The first half of what was billed as “The Battle Of The ‘Burn” between Stone Bridge and Broad Run Friday night had little sizzle, and certainly did not live up to its billing as the visiting Spartans rolled to a 24-0 lead.
But the second half made up for any first-half shortcomings, featuring an incredible Stone Bridge comeback, bone-crushing hits, big offensive plays all around, and a miraculous 31-30 Bulldog win in overtime.
In an electric atmosphere boasting the biggest crowd to ever see a football game in Ashburn, Broad Run came out firing while Stone Bridge made mistakes most teams make in their first-week scrimmages.
Stone Bridge fumbled on its first offensive play, leading to a Broad Run field goal. Then the Spartans added two touchdown runs of 7 and 43 yards by Derrill Thomas, plus a 54-yard pass from Connor Jessop to Dorian Jenkins to make it 24-0 as Broad Run fans chanted “over-rated” at the Stone Bridge stands.
If that first half stung them, the Bulldogs did not come out of the locker room to start the second half looking like a rejuvenated team hell-bent on a comeback. Instead, it appeared as if the beating would continue in the second half, as Broad Run drove the ball down to the Stone Bridge 1 with five minutes left in the third quarter.
But facing third and goal, the Bulldogs’ Jonathan Allen stuffed the Spartan run to leave Broad Run with a decision: kick a field goal and go up by four scores, or go for it and turn the game into a rout.
Broad Run decided to gamble, but instead of driving the heel of their cleat through Stone Bridge’s heart, they instead got the toe of a Bulldog hobnail boot in their teeth. Allen stuffed the fourth down run, and the Stone Bridge attack finally showed some life.
Bulldog quarterback Ryan Burns - who got a lot of preseason publicity for the interest he’s received from major colleges - did not display any of that potential in the first half. Stone Bridge Coach Mickey Thompson seemed more intent on using him as a runner than a passer, and of the few passes he threw, all were short throws, with most having a recurring theme of bouncing in the mud a foot in front of his receiver.