Hayfield quarterback Jason Stewart started the Region Rumble process as an alternate not guaranteed of a roster spot. He finished as the Northern Region offensive MVP.
Stewart scored a pair of rushing touchdowns, including the game-winner with 37 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, and the Northern Region defeated the Northwest Region 20-12 on June 12 at South County Secondary School. The Northern Region improved to 2-0 in the event, including a 20-17 overtime win in last year's inaugural contest between some of the regions' standout seniors.
Stewart was selected as an alternate for the Northern Region before being named to the roster. West Potomac’s Nik Dimitrijevic was unable to attend Sunday’s game, giving Stewart more playing time, and he took advantage. After coming off the bench behind Robinson's Michael Lopresti, Stewart gave the Northern Region a 7-0 lead with a 6-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and won the game with an 8-yard option keep late in the fourth.
"We just ran an option," Stewart said of the game-winning score. "I saw a hole [and] I tried to go Cam Newton on it."
Operating out of T.C. Williams’ version of the spread offense, Stewart did most of his damage on the ground, finishing with 67 rushing yards. Splitting time with Lopresti meant Stewart had to make the most of his opportunities.
"You’ve just got to make as many plays as you can when you’re in," he said. "You can’t be selfish with it, though. You have to play smart because sometimes you can try to do too much and that’s where you [make a mistake]. I was just letting the plays come to me."
Northern Region and T.C. Williams head coach Dennis Randolph said he was impressed with Stewart’s work ethic.
"He had an excellent night. He did a good job running the offense," Randolph said. "I told him, ‘We want you to come to practice Monday like you’re on the team. We’ll have a jersey for you, but it may turn out on Sunday you don’t dress out.’ He said, ‘I want to do that.’ Right from the get go, he jumps in, he’s an alternate, but he took as many reps as the other kids. He had a good week. He stepped up and made plays. …
"All week long he never practiced like he was not on the team."
Stewart’s teammate, Hayfield running back Justin Marshall, rushed 11 times for 120 yards.