For the second straight season and third time in four campaigns, the Wakefield Warriors have qualified for the football region playoffs.
Wakefield (4-1, 3-1) clinched a 6D North Region Tournament berth with a 13-0 home victory over the Falls Church Jaguars on April 1 in National District action. It was the team’s final regular-season contest in this condensed high-school schedule.
The Warriors will be the fourth seed in the four-team competition, facing the top-seed Madison Warhawks (6-0) in semifinal action April 9 at 7 p.m. in Vienna.
“We were aiming for the playoffs. That was our goal,” Wakefield coach Wayne Hogwood said. “We thought we had a chance with the players we had back and some of the younger guys have stepped up.”
Madison and Wakefield last met in 2008, with the Warhawks winning.
In the win over Falls Church, Hogwood said the Wakefield defense played “lights out” with linebackers Joe Kelly and Fabio Perla leading the way and Michael Guruli recovering two fumbles.
“The defense was inspired, with our front seven really playing well,” Hogwood said.
The week before ,Wakefield held Justice to just six points in a win, with Cameron Queen having three sacks and Guruli recovering two fumbles in that outing.
On offense against Falls Church, Jordan Bussie had two three-year touchdown runs and Zachory Jankovich kicked one extra point.
Bussie had 59 yards rushing and Guruli 34. Dontae Clark ran for 62 yards, but left the game with a leg bruise and did not return.
“Clark got us started running the ball well, then Bussie and Guruli finished up,” Hogwood said.
Wakefield quarterback Jack McAvoy completed one of four passes to Kelly for seven yards.
“We kind of pounded it around on offense,” Hogwood said.
Wakefield’s only loss of the unusual season was to Marshall, 19-18, which kept the Warriors from repeating as district champions. Wakefield rebounded to win two straight games.
“We kind of messed up at the end of that Marshall game, but we bounced back,” Hogwood said.
NOTE: The shutout was Wakefield’s first since the ninth game of the 2015 season, when the Warriors blanked Jefferson, 42-0.