** Editors Note: This is the first in a regular series that will appear in the news section of Clarke County Sports reviewing sporting events CCS has covered over the years. The stories will feature the actual articles written, photo's and extras. Please send us your thoughts on the series..
Stone Bridge Wins the Battle of Champions
“Eagles Valiant Comeback Falls Short”
By Michael "Moe" Murphy
Special to the Loudoun Times-Mirror
ASHBURN, VA Nov. 11, 2003 – When the Bulldogs and Eagles took the field Saturday there was magic in the air. Both teams sporting 11-0 perfect records, each team a champion of their respective district. The Region II Division 4 Championship was on the line. Over 6000 fans traveled to Ashburn on a bright sunny day. The Bulldogs were dealt a blow early when senior captain Landon Gouveia went down in front of the Bulldog bench at the 10:22 mark of the 1st period. He would sit out the rest of the game and left the field on crutches. “It’s a high ankle sprain,” said Gouveia as he entered the locker room, “I hope to be back for our next game. Our guys did a great job, they stepped up when they had to, my hats off to all of them, and they played great.” Shortly after the injury, Stone Bridge mounted an 80-yard drive that consumed just over 7 minutes; twice Stone Bridge converted on 4th down and was capped when Mike O’Brien went in on 4 down from the 2. Stephen Eaton added the extra point and Stone bridge led 7-0 with 1:42 to go in the 1st quarter.
|Bulldog Mike O'Brien throws to Rick Calloway|
|VA Tech Bound Ed Wang Eyes Syracuse|
bound A.J. Brown in the Region II Championship
|Bulldog Captain Landon Gouveia|
leaves the field on crutches
Liberty Head Coach Tommy Buzzo had nothing but praise for his entire team. “I’m proud of everyone one of our players. We are disappointed about the loss, but we won 11 games. They (Stone Bridge) made some big time plays and our kids never gave up. We asked our kids to step up and they did, I’m proud of how every player played in the 2nd half.” A.J. Johnson was gracious in defeat, he is very thankful for his career at Liberty and summed up his season after the game “This was the best team I have ever played on in any sport. It’s like a family out there. I wouldn’t want to be with anyone else. Win or lose they will always be my family.”
Stone Bridge Head Coach Mickey Thompson felt his team came through when they had to, “We played extremely well in the 1st half. When we came out in the 2nd half, we weren’t flat, but we didn’t have the same intensity that we had in the 1st half. They were taking it to us, a couple big plays by our offense and a score was what it took to stop the momentum.”
|Stone Bridge Principal James Person presents the Region II Football Championship|
trophy to the 2003 Stone Bridge Bulldogs Photo Moe Murphy / Clarke County Sports