The Friday night lights of Arlington didn’t shine very brightly on the county’s three public-school varsity football teams the evening of Sept. 17.
Each lost non-district home games to opponents that had a combined 10-1 record. It was the first time this season all three lost on the same night.
The Yorktown Patriots (2-2) fell to the 4-0 Oakton Cougars, 30-28, the winless Washington-Liberty Generals (0-4) were outscored by the West Springfield Spartans (3-0) in a 34-14 final, and the Wakefield Warriors (1-3) got little going as they were routed by the 3-1 Centreville Wildcats, 46-0.
In its loss, Yorktown was hurt badly by three costly turnovers that led directly to Oakton touchdowns, as well as likely keeping points off the board for the Patriots. Penalties also cost Yorktown, along with Oakton’s passing game. Oakton gained 350 total yards, including 242 passing by quarterback Nick Toole.
“That was a tough loss,” Yorktown coach Bruce Hanson said. “We had trouble running the ball against some looks we hadn’t seen. They hit clutch passes with a good possession passing game, and mixed it up on offense. On defense we didn’t generate much pass rush, and we underrated their quarterback.”
Yorktown fell behind 13-0, trailed 30-13 early in the fourth quarter, then rallied to within 30-28 with 5:14 to play. Oakton took the ensuing kickoff and kept control of the ball until the end of the game.
“We couldn’t get a stop to get the ball back,” Hanson said.
Yorktown’s Miles Fang twice ran for two-yard touchdown runs in the game and had a two-point conversion run, quarterback James Yoest threw a 29-yard scoring pass to Mason Cunningham, and Jack Tsuchitani had a 95-yard kickoff return for a TD. Seneca Gruber kicked two extra points.
Yoest was 8 of 12 passing for 172 yards and was intercepted once. Cunningham had four catches for 123 yards, Xandar Starks had two for 22, John Porter and James Midberry one each.
Fang led Yorktown with 31 yards rushing, Tyler Randles had 19, Starks 17, Yoest 16 and Midberry 15. Yorktown gained 270 total yards.
Oakton did not turn the ball over.
On defense for Yorktown, Jacob Hawkins broke up a pass, and Sam Keenan and Jackson Hefin had key tackles.
Washington-Liberty took a 7-0 lead against West Springfield on a 30-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Jones to Jackson Nowinski (two catches, 32 yards). West Springfield then scored the next 28 points to take control.
The Generals had their best offensive game. Jones was 16 of 25 passing for 123 yards and a touchdown and Jackson Broadwell ran for 78 yards.
“Jones threw the ball well, Jackson ran hard and Quinn [Brennan, three catches, 43 yards] was aggressive catching the ball,” W-L coach Josh Shapiro said. “We have played four tough games. We’ll see if that prepares us for the rest of our district schedule.”
One of Brennan’s catches was a 20-yarder to the goal line that set up an eventual touchdown.
The Generals’ four opponents have a combined 10-3 record.
Also on offense for W-L against West Springfield, Michael Dertke had three catches for 30 yards, Broadwell had three for 18, Sean Guffey had two for 30 and Jack Myers and Faris Webber each had one catch. Herbert Sovula had 18 yards rushing, including a one-yard touchdown run.
Anthony Ceballos-Medina kicked two extra points.
On defense, Brennan and Ivan Saravia had interceptions and Elijah Hughes had two sacks and other tackles for losses.
In Wakefield’s loss to Centreville, the Warriors trailed 7-0 after the first quarter and 19-0 at halftime.
The Warriors’ best chance to score came in the first half when a fourth down pass into the end zone by Jack McAvoy was broken up in the end zone. The Warriors drove as deep as Centreville’s 34-yard line one other time in the first half.
Michael Guruli ran the ball hard for Wakefield and was one of the Warriors’ leading rushers, and McAvoy completed multiple passes.