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Tuscarora outlasts Stone Bridge to claim Region 5C title

The Tuscarora Huskies celebrate their 28-27 win over the host Stone Bridge Bulldogs.—Times-Mirror/Rick Wasser
For 2017, the Tuscarora Huskies are the football champions of Region 5C after a tense back-and-forth 28-27 victory at the home of the region’s top seed, previously undefeated Stone Bridge.

The decisive blow Friday afternoon in a game of blows was junior running back Leron West - appearing fully back from recent injury - barreling into the end zone from eight yards out with 1:58 to play. Sophomore kicker Max Skirkanich's extra point made the difference.

The Huskies (11-2) took a huge advantage into halftime, notching two touchdowns in the final 41 seconds of the first half, made possible by a recovered pooch kick in between the scores.

Senior wide receiver Kyle Jenkins hauled in three touchdown passes in the first half, two from junior quarterback Justin Allen and one, with five seconds to go, on a halfback option from West.

The Bulldogs (12-1) came back with a resurgent defense that made Tuscarora punt three times and turn it over on downs twice on the Huskies’ first five possessions of the second half.

The Stone Bridge offense, meanwhile, found big-play senior wideout Daniel Thompson for two touchdown receptions - he had three overall - to take a 27-21 lead into the three-minute mark of the final quarter.

Allen and the Huskies then engineered a 51-yard, 58-second drive that West finished. The Bulldogs got a field-flipping kickoff return by junior Ajani Gillis to the Tuscarora 35, leading to a 41-yard field goal attempt, but it landed short and it was the Huskies and their enthusiastic fans who got to exhale.

Third-seed Tuscarora upended both teams seeded above it in the Region 5C standings. The Huskies edged No. 2 Broad Run in the region semifinals 14-12 Nov. 17.

Tuscarora advances to the Class 5 state semifinal Dec. 2 versus the Region 5D champion, which will be decided Saturday between Stafford (9-3) and Brooke Point (10-2).

Tuscarora senior Kyle Jenkins hauls in his first of three touchdown receptions.--Times-Mirror/Rick Wasser



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