Westfield 21, Centreville 14
A few steps into the run, it appeared that Westfield senior running back Dan Carmack might have enough room to gain a yard or two. But he didn't go down.
In a steady, cold rain, Carmack continued to wind his way through the mud and muck on that run late in the fourth quarter last night, managing to stay on his feet for 47 yards, breaking tackles until he stumbled into the end zone for the decisive touchdown in No. 9 Westfield's come-from-behind, 21-14 victory over No. 3 Centreville before approximately 3,000 spectators at Chantilly.
The game was one of the most anticipated Northern Virginia regular season contests in recent memory -- and it lived up to its advance billing despite the wretched field conditions. The Bulldogs (10-0, 4-0 Concorde District) overcame a 14-0 deficit behind the passing of quarterback Sean Glennon, the receiving of Eddie Royal, Justin Born and Chris Black and, of course, the determined running of Carmack.
Westfield's triumph clinched the three-year-old school's first AAA Concorde District title, while ending Centreville's undefeated season and snapping the Wildcats' five-year reign in the league. The Bulldogs also clinched the top seed in next week's four-team Division 6 AAA Northern Region playoff tournament.
"I don't normally single out any one player," Westfield Coach Tom Verbanic told his players after the game. "But that run by Dan Carmack, on the last touchdown, that run right there typified our effort as a team tonight."
Westfield will host Oakton (7-3) next weekend in a first-round region game. Centreville (9-1, 3-1) received the third seed and will travel to defending region and state champion, No. 1 Robinson (10-0).
"That run had nothing to do with me, it was all my blockers," said Carmack, who rushed for 64 yards on 12 carries. "I got blocks from my linemen and from my receivers. I thought for a second I might fall down because it was so muddy."
Centreville controlled much of the first half, slipping and sliding its way to a 14-0 lead on a pair of touchdown runs by speedy junior running back Daniel Bailey (127 yards on 23 carries). But Westfield scored late in the half on a one-yard run by Glennon (14 of 25 for 204 yards) to trim the Centreville lead to 14-7.
Westfield carried the momentum into the third quarter, tying the game at 14 at 4 minutes 22 seconds on a diving catch by Chris Black in the rear of the end zone after another great throw by Glennon.
Then Carmack's run sealed the victory.
"That was unbelievable," Glennon said. "I don't know what else to say about it. It was incredible."