Sophomore quarterback-defensive back Zach Terrell threw for a touchdown, ran for a score and made a game-saving tackle on a two-point conversion attempt with 24.2 seconds left as Manassas Park defeated visiting Riverheads, 14-13, in a Virginia A Region B Division 1 semifinal on Friday.
Manassas Park (10-1), hosting its first playoff game since the late 1980s, held down a Riverheads squad (9-2) that had outscored its previous five opponents, 266-26.
The game featured the return of Manassas Park sophomore wide receiver A.C. Fitchett, who had been sidelined for four games with a thigh injury. The first time he touched the ball, Fitchett took a Terrell pass 63 yards for a touchdown, the eighth time the duo has connected for a score this season.
Dunbar junior quarterback Stadford Brown completed 11 of 14 passes for a career-high 304 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions as the Crimson Tide rolled to a 52-8 victory over host Wilson on Friday. The victory clinches a fifth straight D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association West division title for Dunbar (9-1, 4-0).
Senior tight end Vernon Davis caught four passes for a career-high 186 yards and two touchdowns against Wilson (6-3, 3-1). The Crimson Tide also rushed for 183 yards. Senior linebacker Craig Gilbeaux anchors a defense which has yielded 63 points all year and posted five shutouts.
Friday night, Gilbeaux had 10 tackles and three sacks. Junior nose tackle Christopher Harden had seven tackles and two sacks for Dunbar, which will host a DCIAA playoff game next week.
Greg Justice was removed as North County's football coach this week after an 0-10 season, the worst finish in school history.
North County went 2-18 in two seasons under Justice and was shut out in half its games this fall. Justice was informed of the decision, first reported in the Annnapolis Capital on Wednesday, during a meeting with Principal Patricia Plitt and Athletic Director Mike Baker.
The decision "was made because I was not pleased with the performance and the lack of taking responsibility on certain situations," said Plitt.
Six North County players were suspended earlier in the season after an alleged assault on a North County player at an August camp. State police and social services are still investigating the incident, Plitt said.
Paul VI Triumphs
Paul VI Catholic sophomore Maria Sotirchos, the Panthers' No. 1 singles player, has faced Holy Cross junior Madeline Long more times than she can remember. They've met in junior tennis tournaments and Washington Catholic Athletic Conference matches, yet Sotirchos could not recall ever beating Long.
That changed on Friday, when Sotirchos defeated Long, 10-7, to help Paul VI to its second straight WCAC girls' tennis championship at the Tennis Center at College Park. The Panthers finished the three-day tournament with 40 points; Holy Cross had 30.
"It was so exciting and I was trying really, really hard because I wanted us to win," Sotirchos said. "At first I was nervous about the team, but then I saw everyone winning and that brought me confidence."
Paul VI (11-1, 11-0 WCAC) got important points from Elena Lagos, who is undefeated at No. 5 singles, and the No. 3 doubles combination of sisters Sarah and Susie Sullivan, who have a 29-0 WCAC record the past three years.
-- Christian Swezey, Tom Kenny, Will Toussaint
and Heather A. Dinich