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By Brad Fauber - email@example.com
WINCHESTER -- James Wood coach Mike Bolin couldn't have asked for a better start from his team in Friday night's 19-6 victory over Loudoun Valley.
After receiving the opening kickoff, the Colonels (2-0) orchestrated a 16-play drive spanning 73 yards to take an early 7-0 lead. On the ensuing kickoff, Loudoun Valley coughed up the football during the return and James Wood's A.J. Eubank was there to recover it at the Vikings' 42. Seven plays later, the Colonels extended their lead to 10-0 on a 31-yard field goal by Chandler DeHaven before the Vikings' offense even had a chance to take the field.
"Anytime you get a turnover that could be a swing, you know, and we marched down and we scored points on them," Bolin said. "When you can take the ball and put it in for some points, that really is a big swing."
The Colonels came out on the opening drive intent on running the football, doing so on 12 of the drive's 16 plays. Most of the workload, as would be the case for most of the game, fell on the shoulders of senior running back Aaron Clark. He carried the ball seven times on the drive, including a seven-yard touchdown to put James Wood on the board.
"We did a great job -- we controlled the ball, and we never put the ball on the ground, that's the good thing," said Clark of the Colonels' opening drive.
Clark would finish the day with 81 hard-earned yards on 26 carries and one touchdown.
"[Clark] got us first downs, and he put us in situations where we could open up our playbook," Bolin said. "He just plays hard -- he's a hard-nosed kid."
The Colonels would add a touchdown on an impressive 20-yard, juggling reception by senior tight end Mel Savarese with 15 seconds left in the third quarter. Another field goal by DeHaven in the fourth stretched the lead to 19-0.
James Wood controlled the football all night, holding on to the ball for nearly 34 minutes for the game. What little time Loudoun Valley's offense had on the field was quickly stopped before they had a chance to get started.
"I think we struggled figuring out what we wanted to do to make us successful," Loudoun Valley coach Danny McGrath said.
The Colonels' defense allowed only three Vikings first downs for the entire game, and held Loudoun Valley under 100 total yards until late in the fourth quarter.
The Vikings (1-1) were held scoreless until two minutes left in the fourth quarter, when a 34-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Danny White to Harrison Jackson set up a one-yard touchdown pass from White to receiver Wesley Robinson.
"They played lights out," Bolin said of his defense. "I can't say enough about my assistants -- they worked their butts off so these kids could be in position to be successful."