Woodbridge retired the numbers of three former football players at halftime of its game Friday against Forest Park. Before and after that ceremony, senior running back Andre Bratton played as if he would someday like to join that list.
On a night when the Vikings (3-1) honored former Denver Broncos defensive back Tony Lilly, ex-Virginia Tech standout Shawn Scales and current Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Matt Lehr, Bratton carried 18 times for 258 yards and two touchdowns in a 38-14 win. In four games, Bratton has rushed for 740 yards.
Bratton bulked up by about 15 pounds to help avoid the injuries that had pockmarked his high school career. The return of senior fullback Derrick Holt, who attended Gar-Field in 2003, also has helped. The two have combined for 1,224 yards and 11 touchdowns toiling behind a senior-less offensive line.
Bratton "can actually stiff-arm some people and push them away and not be as easy to tackle, with great vision and all the stuff he [already] had," said Woodbridge Coach Keith King, whose team hosts No. 8 Hylton on Saturday. "The first time you see him [two years ago] you're amazed that he's a sophomore, and with natural progression and getting a little older, he seems better and better."
-- Preston Williams