Tuscarora served a dish of revenge to Broad Run on Friday afternoon. The Huskies fed it cold in a commanding victory en route to eliminating the Spartans from the Virginia 4A playoffs.
The Huskies beat the stuffing out of the homesteading Broad Run, winning by a final score of 30-7 in their day-after-Thanksgiving playoff match-up. The loss was Broad Run’s first at home in over a year. Earlier this season Broad Run narrowly escaped with a two-point victory in Week 1. Tusky has been waiting for this moment ever since.
“I've been looking forward to this game for 13 weeks. Everyone on this team has,” senior quarterback Ethan Gick said. “ We didn’t want to compete anywhere else in week 13. Having the opportunity to play them again fueled our whole season. We’ve been focused on one team and one team only, that’s Broad Run."
Gick threw four touchdown passes. He and the Tuscarora offense had its’ way with the Spartans defense. They created favorable match-ups and took advantage of Broad Run's man-to-man coverage while marching the ball up-and-down the field when necessary.
Tusky opened the scoring midway through the first quarter when Gick connected with Jevonn Gilyard who had gotten behind his defender. Gick threw his first of two TD passes to Ryan Upp with just over three minutes remaining in the second quarter and found running back Bryce Duke streaking down the seam for a score seconds before the half.
“We just knew all of our match-ups [would be an issue for them]” Gick said. “Jevonn (Gilyard) is un-guardable, Ryan (Upp) is un-guardable. They always had to account for everyone on the field and we knew they wouldn’t be able to.”
The Huskies were the more physical team from start-to-finish. Fueled by recent history, they were determined to show who was more deserving to represent the region.
“I’ve been waiting for this for two years,” defensive end Matei Fitz said. “We’ve lost to them three times and man it just feels good to come out on top."
Fitz and linebacker Rainer Halveland helped Tuscarora equally dominate on the defensive side of the ball. As a unit, they forced three turnovers and held a Broad Run, a team that came in averaging 40 points per game to only seven.
Tusky’s front seven won the battle of the trenches making it difficult for the Spartans to have any consistency in their running game and when quarterback Mitch Griffis dropped back to pass, he was hit routinely and eventually forced out of the game due to injury.
The victory is Tuscarora’s 12th in a row. They advance to the state semi-final where they will face Salem.
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