Led by a shutdown defense and a power running offense, the visiting Yorktown Patriots blanked the Washington-Liberty Generals, 27-0, in the final regular-season football game for the Arlington high-school rivals the afternoon of Nov. 5.
The teams finished in a three-way tie for second in the Liberty District with 4-2 records. Yorktown, the defending district champion, and W-L advance to the eight-team 6D North Region tournament, beginning with first-round action Friday, Nov. 11.
The playoff berth is the second straight for Yorktown and Washington-Liberty’s first since 2016, the last time the Generals defeated the Patriots.
Yorktown has a 7-3 overall mark with three straight wins and as many shutouts in a row, and W-L is 5-5, having its two-game victory string snapped.
“We dominated up front on both lines, we ran up the middle well most of the game and moved the ball well, and they couldn’t get anything going on offense,” Yorktown coach Bruce Hanson said.
Washington-Liberty had just 75 total yards (minus two rushing) and was intercepted four times. Yorktown amassed 210 rushing yards and only passed seven times with four completions for 47 yards.
Yorktown scored on its first possession, a long nearly 10-minute time-consuming drive, to take a 3-0 first-quarter lead on a 29-yard field goal by Tomas Edmeades, then was ahead 10-0 at halftime thanks to a James Yoest to Miles Rosman 30-yard pass and Edmeades’ conversion.
“We have been playing good defense and we just dominated them,” Hanson said. “They couldn’t move the ball. On offense we didn’t have any long runs, but we moved it by running up the middle and we kept the ball. We didn’t have to pass much.”
Yorktown owned the time-of-possession statistic, keeping the ball for more than 35 minutes of the 48-minute contest.
“Our defense played well,” W-L coach Josh Shapiro said. “We missed recovering some fumbles and we probably got tired from being on the field so much. On offense, we couldn’t block their defensive box, their linebackers filled and were quick, and that eliminated our running game.”
In the second half, Edmeades booted a 33-yard field goal and two extra points and Yorktown scored touchdowns on runs of one and eight yards by Miles Fang, who finished the regular season with 1,050 yards rushing.
Fang rushed for 70 yards in the win, Xandar Starks for 97 and Rosman for 43. Yoest was 4 of 7 passing with no interceptions. Rosman had two catches for 38 yards and Charlie Taylor and Starks each had one catch.
Leading the defense for Yorktown were top tacklers Colin McCormick, Chris Montecino and Jack Martinez, who had three tackles for losses. McCormick and Jackson Heflin each had one sack. The interceptions went to Edmeades, Heflin, Jeremiah Daniels and Gabe Miller.
Washington-Liberty was 9 of 25 passing. Luke Harnishfeger had three catches for 24 yards and Joseph Cordaro two for 15. Jackson Nowinski, the team’s top receiver, had only one catch for five yards.
“We tried going empty-set and only passing, and we didn’t hit much there either,” Shapiro said. “We needed to get Jackson the ball more, and we didn’t.”
As for first-round playoff games, Yorktown will be the No. 5-seed and play the host and fourth-seed Langley Saxons (7-3) and eight-seed Washington-Liberty will visit the top-seed and two-time defending champion Madison Warhawks (7-3), who have won seven games in a row.
Langley is the Liberty District champions and Madison the Concorde District champs. Langley defeated Yorktown, 34-28, in the opening game of the regular season.
NOTE: With the win over W-L, plus a previous victory over the Wakefield Warriors this season, Yorktown is the unofficial 2022 Arlington County football champion among the jurisdiction’s three public-school teams. The Patriots have won 11 games in a row over those two county rivals spanning six seasons.