Woodbridge came out and dominated crosstown rival Freedom-Woodbridge from the opening whistle in Friday night’s Conference 4 clash, but it didn’t look that way on the scoreboard right before halftime.
The visiting Vikings found the end zone on four of their five drives in the opening half, yet with one play remaining until the break, they only led by one score.
That’s when quarterback Brandon Pitt swung all the momentum to the visiting sideline. The senior signal caller rolled left, bought time, danced around a defender and flung a pass to the back of the end zone, where his go-to wide receiver Kalel Grant snatched the ball and tiptoed inside the back line to extend the Vikings’ lead.
Woodbridge rolled from there to take a 47-36 victory that all but secured a playoff berth with one regular season game remaining.
“I just had faith in my quarterback,” said Grant, who had three catches for 43 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. “He kept his eyes downfield, and I just continued my route.”
It didn’t take long to realize Woodbridge (5-4, 2-1 Conference 4) wasn’t letting go of the momentum in the second half. Freshman tailback Taylor Harris gathered the opening kickoff of the half and raced 85 yards for a touchdown. Cameron Kyles recovered a Freedom fumble on the ensuing kickoff, and senior running back JaVaughn Burrus capitalized five plays later with a six-yard touchdown run to extend the Vikings’ lead to 41-14 with just under 10 minutes left in the third quarter.
Freedom (3-6, 1-3) put forth a valiant effort with two second-half touchdowns from wide receiver Canthony Cowhard, but it was too little, too late for the Eagles, whose playoff prospects have vaporized with four losses in October.
Woodbridge opened the scoring with a one-yard touchdown run from sophomore tailback Dashaun Jerkins, who capped off a 90-yard drive featuring 16 running plays, many of them from Burrus. Vikings rushers exploited gaping holes up the middle all night, thanks largely to the grunt work of 315-pound North Carolina commit Kyree Campbell at left guard and his equally beefy counterpart at right guard, Henry Chibuze.
Campbell was a force on defense all night. He clogged lanes at the line of scrimmage for a Freedom team that relies heavily on its run game. The Eagles, who committed five turnovers compared to none for Woodbridge, only managed 211 yards of total offense through three quarters, including a mere 26 from leading tailback Tyquan Brown.
The win was sweet for Campbell, a senior transfer who left Freedom last year to follow his head coach, Gary Wortham. Their return was triumphant, but it wasn’t surprising.
“We just did what we were supposed to do,” Campbell said. “This was a business trip, and we handled business.”