Football Roundup

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Three of the four Alexandria City schools came up short in their most recent football games. With T.C. Williams’s 20-9 week three loss to Oakton, the Titans now weigh-in at 1-2 overall on the season (an opening game win versus Mount Vernon and a week two loss to Centreville).

Saints unbeaten
St. Stephens & St. Agnes remains the only undefeated football team in the city, courtesy of an impressive 20-0 shutout of Norfolk Academy. The Saints skunked Norfolk Academy on the road, Sept. 15, to improve to 2-0 on the young season.
SSSA, coached by Dave Holm (second season), put 13 points on the scoreboard in the first 12-minute quarter and never looked back. The Saints logged their final points in the third quarter when senior wide receiver Jason Neithamer scored on a 25-yard TD strike from sophomore QB Ryan Seher.

After finishing 3-6 overall in 2006, the Saints are one win away from equalling last seasons win total. In addition to having knocked off Norfolk Academy, the Saints have also beaten St. Christophers (Richmond) to open the ’07 season). SSSA is scheduled to host Woodberry Forest (Orange, Va.) on Sept. 22 and then scheduled to visit Randolph Macon Academy (Front Royal) on Sept. 29.

Cardinals suffer first loss
The Bishop Ireton Cardinals had their 2007 undefeated 3-0 mark punctured by visiting McNamara. The Mustangs from Forestville, Md., dealt the Cardinals their first loss of the season with a come-from-behind 19-14 win in Alexandria on Fannon Field, Sept. 15.

The suspenseful game witnessed no less than four lead changes. The Mustangs struck for a 27-yard first quarter field goal – the only tally of the first quarter.

In the early second quarter, following an interception by Ireton senior defensive back Darin Gravallese, the Cardinals moved 84 yards on nine plays and surged ahead 7-3 following a seven-yard scoring run by sophomore running back Doug Vines.

A McNamara TD pass and a McNamara field goal gave the Mustangs a 13-7 lead at halftime.

Ireton notched the only score of the third quarter – a 21-yard scoring strike from Pastorino to senior running back/wide receiver Andrew Rodriguez.

The entire 12-minute fourth quarter remained and the Cardinals could not keep the Mustangs from mounting the decisive score of the contest.

The Mustangs subsequently had the ball “third and 18” at their own 28 yard line.

An ensuing long Mustang scoring strike, which caught Cardinal defensive backs Gravallese and Kyle Denhup out of position, catapulted McNamara to a 19-14 lead, one they would not relinquish.

Ireton had the ball twice more before the final whistle sounded: a punt and a “turn the ball over on downs” and the Cardinals dropped to 3-1 on the season.

In weeks one, two and three – the Cardinals defeated Benedictine (Richmond), O’Connell and Paul VI. The Cardinals are scheduled to host Episcopal on Sept. 22 and then will have a bye week during the final weekend of September.

Maroon loses, 13-0
The Episcopal Maroon finally kicked off their 2007 with a 13-0 setback to Bishop O’Connell. The game was played Sept. 15 in Arlington.

The visiting Maroon kept the Knights out of the end zone in the first quarter, but O’Connell converted the games first score late in the second quarter.

Veteran Maroon head coach Mark Gowin said, “With something like 70 seconds left in the quarter, they blocked a punt and fell on it in the endzone.”

Neither team scored in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, O’Connell punched in a short run to take a 13-0 lead and successfully kicked their first PAT, but failed in their second PAT attempt, a run attempt.

“We knocked on the door a few times, but we just didn’t execute as well as we could have. We’ve got a lot of young guys this year.Overall, we were a little inconsistent in the running game. We didn’t put it all together in the “red zone” but it wasn’t from a lack of effort. Our guys gave a good effort. Not taking anything away from O’Connell, they were playing their third game of the season and we were playing our first game of the season, said Gowin.

 The Maroon plays a nine game schedule this year as they did last year – when they finished 8-1 overall – one of the top teams in Episcopal history.

The Maroon is scheduled to visit Bishop Ireton on Sept. 22 and will host Collegiate (Richmond) on Sept. 29.

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