Stone Bridge sophomore quarterback Joe Thompson patiently waited for his chance to sling the ball downfield. That window never opened. Instead, he watched — mostly — as backfield mate Sterling Dailey rushed for 196 yards and three touchdowns and the seventh-ranked Bulldogs ran over Broad Run, 33-14, in Ashburn.
“We were waiting for the pass,” said Thompson, who attempted just two throws, completing both. “We were waiting until they crept up on the run. But really, they never stopped the run, so we never needed to pass. I’m fine with that.”
Even when it did load the box in hopes of shutting down the run, Broad Run (3-1) was hapless when it came to stopping the Bulldogs’ single-wing attack.
It’s an offensive philosophy that relies heavily on misdirection — and a ball fake that closely resembles a pirouette.
“It’s just part of our offense,” Dailey said. “In the single-wing, we spin before we get the ball. It’s all part of the misdirection.”
Broad Run, set up near midfield after a Dailey fumble, jumped out to a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter. Spartans junior quarterback Brady Reitzel shrugged off a tackler in the pocket and hooked up with senior receiver Travis Fulgham in the end zone for a 25-yard touchdown with 1 minute 2 seconds left in the opening quarter.
But Stone Bridge senior defensive back D’Ante Yarborough returned the ensuing kickoff to the Broad Run eight yard-line, and Dailey cashed in, scoring his first touchdown of the night from four yards out.
Yarborough and junior Collin Buckley added rushing scores for the Bulldogs (2-1).
“Nobody knows where the ball’s going,” Buckley said of the deception factor. “It’s a little confusing for the linebackers, because they don’t know where we’re going. It gets us in the open field, and we’re able to make plays.”
A heavy dose of run calls is in lock step with the Bulldogs’ strength, Dailey said.
“Personally, I think that’s what we do best,” he said. “We just put it on the hash and just pound it all day.”
And for Thompson, who chimed in with seven touches of his own, it’s fun just watching the machine at work.
“It’s awesome,” Thompson said. “I’ve never really seen it [single-wing] from the defensive side of the ball, except for a couple of years ago when I was watching games. It’s definitely a cool offense to play in.”
The Bulldogs’ victory marked the third straight “Battle of the ’Burn” win for Stone Bridge.
The Ashburn-based rivalry game is vetted as a true local grudge match.
“This is the biggest game of the year for some people,” Buckley said.