Dominion senior running back Tony Armenteros had scored on his first play from scrimmage in each of the Titans' last three games, a fact with which Park View players and coaches were more than a little familiar.
There was another such score last night in Sterling -- but this time is was the host Patriots doing the trick.
Park View junior Deric Dudinski went 70 yards for a touchdown the first time he touched the ball in this Virginia AA Dulles District game, and his long run, coupled with two defensive touchdowns in the opening quarter, paved the way for a 41-16 homecoming victory.
The win improved the Patriots to 3-4 overall and 2-0 in the AA Dulles District, setting up a first-place showdown next week at Potomac Falls, which improved to 3-4 and 2-0 in the league with a victory over Loudoun County.
"They took our heart there in that first quarter when we gave up that second defensive touchdown," said Dominion Coach Mike Dougherty, whose team fell to 3-4 overall and 1-1 a week after earning its first district win. "We got it back a little in the second half and responded, but we're still not the kind of offensive team who can come back from a 21-point deficit. But then, not too many teams can against an offense like theirs, either."
In addition to the two defensive scores -- a 65-yard fumble return by junior Chris Davies and a 60-yard interception return by senior Greg Stuart -- the Patriots also benefited from three other interceptions, two more fumble recoveries and four sacks that crippled a Titans offense that otherwise moved the ball with regularity, totaling 250 yards.
Park View sophomore defensive end Camah Mulabah Jr. registered three of his team's four sacks, bringing his season total to six in two games since returning from a broken foot suffered during the preseason.
"Nothing gets you more excited as a defensive player than seeing your guys score," Mulabah said. "That pumped all of us up, and the offense, too. We needed that in a big game like this."
The Patriots led 27-0 at halftime after adding a 39-yard scoring pass from sophomore C.J. Leizear (8 of 13 passing, 187 yards) to Dudinski (140 yards rushing, 63 receiving) midway through the second quarter, and then matched each of the Titans' two scores in the second half.
"The thing about Dominion is that they're a tough football team who is well coached, so even when we were up 27-0 I knew they were going to keep coming after us," Park View Coach Andy Hill said. "But it was good to see our team kept pace with them and kept our energy up, too. We're a team that seems to be getting better every week, and that's encouraging."