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FairfaxSportsMcLean opens with a win

McLean opens with a win

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The McLean Highlanders opened their high-school football season with a 28-14 victory over the visiting Mount Vernon Majors. McLean fell behind 7-0 on a long touchdown pass, then rallied.

“We blew a coverage on that play, but we were able to respond and finally got our offense going,” McLean coach John Scholla said. “They were a physical team and they took away our running game, so we resorted more to the pass. It was a great home opener.”

McLean quarterback Bijan Soltani completed 11 of 31 passes for 209 yards and three touchdowns. Two of the TDs went to Billy Ludwick and the other to Nicholas Halteh. Ludwick caught six passes for 94 yards and Halteh three for 91. Bryce Molnar and Zaven Malik each caught one pass.

On the ground, Ryan Jessar rushed for 33 yards and a TD and Soltani had nine yards rushing, with lineman Liam Downey and center Nicky Varela leading the way.

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Leading McLean on defense was linebacker Alec Butler with 11 solo tackles. Phillippe Kabasele had two sacks and eight combined tackles, Conner Greer had 13 combined tackles and an interception and Jessar had an interception, and was in on 11 tackles.

“Our defense played terrific and physical,” Scholla said. “They were flying around the field, and we put pressure on their quarterback. We have a senior-heavy team with players here who have been through a lot. They are believing they can compete.”

McLean finished 5-5 last season and 0-10 the previous two years.

PHOTO: McLean quarterback Bijan Soltani led the Highlanders to victory in their opening game. (Photo by Deb Kolt)

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