By Jim Laise - email@example.com
WINCHESTER -- Sherando rebounded from a tough loss last week with a dominant 33-14 win over Millbrook on Friday night.
The win assured the Warriors of a home game next week in the Region II, Division 4 playoffs.
Millbrook tailback Justin Anderson took the game's first snap for a 60-yard score and Tyler Grey converted for a short-lived 7-0 lead on Senior Night for the Pioneers (2-2 Northwestern District, 6-4 overall), but the Warriors (3-1, 6-4) scored on all four possessions of the second quarter to take an insurmountable 27-7 lead into the intermission locker room.
Sherando's Taylor Loudan rushed for 270 yards and three TD's and teammate George Aston added 138 and two scores to help their team win for the eighth time in the 10 meetings between the two schools.
"I'm proud of the kids," Sherando coach Bill Hall said. "They adjusted to the way Millbrook opened -- we weren't tackling, to be honest with you -- but we picked it up from there. We played hard. We showed our heart. To start off 1-3 and to fight this far -- that's something.
"We didn't execute last week, so we were pumped up tonight," said Aston. "Even when they scored, we knew we were going to come out and do something good. This is a rivalry. Neither team likes each other."
Loudan rushed for 172 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, and Aston came up with 80 yards on the ground in the second half.
"He's a great athlete," Hall said of Loudoun. "He can obviously run the ball and he shows some deception."
The secret to the visitors' offense at Millbrook started, ironically, with a broken collar-bone to regular QB Reid Entsminger against Handley. Hall and his staff decided to go with sophomore Josh Ojo and Loudan in various wildcat formations. In the first half lined up in the shotgun, Loudan faked dives to Sherando runners and then carried himself.
With the lead safe, Ojo got under center for much of the second half, and had Loudan and Aston punishing the Millbrook front from their running back positions. Aston, a 6-foot, 225-pound junior, took it upon himself to hand out licks as he salted away the contest.
"I love it. A game like this, you run hard," he said.
Millbrook led 7-0 after one, but when the quarter changed, so did the Warriors.
On the first play of the second quarter, Aston took it in from the 3. Sherando used almost seven minutes of the clock as it methodically drove down field.
Both teams used pooched kickoff in the night's wind with varying results. On the ensuing kickoff after the score, Sherando forced a fumble from the return man and Joseph Daley made the recovery on the Millbrook 38. Several running plays later, Aston again got the call -- this time from the 1 -- for the score. Clowser's extra point attempt was blocked to make it 13-7 at the 7:52 mark of the second quarter.
Another Millbrook fumble was recovered on the Pioneer 26. Five plays later, it was Loudan's turn. He went in from 10 yards, untouched for a 20-7 lead.
A Millbrook punt gave way to the fourth score of the quarter. Aston enjoyed his best run of the night. Starting from his 10, the big bruiser broke tackles at the line, then scurried down the sideline to the Millbrook 8.
After a holding call moved the ball back to the 14, Loudan, operating from the gun, dropped back as if he were going to pass, then scooted up the middle for his second TD of the night.