Park View 46,
Broad Run 23
Park View senior Raymond Mends said his old gloves had "gotten a little rusty." So he bought a new pair before Friday night's non-district game against Broad Run -- and sophomore quarterback Christopher Leizear made sure he wasted no time breaking them in.
Mends started a long night of scoring by hauling in a 51-yard touchdown pass from Leizear on the Patriots' opening possession. By game's end he had added an 85-yard touchdown reception and a 63-yard scoring run. For good measure, Mends also threw the key block on a 36-yard scoring run by junior Deric Dudinski and kicked four extra points in Park View's 46-23 win, its first of the season.
"This is just the beginning for us," Mends said. "Being 0-3 didn't mean anything. We stayed together as a team, and we worked for this."
Leizear carried his share of the load, completing 15 of 24 passes for a school-record 371 yards and four touchdowns.
"We came into the game wanting to establish the run, and the first couple of series we were doing that," said Park View Coach Andy Hill, who earned his first career victory. "But then it started to break down a little, and either we weren't holding our blocks long enough or we were missing at the point of attack. And when the offense started to stall we had to make adjustments."
What the Patriots found was tremendous poise on the part of their sophomore signal caller -- and great open field running by his receivers. Mends led the way with five catches for 151 yards and two touchdowns, tight end Joey Stefanacci added four catches for 65 yards, and wide receiver Daniel Foley went 74 yards for a touchdown on his only reception.
"I didn't know what to expect coming in, but the team just played a great game," Leizear said. "All of these guys, they have my back out there. Guys like Raymond, who I know if I put the ball up he'll either go get it or knock it down so I don't have to worry about an interception. That gives me a lot of confidence."
Broad Run answered early -- starting with a 77-yard touchdown run by senior Thayer Nelson on its second play from scrimmage and a 19-yard touchdown pass from Ryan McNey to Tyler Skidgel later in the second quarter that gave the Spartans a 12-7 lead.
But Nelson went out with 1 minute 55 seconds left in the first half with an injured right foot, and the Spartans' offense sputtered without him. Nelson, who will be re-examined this week, said he was told the injury might be his Achilles tendon.
"Standing there having to just watch the game, that was the worst thing ever," said Nelson, who finished with a game-high 106 yards rushing on eight carries. "I felt like I was doing a good job in there, and I hated letting my teammates down. I'm just glad we'll get to see them again."
Park View will travel to Broad Run in the regular season finale for both teams.
"Thayer is a great football player, and not having him obviously hurt them," Hill said. "But that doesn't take away from the things we did well out there. And we just need to continue to focus on our team and building our program for the rest of the year to get us where we want to be."