WAHS Football Steamrolls Broadway, 55-14


By Jerry Reid

The Warriors swarmed Broadway. Photo by Jerry Reid.
The Warriors swarmed Broadway. Photo by Jerry Reid.

Riding up I-81 from Crozet last Friday, heading for an away opener, the tug of Friday Night Lights was palpable. This was the beginning of high school fall sports, and Western Albemarle’s Warriors were going visiting.

Broadway is down the Valley, near Harrisonburg, and on a waning summer night, it was home to a perfect jewel of small town gridirons. Before the lights were lit and the National Anthem performed by the Gobblers’ band, though, the trek to the field meant treading on painted turkey paws spread all over the concrete. Hot dogs and hamburgers were heating up on the concession stand grill, and the home crowd was happily tailgating. Filtering into the stands, they were ready for their boys to take the field, cheering their team, asking them to repel the invader.

The Warriors were having none of that, though. They came intending to build on last year’s success, 11-3 overall. Right out of the box, Western was mimicking Jackson’s Valley Campaign, running everywhere and winning most of the battles. Early touchdown runs by quarterback Sam Hearn and tailback Oliver Herndon set the tone for the night, with only a few hiccups keeping this game from being a shutout.

The Warriors notched a 55-14 win that, for three quarters, was a highlight reel for Herndon’s career-best 305 yards on 21 carries and five touchdowns. No slouch himself, Hearn ticked off 130 punishing yards and scored twice in the first quarter.

The passing game, sure to be essential as the season progresses, saw Hearn launch a scoring pass to senior Michael Vale, also completing three tosses to sophomore Derek Domecq (two for first downs). But it was lane-clearing blocking by the offensive line that gave the running game the room to move into the secondary and beyond. Vale was huge in this area, also anchored by seniors Matthew Mullin and Sam Carey, newcomer Joey Bowen and junior Ryan Adcock.

The defense, despite a lapse that led to an 86-yrd touchdown on a kickoff return, was a shut-down unit all game long. While Noah and Osiris Crutchfield roamed the line, stacking up running plays, sophomore Luke Tenuta used his 6’6” height and athleticism to swipe a pass late in the game as part of his debut for the Warriors.

Statistics aside, the night was filled with instances of success by a team well-prepared for this season. Continuing his winning ways, Head Coach Ed Redmond, amply aided by his staff, had the team ready to play. They did so with an intense concentration on the job at hand, and served notice, home or away, District or non-District, that they are to be reckoned with. Under a full moon, the Warriors gave a full effort.






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