Park View 33,
Potomac Falls 27
With first place in the AA Dulles District on the line, visiting Park View got a one-yard touchdown run from quarterback C.J. Leizear in overtime for a 33-27 win against Potomac Falls that capped a rally from a 14-point halftime deficit.
The Patriots (4-4, 3-0) were able to hold on to victory despite having trouble containing Potomac Falls senior quarterback/running back Jay Branom, who accounted for 351 yards of total offense. Branom, who had more than 100 yards rushing after the first quarter, finished with 49 carries for 234 yards with three touchdowns. Branom also was 6 of 14 passing for 117 yards and two interceptions.
With his team down 21-7 at intermission, Park View Coach Andy Hill reminded his players what was at stake.
"At halftime we were honest with our guys," Hill said. "Our offensive and defensive line wasn't up to par in the first half, and we told our players we were 24 minutes away from letting all of our seniors down, because if we don't win this game, we probably don't make the playoffs."
Leizear and junior running back Deric Dudinski led the Patriots' second-half resurgence. Dudinski's 125 rushing yards on 16 carries were highlighted by touchdown runs of 65 and six yards in the third quarter. The Patriots converted a two-point conversion on Dudinski's second touchdown when Leizear connected with senior Raymond Mends to tie the game at 21.
With 4 minutes 18 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Leizear led the Patriots to the end zone again when he hit senior Kerry Dudley on a seven-yard screen pass. The Patriots missed the extra point and took a 27-21 lead with 2:43 seconds left in regulation.
The Panthers (3-5, 2-1) began their ensuing possession on their 31 with a reverse to junior wideout Christopher Frank, who attempted to pass, but Patriots senior safety Greg Stuart intercepted the ball. The Patriots seemed to have the game in hand until Stuart, who was attempting to advance his interception, was stripped of the ball by senior wideout Kwaku Mensah. Mensah returned the ball 40 yards to tie the game at 27.
The Panthers bench, overly excited after the play, was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct, adding 15 yards to the extra point attempt. Potomac Falls missed the point after try just wide right, and the game went into overtime.
After Leizear's touchdown, the Patriots missed the extra point. But Park View's defense made sure it didn't matter, keeping Branom and the Panthers offense out of the end zone to ensure the win.
"I knew it would take heart and determination to win this game, and that's exactly what it came down to," Leizear said.