By David Stewart
The undefeated Stone Bridge Bulldogs easily handled the J.E.B. Stuart High School Raiders in the first round of the Northern Region playoffs last Friday night, 55-0, in Ashburn. For Stuart, just being in the playoffs was a worthy enough accomplishment, while the Bulldogs are already looking ahead to their next playoff game.
The game was never close, but the Stuart defense hung in well in the first half. The Bulldogs put together two methodical drives in the first quarter that were both capped by three yard touchdown runs by Marcus Harris.
The Raider defense stiffened in the second quarter, getting an interception by Charles Holloway. But Stone Bridge’s Marcus Harris broke free for a long gain with less than two minutes remaining in the half, their first big play of the game, to give them the ball inside the 10 yard line. Kyle Gouveia, son of former Redskin Kurt Gouveia, then ran for a 1 yard touchdown to make it 20-0 at the half.
A hard fought first half turned into a rout in the second half. Stuart’s offensive line could not keep Stone Bridge’s defensive line at bay. Raider QB Javonte Robinson was under pressure the entire game, and had three interceptions in the second half.
For the Raiders, senior Hunter Trumps had 10 carries for 22 yards, while junior Sam Drigo contributed 29 yards on five carries. Senior wide receiver and defensive back Mahdi Ibrahim had an interception in the third quarter.
Stuart’s most successful season since the 1994 campaign ended very abruptly, but the team had already accomplished their main goal, to end the 16 year playoff drought. Comprised of mostly juniors, The Raiders will look to build on their success next fall.