OP breaks out
MANASSAS It rained a bit on Stonewall Jackson on Friday night, as intermittent showers made Osbourn Park’s field as slippery as it was muddy.
In the second half in more of a football sense, it poured.
Osbourn Park scored three touchdowns in the second half to seal a 28-6 win over the Raiders in both teams’ Cedar Run District opener.
Meteorological metaphors aside, the actual weather had more than a little effect on the game. The occasional rain kept OP’s field slick, a process started during dreary weather on Thursday. The game didn’t even start on time because of the weather: A tornado warning for Prince William County forced school officials to clear the stadium, putting players, fans and referees inside the school until the inclement weather passed.
The weather warning caused a 45-minute delay in the start of the game.
When it did start, OP (3-1, 1-0 Cedar Run) had few problems, even though the result didn’t show up in the score. In the first quarter, the Yellow Jackets marched down the field twice on the Raider defense, but came away empty both times.
After taking the opening kickoff, OP kept the ball on the ground. They started on their own 30-yard line and, 10 rushes later, found themselves inside the Raider red zone. But Andrew Dykstra lost his footing on a 29-yard field goal attempt, pushing the kick wide to the left.
OP’s defense forced a three-and-out, and the Jacket offense got the ball back on their own 39. In four plays, they made it into Stonewall territory, thanks in large part to a pass interference penalty on the Raiders and a 29-yard completion from Doug Suliga to Dykstra.
On Suliga’s second pass attempt of the drive, he was intercepted by the Raiders’ Onyie Onunaku, ending the drive.
The Jackets’ only score of the half came in the final minutes. The drive, a 10-play, 80-yard venture, ended as it began: Standout running back Roland Hilliard carried on the drive’s first four plays, gaining 23 yards, and ended it with a 29-yard scamper around the left end. Hilliard finished the game with 182 yards rushing on 27 carries.
Vince Consumano’s PAT made it 7-0 with just under two minutes remaining in the second quarter.
The Raiders (0-4, 0-1 Cedar Run) missed chances as well. After taking over near midfield following an OP punt, Stonewall moved into striking distance on two big plays. Facing a second-and-eight, quarterback Greg Vaughn found Walter Williams for a 17-yard gain, and Ricky Sisk followed that with a 13-yard run.
The opportunity went for naught, as Stonewall turned the ball over on downs after three straight incompletions by Vaughn.
In the second half, OP began punctuating their drives, scoring on each of the first three possessions. The first time they touched the ball in the second half resulted in a score, as Suliga found David Beachy in the flat for a 5-yard touchdown. Consumano again hit the point after, making the score 14-0 with just under five minutes left in the third.
The Jackets made it 2-for-2, scoring on their second drive of the half as well. Suliga again went to air, and found Dykstra a second time from 19 yards out. On their third drive of the second half, Alex Lewis scored from five yards out to make it 28-0.
“I think eventually, hopefully, we wore them out,” said Jackets’ coach Brian Beaty of his team’s second-half performance. “We’ve got some big kids, plus the footing was bad. We gave the ball to Roland, and he was getting four or five yards a clip.”
Osbourn Park’s defense came within 11 seconds of recording its second straight shutout they beat Woodbridge 14-0 last week. But as the clock wound down in the fourth quarter, Stonewall’s Chris Garrett gained 72 yards on two consecutive plays, the latter a 50-yard run that put the ball on OP’s 15-yard line.
Two plays later, Ken Dike scored on a 13-yard run to give Stonewall its only points.
“They’ve done a great job,” Beaty said of his defense. “They accepted the challenge that we threw down at them.”
Although the score came against OP’s second-string defense, Beaty thought that was more important than preserving the shutout.
“I know they wanted the shutout, but there are kids that help prepare [the first-teamers] during the week,” Beaty explained. “All of those kids work hard, and it’s important to get them in the game. Probably more important [than the shutout].”