The annual Battle of the Burn football game between Ashburn high schools Broad Run and Stone Bridge will be contested on a neutral field for the first time in 2021.
The 14th regular season edition of the rivalry game between the Broad Run Spartans and the Stone Bridge Bulldogs is scheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 2 at Segra Field in Leesburg. Segra Field — home of USL Championship team Loudoun United FC — has the capacity for more than 5,000 spectators.
“After many years of standing room only and sellout crowds, we are hoping that this beautiful facility will satisfy the demand,” said Dr. Steven Levy, president of the Broad Run High School Touchdown Club.
Broad Run head coach Matt Griffis and Stone Bridge head coach Mickey Thompson, along with five players from each team and representatives from both schools, were on hand June 14 at Segra Field for the official announcement.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Broad Run rising junior lineman Alex Birchmeier said. “The energy, all the people there and just a great environment will make it really fun.”
Thompson, who has guided the Stone Bridge program since the school opened in 2000, said while his focus is always on preparing his team to peak for the playoffs, he understands the significance of this game for his players and the community.
“I’m excited because I think Broad Run and Stone Bridge have reached a place where there is a little bit of mutual respect,” Thompson said. “You are going to have talk on the field, but I feel like the respect among players is better.”
Both programs annually field teams among the best in the state. Stone Bridge, the reigning Virginia Class 5 champions, has won two state titles in program history. Broad Run won consecutive Class 4 state championships in 2008 and 2009.
The Bulldogs have won at least one playoff game in 19 consecutive seasons, while the Spartans have earned one or more postseason victories in each of the last eight seasons.
Winners in each of the first seven games between the teams, Stone Bridge holds a 13-4 lead in the all-time series — which includes four postseason games. Broad Run has won two of the last three games in the series.
“By us playing [Stone Bridge], it makes us better when we go into the playoffs,” said Griffis, an assistant coach at Stone Bridge before being appointed as Broad Run head coach in 2010. “Our goal when we schedule out of conference [games], is to find the best competition we can.”
The winning team of the 2021 Battle of the Burn game will be awarded the newly minted Pearson Smith Cup. Tickets go on sale in August, with prices ranging from $7 (students) to $15.
Battle of the Burn series
2019: BRHS 42, SBHS 21
2018: SBHS 35, BRHS 6*
2018: BRHS 26, SBHS 20
2017: SBHS 21, BRHS 13
2016: SBHS 28, BRHS 7*
2016: BRHS 10, SBHS 7
2015: SBHS 35, BRHS 10*
2015: SBHS 27, BRHS 13
2014: SBHS 17, BRHS 9
2013: BRHS 23, SBHS 21*
2013: SBHS 33, BRHS 14
2012: SBHS 37, BRHS 14
2011: SBHS 31, BRHS 30
2004: SBHS 23, BRHS 7
2003: SBHS 17, BRHS 0
2002: SBHS 30, BRHS 7
2001: SBHS 34, BRHS 0