The top-seeded Stone Bridge Bulldogs bulldozed their way through the Region 5C championship game with a 57-15 win over the No. 2 seed Woodgrove Wolverines Friday afternoon in Ashburn.

Leading 22-15 at halftime, the Bulldogs (11-1) played a near-perfect second half, distancing themselves from the Wolverines (7-5) by scoring 35 unanswered points.

Stone Bridge advances to host a Virginia High School League Class 5 state semifinal game Dec. 7 for a shot to play once again in the state championship game.

“It feels good to be one of the few left when you get to this time of year,” Stone Bridge head coach Mickey Thompson said. “I’m excited.”

The Bulldogs were led on offense by senior running backs Jared Cole and Zakias Moore, and sophomore Eli Mason. The trio combined to rush for more than 300 yards and scored seven touchdowns on the ground.

Cole led Stone Bridge with 168 yards rushing and three touchdowns. He also had a receiving touchdown.

“We mentioned all week we just wanted to hard-nose pound the football,” Cole said. “I can’t give more credit to the offensive line. They’re a bunch of big boys that I love dearly. They know how to work. They know how to put their nose in there. I love running behind them.”

Cole scored the first touchdown of the game for Stone Bridge on a 7-yard run on the Bulldogs' first possession. The 13-play drive consisted of 12 runs and 1 pass.

Woodgrove quickly answered. Senior quarterback Brett Johnson broke loose on a 63-yard touchdown run on the Wolverines' third offensive play of the game to tie the score at 7-7.

Stone Bridge got back to work, moving the ball down the field on a 16-play drive that kept the ball in the Bulldogs’ hands for seven minutes. Cole ended the drive on the receiving end of a pass from junior quarterback Billy Wiles to lift the Bulldogs to a 14-7 lead early in the second quarter.

The Wolverines nearly kept pace on the ensuing kickoff. Senior Jelan (JJ) Hamm returned the kick 78 yards and into the end zone. The return was called back however due to an illegal block. The Wolverines then went three-and-out and were forced to punt.

Again, the Bulldogs methodically moved down the field and into the end zone. Mason ran the ball in for a touchdown from the 1-yard line and Moore converted the two-point conversion to give Stone Bridge a 22-7 lead midway through the second quarter.

Woodgrove fought back to stay in the game on its next possession. The Wolverines drove down to the 2-yard line with 18 seconds left in the first half.

Sophomore Price Williams Jr. then threw a pass to fellow sophomore Hunter Pavolic in the end zone for a touchdown with 14 seconds left in the second quarter. Woodgrove faked the extra-point attempt. Instead, Johnson passed to senior Theodore Wilson for the two-point conversion bringing the Wolverines within seven.

Trailing 22-15 at halftime, the Wolverines received the kickoff to start the second half providing a chance to tie the game. Instead, the Bulldogs put on a dominant display of football, quickly taking back momentum and holding onto it for the remainder of the game.

“I thought offensively the whole game we were in control,” Thompson said. “The second half we cleaned everything up on defense. The coaches did a good job making adjustments and they played a lot faster.”

After a Wolverine fumble on the first offensive play of the second half, Cole responded with a 48-yard touchdown run for the Bulldogs on their first play. Following a Woodgrove punt, Cole broke free again on a long touchdown run of 49-yards to lift Stone Bridge to a 36-15 lead midway through the third quarter.

“It’s the best thing in the world,” Cole said. “I get in there, I see the hole and just let other things happen.”

The Bulldogs never looked back on their way to a fourth regional title in the last five seasons.

Moore scored two more touchdowns on the ground and Mason added another, while the Bulldogs’ defense shutout Woodgrove the rest of the way.

Stone Bridge will host either North Stafford or Mountain View at home Dec. 7 in the state semifinals. A victory will take them back to the Virginia Class 5 state championship game.

“It feels good having another home game,” Cole said. “I’m happy we gotta come back here next week.”

Stone Bridge 57, Woodgrove 15

First Quarter

SB: Cole 7 run (Araujo kick) 6:28

W: Johnson 63 run (Samaha kick) 5:08

Second Quarter

SB: Wiles 15 pass to Cole (Dastejerdi kick) 10:04

SB: Mason 1 run (Moore run) 5:42

W: Williams 2 pass to H. Pavolic (Johnson pass to Wilson) 0:14

Third Quarter

SB: Cole 48 run (Araujo kick) 11:46

SB: Cole 49 run (Dastejerdi kick) 6:12

SB: Moore 2 run (Araujo kick) 4:47

SB: Moore 1 run (Tran kick) 3:36

Fourth Quarter

SB: Mason 3 run (Dastejerdi kick) 6:37

Offensive leaders

Passing: SB – Wiles (6 of 9 for 104 yards, TD); W – Johnson (9 of 14 for 53 yards), Williams (1 of 1 for 2 yards, TD)

Rushing: SB – Cole (17-168-3), Moore (11-74-2), Mason (15-72-2); W – Johnson (8-90-1), Lewis (14-60), Williams (3-8), Hamm (1-2)

Receiving: SB – Dunkelberger (2-50), Cole (2-24-1), Kamara (1-21), Mason (1-9); W – Blizzard (4-25), Williams (3-20), Lewis (1-4), Burton (1-4), H Pavolic (1-2-1)

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.