Stone Bridge wins the VHSL Class 5 State Championship (Photo: Byron Jones/recruitNoVA)
Stone Bridge claims the state title in an overtime thriller
by Byron Jones, recruit804 and recruitNoVA
Stone Bridge wideout Jacob Thomas dropped 27 points back in February to help lead the Bulldogs to their first state basketball title in program history.
On Saturday, Thomas made a spectacular one-handed catch in the back of the endzone to capture the football program’s first state title since 2007.
“I told Jacob to run across the back of the endzone the other way,” explained quarterback Billy Wiles. “They covered it well. I think #5 (Damond Harmon) was inside of him so I looked at him and he kind of knew so I threw it back to the other side and he (Thomas) made a great play.”
When asked about hauling in the catch, Thomas stated, “I kind of knew he was going to throw it up just because I saw that no one was open. When the ball is in the air time kind of slows down. I caught it and it was crazy.”
Thomas intercepted Highland Springs quarterback Juwan Dent late in the fourth period which led to the Bulldogs eating up over seven minutes of clock. They had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation, but the stingy Springer defense turned them away on the one-yard line and they missed the game-winning field goal as time expired.
“After having so many plays go wrong at the end, getting down there and not getting the ball in, missing the field, and then the chop block on the goal line, it was tough for me,” explained Bulldogs Head Coach Mickey Thompson. He continued, “This was one of the games where it wasn’t good enough just to get here for us. We’ve been here so many times before so it was a lot of internal pressure for me to win because I was tired of just getting here and not winning. It was hard for me to even get excited for this game because I couldn’t stomach another loss.”
After the loss, Highland Springs Head Coach Loren Johnson stated, “Definitely not happy with the result, but I’m very thankful for our program to be in this situation and to see it from a different perspective.”
The Springers will be back in the hunt once again in the fall. They will finally be able to play a home football game after a two-year hiatus and they return loads of talent on both sides of the football, including Latrell Sutton, Michael Hodge, Quanye Veney, Dequan Giles, and Rashaud Pernell.
“We’ve not been in our home stadium in two and a half years,” stated Johnson. That will be the most magnificent thing to start next season. These guys will have a place to call home for their senior season. I know that they (team) will grow. They don’t have a lot of time, but the time that they do have, we are going to get better as a football program.”
FINAL: Stone Bridge 13, Highland Springs 10
– Byron Jones
Stone Bridge 7 0 0 0 6 — 13
Highland Springs 0 0 7 0 3 — 10
SB—Cobb 49 pass from Wiles (Aridi kick)
HS—Jackson 50 run (Alsheskie kick)
HS—Alsheskie 30 FG
SB—Thomas 16 pass from Wiles
HS: Juwan Dent 13-29-138-1; Jamareeh Jones 1-1-12-0
SB: Billy Wiles 8-19-114-0.
HS: Jordan Jackson 17-96; Juwan Dent 2-0; Jamareeh Jones 2-5; Quanye Veney 1-4; Raeshon Smith 1-0
SB: Eli Mason 22-77; Najee Richards 4-31; Jacob Thomas 1–4; Billy Wiles 3-7; DJ Cobbs 1-0; Jeremiah Covington-Griggs 2-2
HS: Quanye Veney 7-50; Latrell Sutton 4-74; Michael Hodge 3-26
SB: Jacob Thomas 4-40; DJ Cobbs 4-74.