As the crow flies, the Northern Virginia campuses of Bishop O’Connell and Annandale high schools, which opened in the 1950s, are fairly close, each residing inside the Beltway.
When it comes to varsity football, however, until the afternoon of Oct. 2 in Arlington the storied programs might as well have not existed. The teams had never met, despite their accomplished pasts and proximities.
In that maiden meeting between public- and private-school teams, host O’Connell won going away, 30-6.
“I heard this was the first meeting. That’s interesting,” O’Connell coach Ken Lucas said.
The win was private-school O’Connell’s third straight this fall, as the Knights improved to 3-2. Annandale’s Atoms fell to 1-4.
O’Connell last won three in a row to end the 2016 campaign. In its three wins this fall, the Knights have averaged 28 points per game.
Against Annandale, O’Connell led 10-0 at halftime, then was ahead 24-0 in the third quarter. The Knights added a final touchdown in the fourth.
“Our offense has been moving the ball and making plays the last three games,” Lucas said. “Our young guys are getting more experiences. Today, getting on top early certainly helped.”
The offense was led against Annandale by quarterback Job Grant. He was 10 of 20 passing for 180 yards and two touchdowns. He rushed for 31.
The scoring passes covered 29 yards to Colin Richardson and 14 to William Broad (three catches 36 yards). Robert Root (two), Josiah Rose (two), Norman Boykin and Aidan Joseph also caught passes. Joey Mahoney was O’Connell’s leading rusher with 97 yards, including an 11-yard scoring run. John Lindsay booted a 34-yard field goal and three extra points.
The Knights’ offensive line included Luke Richardson, Frank Reuther, Jia Thompson, Mitchell Ruland and Joseph Wall.
O’Connell’s other touchdown was scored by Mahoney when he returned a punt that was blocked by Duarte Alves 28 yards.
Annandale gained just 125 total yards and lost two fumbles.
The Knights have given up six points in each of their last three games, and only 12 in the season opener.
Grant also led the defense against Annandale with 10 tackles and a fumble recovery. Frank Reuther had six tackles; Boykin and Ogunade Samson five each; and Richardson, Aiden Munroe and Ryan Creston (fumble recovery) four each.