Stone Bridge 17,
Loudoun Valley 14
The eruption on the Stone Bridge sideline -- and the frenzy that ensued among the more than 3,500 spectators in attendance Friday night in Ashburn -- came with just 15 seconds to play. That's when quarterback Terrence Glenn found running back Shamar Knight-Justice open deep down the right sideline for a 45-yard touchdown pass to cap a dramatic, 17-14 come-from-behind victory over Loudoun Valley that included two Bulldogs touchdowns in the game's final 3 minutes 18 seconds.
"This is the kind of game that can set the tone for a season," Stone Bridge Coach Mickey Thompson said. "This is the kind of win the kids can rally around and really start to believe in themselves."
Stone Bridge (2-1) was in severe danger of losing its first back-to-back games since October of 2000, its inaugural year of play, following last week's loss at No. 16 Oakton. The Bulldogs had scored their first touchdown with 3:18 to go on a one-yard run by Glenn to pull to within four. The defense held the Vikings on fourth down and handed the ball back over to Glenn and company with 1:17 to play.
That's when Knight-Justice, a senior, went to his quarterback and pleaded for the ball.
"I wanted the ball in my hands," he said.
Knight-Justice had been telling Glenn the entire second half that he was open for a deep pass, and it wasn't that Glenn didn't believe him. But Glenn, a junior in his first season starting, was struggling with his throws and, admittedly, with his nerves as well.
"I'm not going to lie, I was scared," said Glenn, who ultimately accounted for 255 of the Bulldogs' 301 yards of offense. "They have a great defense, and we hadn't really been able to do anything against them all night. But I guess my desire not to let my team down was stronger than my nerves, because we made it happen."
Glenn scrambled twice in that final series for gains of 16 and 22 yards, once escaping the grasp of a Loudoun Valley defender who seemed to have him tackled for a loss.
"He had me by the jersey and was dragging me down backwards," Glenn said. "But I just kept my feet moving and somehow got away."
Then, on second and nine from the Vikings' 45-yard line with less than 20 seconds to play, Glenn topped that spectacular run. He rolled right and dropped the ball snugly into the arms of Knight-Justice about two yards shy of the goal line. Knight-Justice dove into the end zone and the celebration began.
"It was in my head the whole fourth quarter that in my time here we'd never lost two in a row," said Knight-Justice. "And I knew we needed a lot to come back, so I was getting worried. But then it all happened so quick. I swear I don't even remember what happened, or even catching the ball. I couldn't believe it. I kept having to look back at the scoreboard to make sure I hadn't imagined it."
He hadn't -- nor had the Vikings, who were clearly shaken by the loss. Loudoun Valley (2-1), which was sparked by 155 yards rushing by senior Tommy Schonder, has not beaten the Bulldogs in six tries since Stone Bridge opened in 2000.
"If I had the right things to say to the kids after that kind of game I'd be a millionaire," Loudoun Valley Coach Bruce Sheppard said. "There's nothing I can say to ease their pain right now. I know how much this meant to them, how much they wanted it. But I also know what kind of character they have, and they're going to work through it and bounce back."