Twice this season No. 18 Stone Bridge was taken to overtime, and twice more the Bulldogs trailed with less than 20 seconds to play. All four times, including last night's Virginia AAA Northern Region Division 5 semifinal, the Bulldogs won.
Stone Bridge (10-1) trailed Madison (7-4) by three points with 20 seconds to play in Ashburn and was facing fourth and one from the 2-yard line. Bulldogs Coach Mickey Thompson opted to go for the win instead of attempting a game-tying field goal and was rewarded when a Madison defensive player jumped offside.
The penalty gave Stone Bridge first and goal from the 1, and with 15 seconds to play, junior quarterback Terrence Glenn went up the middle for a touchdown and a 21-17 lead, the Bulldogs' first of the game.
"There was definitely nothing that was going to keep me out of that end zone," said Glenn, who accounted for 52 of Stone Bridge's 69 yards on its final drive. "I went to the huddle and told the guys to give me a big push up front, and I'd be right behind them."
The Warhawks got the ball back at their 45-yard line with 12 seconds to play, but a sack by Bulldogs senior linebacker Jeff Brown on the final play sent the home crowd into a frenzy.
"Guess we've got a thing for being dramatic," said Brown, who totaled three sacks. "That last play I knew I just had to go get him. We fought hard to come back and take the lead so it was all resting on that one last play.
"This is greatest I've felt in my entire life, hands down."
Madison outgained Stone Bridge 267-147 in total yards, controlling the clock for most of the game with the hard-nosed running of senior Justin Duncan, who had 110 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries. Senior quarterback Warren Anderson also was extremely efficient, completing 11 of 15 passes for 117 yards, including four to Duncan for 41 yards and four to senior Kevin Ashcraft for 46 yards.
The Warhawks, who walked straight off the field to their team bus after shaking hands with the Bulldogs, failed to take advantage of their field position and missed three field goal attempts.
"They're a tough, tough team," Thompson said. "They kept the ball in their possession most of the game, which we knew they would, and really I didn't know if the breaks were ever going to go our way.
"I didn't coach a very good game, and our kids didn't play a very good game. But what counts is on the scoreboard, and we hung in there and pulled it out."