The Stone Bridge Bulldogs produced big plays on offense, defense and special teams on their way to a 61-7 victory over the Riverside Rams in a Potomac District football game Friday night in Ashburn.
Stone Bridge completed the condensed 2021 spring season with a 5-0 record. The Bulldogs racked up 276 points in those five victories, while allowing just 63 points.
"We have a lot of playmakers," Stone Bridge head coach Mickey Thompson said of what has fueled the Bulldogs to average 55.2 points per game. "And we score a lot on defense, we score on special teams. I think we've had four or five special teams scores, more than we've ever had."
All three facets were on display Friday during a dominant first half for Stone Bridge. Senior Jeremiah Covington-Griggs blocked a punt and junior Mikey Hafer recovered a fumbled kickoff return to give the Bulldogs great field position prior to their first and fourth touchdowns of the first quarter.
Junior Jacob Thomas returned an interception 45 yards for the Bulldogs' third touchdown of the game. Covington-Griggs and junior Eli Mason rushed for scores in the opening quarter, while senior Billy Wiles delivered a 15-yard touchdown pass to senior Marshall Mattison, who made a one-handed catch in the end zone.
Junior Zach Laing's big punt return set up Stone Bridge's fifth touchdown -- a 5-yard run by Mattison. Wiles and Mattison connected again for a 23-yard completion for the Bulldogs' final touchdown of the first half. Sophomore Dylan Dastejerdi connected on five extra points to help the Bulldogs build a 41-0 halftime lead.
Mason, along with sophomores Colton Hinton and Mario Suarez, produced touchdown runs in the second half for Stone Bridge.
Riverside (1-4) broke through for its lone score early in the fourth quarter. Junior quarterback Mac Yarbrough connected with senior receiver Timmy DeBergh on a 74-yard touchdown completion.
Stone Bridge has secured the No. 1 seed for the four-team Region 5C playoffs, scheduled to be contested April 7-17. The regional champion will advance to the Virginia High School League Class 5 state semifinals.
While his team obviously played well during an undefeated regular season, Thompson feels there is room for improvement heading into the postseason.
"We have great athletes who can make great plays. But sometimes our technique is not the best," he said. "We are trying to get ready to make that run ... The hardest thing we have right now is to get [our players] to understand that it's not always about the great play, it's about doing it the right way."
Stone Bridge 61, Riverside 7
SB: Wiles 15 pass to Mattison (Dastejerdi kick) 5:41
SB: Covington-Griggs 36 run (Dastejerdi kick) 2:32
SB: Thomas 45 interception return (Dastejerdi kick) 1:57
SB: Mason 11 run (Dastejerdi kick) 0:00
SB: Mattison 5 run (Dastejerdi kick) 4:53
SB: Wiles 23 pass to Mattison (kick blocked) 2:07
SB: Mason 32 run (Dastejerdi kick) 7:16
SB: Hinton 21 run (Dastejerdi kick) 11:04
R: Yarbrough 74 pass to DeBergh (Thomas kick) 9:55
SB: Suarez 1 run (run failed) 0:57