Effectively, that’s in all probability the wildest sport anybody might cowl: @StoneBridgeFB 17, @JamesMadisonHS 16. Bulldogs trailed by two scores with two minutes remaining, bought a TD, recovered an onside kick, and nailed a loooong discipline purpose for the win. Kicker Dylan Dasteierdi the hero. pic.twitter.com/p5mQcz5LJf
— Spencer Nusbaum (@spencernusbaum_) August 27, 2022
“Back a year and a half ago, I missed a very important kick in the state title game,” the senior mentioned. “That’s why I was running around like an idiot after the game.”
The Stone Bridge crew that took the sphere in Friday’s season opener had a distinct composition than its predecessors, who had received the previous two Class 5 state titles.
It struggled with consistency within the preseason. It began sophomore quarterback Brandon Pena, the backup to final yr’s backup, Mario Suarez, who was dominated out Friday with a again pressure. And it lacked final yr’s beginning signal-caller, Jacob Thomas, who turned entrenched in class historical past with one title-clinching catch and one other title-clinching throw.
However Stone Bridge, via all of it, remained clutch. The Bulldogs on Friday recovered an onside kick whereas trailing by two with two minutes remaining. Pena accomplished late-down passes and Dastejerdi kicked the winner with loads of room to spare.
“I just knew we needed to get in field goal range,” senior broad receiver Zeke Wimbush mentioned. “I knew we were mentally prepared for that moment.”
Lengthy a Virginia powerhouse, Stone Bridge seemingly reached its apex within the spring and fall of 2021, when it received back-to-back titles — each on last-second performs.
For Coach Mickey Thompson, Friday’s opener was much less concerning the outcome and extra concerning the evaluations on the margins.
How would possibly Wimbush, who caught final fall’s championship clincher, step up? A primary-quarter landing answered that query. Would the protection, with 9 starters again from final season, be complacent? Three straight stops contained in the 10-yard line on the finish of the primary half signaled it might not.
On its opening drive, Stone Bridge burned two timeouts earlier than Pena was sacked on fourth and lengthy. The rest of the half featured an almost fumbled punt and a fourth and 30.
Stone Bridge led 7-3 on the break, however Madison scored two touchdowns within the second half to maneuver forward 16-7. That’s when the Bulldogs, going through a frightening process, did what they do greatest and scored the ultimate 10 factors.
Stone Bridge’s subsequent two video games are towards Centreville and Freedom (Woodbridge), two groups on the bubble of The Publish’s High 20. Already, the Bulldogs know what they’re able to.
“You know if you do well against Madison, then you’ve probably got a pretty daggone good football team,” Thompson mentioned.