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If there was any question as to why the Stone Bridge High School football team is the top dog in the AAA Liberty District, the Bulldogs provided the answer in their 42-0 trouncing of host Madison Oct. 26 in Vienna.
The Bulldogs had a record-setting night in the win, posting 627 yards of total offense. Stanford-bound quarterback Ryan Burns also broke the single-game passing record with 306 yards in the air.
Additionally, with Stone Bridge’s win and Fairfax’s subsequent loss to Langley, the Bulldogs have clinched their eighth consecutive Liberty District title. The Bulldogs are 54-1 in the Liberty District since 2005.
While Stone Bridge coach Mickey Thompson declined to call the contest a statement game, he noted the lopsided victory was a testament to the strength of the program.
“You have to walk away from this game and at least have respect for what we’re doing,” Thompson said. “We’ve played well the entire year and games have been out of hand by the third quarter, and we’ve played some good football teams.”
Stone Bridge came out with a vengeance on its opening drive. Sterling Dailey led the charge from Stone Bridge’s own 24 yard line. Dailey carried the ball seven times in the series, earning all but one of Stone Bridge’s opening offensive yards and scoring the Bulldogs’ first six points of the game.
As if to emphasize his confidence in his squad, Thompson then called for an onside kick, which the Bulldogs recovered.
Though, Stone Bridge would be held to one score in the first quarter, they broke through early in the second quarter as Burns connected with Jimmy Higgins on a 75-yard touchdown completion.
The offense would be off the field for just two plays, thanks to an interception from defensive back Kyle Purcell that put the Bulldogs on the Madison 37. The Bulldogs would ultimately score on a 16-yard Rassaun Goldring run, aided by a blistering Burns block that sent the incoming defender sprawling.
The stingy Stone Bridge defense had another short stint on Madison’s next offensive possession, forcing a Warhawk fumble that Bulldog Kevin Bradshaw would recover. Stone Bridge took advantage of the turnover with a 46-yard Burns pass to Jeremy Wirth for the fourth Bulldog touchdown.
The Bulldogs next score would come with under four minutes left in the second quarter. Burns and D’Ante Yarborough linked up for a 75-yard touchdown to put the Bulldogs up 35-0, a score that would remain going into halftime.
Burns and Yarborough connected three times for 164 yards overall. The two players have proved to be a dynamic force this season, linking up for more than 700 yards already.
“In the game, I just run my routes really hard,” Yarborough said. “I have to put my trust in him and he has to put his trust in me.”
Stone Bridge would score once more in the game, midway through the third quarter, on a 53-yard Burns to Yarborough pass.
In addition to a prolific offense, the Bulldog defense overwhelmed Madison, allowing just 28 total yards of offense and forcing three turnovers. The Warhawks had just three first downs the entire game.
“I’m very confident in our defense,” said Bulldog defensive end Jon Allen, who is verbally committed to play for top ranked Alabama. “They can get the ball on the 10-yard line and I know we can hold them to a field goal. And we had their number all night.”
Stone Bridge closed out the regular season Nov. 2 at home against Fairfax. The Bulldogs have no intention of slowing down now with the postseason looming.
“We still have six games left in our minds,” said Burns, noting the number of games the Bulldogs would play if they advance to the Virginia Division 5 state championship game. “That’s the goal.”
Liberty District dominance
Stone Bridge is 54-1 in Liberty District games since joining the district in 2005. The Bulldogs have won eight consecutive Liberty District championships.
Stone Bridge 42, Madison 0
SB: Dailey 24 run (Smedley kick)
SB: Higgins 75 pass from Burns (Smedley kick)
SB: Goldring 16 run (Smedley kick)
SB: Wirth 46 pass from Burns (Smedley kick)
SB: Yarborough 73 pass from Burns (Smedley kick)
SB: Yarborough 53 pass from Burns (Smedley kick)
-Rushing: SB - Dailey (19 for 168 yards, TD), Goldring (7 for 47 yards, TD), Frye (2 for 42 yards), Lynch (2 for 35 yards); M - Pearson (3 for 4 yards)
-Passing: SB - Burns (7 of 16 for 306 yards, 4 TD, Int.); M - Goddard (3 of 14 for 34 yards, Int.)
-Receiving: SB - Yarborough (3 for 164 yards, TD), Higgins (1 for 75 yards, TD), Wirth (1 for 46 yards, TD), Dailey (1 for 22 yards); M - House (2 for 23 yards)
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