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Bruins, Rams to Match Up This Friday Night

South County can’t hold off unbeaten Centreville.

The winning beat just keeps on for the Lake Braddock Secondary football team. In the Bruins’ latest victory, they handled visiting T.C. Williams, 49-12, on Friday night, Sept. 24.

It marked the third time over its first four games in which the Bruins have scored 49 or more points. The only game in which Lake Braddock (4-0) was limited offensively was a 12-7 victory at Westfield on Sept. 16.

Lake Braddock QB Mike Nebrich continued his outstanding season by tossing five touchdowns against the Titans. For the game, the senior completed 22-of-35 passes for 380 yards. His primary target was wide receiver Matt Zanellato (nine catches, 170 yards, three TDs). Tyler Quigley (four catches, 151 yards) also caught three TD passes and even threw for one as well on an option play.

Nebrich, along with his passing, rushed for 112 yards and a score on 20 carries. Lake Braddock led 28-12 at halftime and 35-12 after three quarters.

"We made multiple big plays that blew the game open," said Lake Braddock coach Jim Poythress. "I thought our offense was consistent. I thought our defensive effort was marginal compared to the first three weeks. There are a lot of things to fix if this team is to make a playoff run. I was impressed with TC’s talent level."

Lake Braddock will be home this Friday night against Robinson in one of the Northern Region’s top rival games of the week. The Rams (3-1) are coming off a 47-0 home blowout win over Herndon. Their lone loss came in an upset setback to Fairfax in week two, 20-12.

Poythress is expecting a tough game as usual against coach Mark Bendorf’s Robinson outfit.

"Robinson is always well coached and always comes to play," said Poythress. "While we did defeat them in last season's playoffs they have dominated the series for years. I am sure that they are eager to prove that last year’s Lake Braddock victory was a fluke. I hope our boys can meet the intensity and sustain the focus required to be competitive with the Rams."

SOUTH COUNTY will be looking to get back on the winning track this week following a high-scoring 32-28 road loss to unbeaten Centreville last Friday night. The Stallions (1-3) have now lost consecutive games by four points. They fell at Annandale, 7-3, two weeks ago.

South County jumped out to a 14-6 lead after one quarter. But after three quarters they trailed, 18-14, before both teams scored a pair of touchdowns in a wild west fourth quarter scoring fest.

"Centreville has a nice squad this year," said South County coach Pete Bendorf, of a Wildcats’ team under the direction of first year coach Chris Haddock. "They have limited their mistakes. They don’t turn the ball over."

Centreville running back Manny Smith had a huge game with 227 yards and two touchdowns on 39 carries.

"Manny Smith is the key," said Bendorf. "They are very patient and will give him the ball even if you slow them down. He is a strong kid that wears you down as the game goes on."

Although South County led 14-6 in the first half, it allowed Centreville to get back into the game as a result of turnovers.

"We are our own worst enemy," said Bendorf. "We had two fumbles that we lost while protecting the lead."

Other mistakes hurt the Stallions, such as their inability to convert a late game fourth-and-one play, costly penalties, and other mishaps.

South County scored two special teams touchdowns — a 50-yard punt return by Marcus Thomas and an 80-yard kick return by Ryan Taylor. The Stallions’ defense also accounted for a score when Nicholas Hicks returned a fumble 21 yards to open the game’s scoring. But it was not enough.

The highlight on offense for South County was the strong ball carrying of running back Andrew Rector, who rushed for 204 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.

"We are very up and down," said Bendorf. "I can’t put my finger on it right now. The kids’ effort has been very good. We just need to continue to focus on getting better during the week."

South County will host West Potomac this Friday night.