O'Connell 31,

Bishop Ireton 24

O'Connell hadn't practiced it, but when the Knights needed a big play, it was perfect.

Junior running back Ylou Brown, taking the snap directly from center, threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to junior Jordan Trimble with 38 seconds left in the game to give O'Connell a come-from-behind 31-24 victory over Bishop Ireton yesterday in Arlington.

"We just drew up that play in the dirt," said O'Connell Coach Steve Trimble, Jordan's father. "We saw that their corners were trying to come up to stop the run, and we just wanted Brown to toss it to" Jordan.

It's understandable that the visiting Cardinals would be concerned about the run. Brown rushed 11 times for 86 yards, and his second touchdown of the game -- a 10-yard run with 5 minutes 57 seconds left in the game -- tied the score at 24 after Bishop Ireton had led 24-9 early in the fourth quarter.

"We just pulled together and came up with the victory," said Brown, who sealed the win with an interception with 11 seconds left. "We couldn't give up right there. I was just determined to get every yard I could. We have been waiting for this since last year."

In 2004, Bishop Ireton won, 23-0, in the season opener, bucking the trend in a series that has long been dominated by O'Connell. The game set the tone for both teams' seasons. The Knights went on to finish 2-8 and failed to make the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference playoffs. Bishop Ireton finished 8-2 and earned a berth to the state playoffs.

Ireton (1-1), however, couldn't hang on this season. The Knights (1-0) took advantage of a personal foul penalty on the visitors to move to the Cardinals 4-yard line early in the fourth quarter. Sophomore running back Antonio Cross scored with 11:34 remaining to cap a seven-play, 80-yard drive and make the score 24-16. The series was highlighted by a 45-yard run from Brown.

After Brown scored on the Knights' next possession to tie the game, Trimble intercepted a pass and returned it 19 yards to midfield to set up the winning drive.

"We made way too many mistakes," Bishop Ireton Coach Brian Inman said. "I thought we were in better shape than we were. But we ran out of gas. We couldn't finish the job. They had some big plays, and we didn't have any answers."

And no play was bigger than Brown's game-winning pass to Trimble, who reached high for the lofty toss and tumbled into the end zone with a defender on his back.

"I knew that I could catch it," Trimble said. "I felt like if he [Brown] could get the throw up there, I would catch it. The end result is all that matters."

Ireton's Andrew Rodriguez, right, can't prevent O'Connell's Jordan Trimble from scoring the winning touchdown with 38 seconds left in the game.