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Herndon Can’t Handle Robinson Running Game

Rams’ successful on ground in 41-23 win; South Lakes falls in close one to Marshall.

The Herndon High football team, coming off its biggest win of the year two weeks ago when it defeated Westfield on homecoming, lost this past Friday night to a struggling but still dangerous Robinson High team, 41-23. The Concorde District game took place at Robinson.

"Robinson has been scoring a lot of points against everybody," said Herndon coach Joe Sheaffer, of a Rams’ squad that is strong on offense but has struggled on defense. "We don’t score a lot of points. That was the biggest concern of mine [going into the game]."

Herndon, with the loss, slipped to 6-3 on the season, while Robinson, a traditional power in Northern Virginia, improved to 4-5. Herndon, which is looking forward to the upcoming Div. 6 Northern Region playoffs, will close out the regular season this Friday night at unbeaten Oakton (9-0).

Herndon led Robinson 10-7 after one quarter and trailed just 21-17 at the half. But the Rams scored 10 points in both the third and fourth quarters, while the Hornets scored a fourth quarter touchdown to create the final score. Running back Zach Leach scored two touchdowns for Herndon, opening the game’s scoring with an 82-yard run in the first quarter and later catching a 66-yard scoring pass from QB Zack Ozycz. The Hornets’ final touchdown came on a five-yard run by running back Sam Groter. Robinson rushed for over 400 yards in the win.

"Robinson played terrific," said Sheaffer. "They were much more physical than we were and we couldn’t stop their running game hardly at all."

Herndon, following its dramatic 29-28 double overtime win over Westfield on Oct. 17, held out hopes of still gaining a part of the Concorde District title going into last Friday. But the loss to Robinson was the Hornets’ second district setback of the season, the first coming at Chantilly, 28-10, on Sept. 26. Oakton, Herndon’s opponent this Friday night, is unbeaten in district play.

"We need to play better Friday night," said Sheaffer. "Oakton’s a pretty doggone good football team and we’ll have to play well to beat them."

Marshall earned its fourth win of the season with a 14-12 triumph at South Lakes, which was celebrating its homecoming. The Statesmen, who led 14-6 at halftime, got touchdowns from running back Victor Vanegas (5 yard run) and receiver Aaron Gooding, who caught an 11-yard scoring pass from quarterback Harold Sweet. John Peterman converted successful extra point kicks following both of the Marshall touchdowns.

The Statesmen had good success running the football as QB Sweet ran 10 times for 116 yards and Vanegas rushed 17 times for 67 yards.

South Lakes (2-7), trailing 7-0, got a 58-yard touchdown run from Brandon Price in the first quarter to get within 7-6. Price rushed for 106 yards on six carries on the night. South Lakes’ second touchdown came on a five-yard run by Ja’Juan Jones in the third quarter to get the Seahawks within 14-12. There was no scoring in the fourth quarter.

South Lakes will wrap up the regular season with a home game against Jefferson this Friday night.