In their season opener, Falls Church High School Varsity Football defeated local rivals the Meridian Mustangs 35-0.
The result came somewhat as a shock to avid followers of either team. Despite Meridian being the smaller school, playing in Class 3 compared to Falls Church’s larger size Class 6, the Jaguars entered this season as underdogs after going 1-9 last year.
Meridian, on the other hand, had a strong 10-3 record in 2021, and seemed primed to start off their season with a win against a lower ranked Jaguars team.
But just like all things in football, what is expected is never what happens.
Falls Church came out gunning early with a brilliant bobbling catch through double coverage by senior DJ Kennard putting Falls Church on the board.
Kennard, a wide receiver and cornerback, led Falls Church on both ends, tallying two touchdowns and one interception for the Jaguars in their shutout win. Converting on both short and long passes, and playing lockdown defense on the other end, Kennard proved he can do it all.
His early score would open Falls Church’s lead, who would tack on another touchdown from junior running back Tabias Best to open the second quarter.
Kennard again would score at the very end of the first half, putting Falls Church up a commanding 21-0 at the half.
Falls church would continue to pile on, with a rushing TD from Caleb West coming in the third quarter and another seven-point drive coming to open the fourth.
West, a junior quarterback, also had a strong performance for the Jaguars, with three passing and one rushing touchdown to his name.
With a win under their belt, Falls Church will look to keep rolling against another tough opponent next Thursday in a Chantilly team that is ranked 21 spots above them in Class 6 by MaxPreps.
Meanwhile, Meridian has questions to answer prior to their home opener next week against the Kettle Run Cougars.
With two fumbles that lead directly to Falls Church touchdowns, the Mustangs will be looking to correct mistakes from their performance that culminated in a loss.
Often finding themselves pinned in their own end by an indefatigable Jaguar defense, head coach PJ Anderson and his offense will have plenty of work ahead of them over the coming days.