.). If Feemster cannot play, then McNey, who connected with Skidgel for the Spartans' lone touchdown in the third quarter, is likely to take his place.
After Feemster was hurt -- and with the Spartans trailing 14-0 -- Broad Run hit on a formula that brought some success: handing the ball to senior running back Thayer Nelson. He carried seven straight times for 52 yards in a drive midway through the second quarter. But the Spartans could not score, turning it over on downs. Nelson was not able to put together a similar streak for the rest of the game.
"Every single time we cross the 50 and don't score, it hurts," Nelson said. "When we're inside the 10, it hurts even more."
After Broad Run's last-minute loss to Paul VI Catholic to open the season, Manassas Park was probably not the team it wanted to face. The Cougars, Class A Division 2 state champions, have won 26 straight regular season games.