Sherando routs Pioneers 33-14 to win 5th Barr-Lindon Crimson Apple

Posted: November 5, 2012

Sherando senior running back Taylor Loudan rushed for 277 yards and scored three touchdowns in the Warriors’ 33-14 Northwestern District victory over Millbrook to clinch their fifth Barr-Lindon Crimson Apple Friday night. (Photo by Ginger Perry/The Winchester Star)
Millbrook senior wide receiver T.J. Bruce had six catches for 56 yards and a touchdown in the Pioneers’ 33-14 Northwestern District loss to Sherando. (Photo by Ginger Perry/The Winchester Star)

WINCHESTER — The Millbrook football team fired one heck of an opening punch.

But that was no match for nearly 14 minutes of ferocious combinations.

After surrendering a 60-yard touchdown to Justin Anderson 14 seconds into the game, Sherando ran off 33 straight points to defeat Millbrook 33-14 Friday night and claim the Barr-Lindon Crimson Apple for the second straight year.

The unquestioned highlight for the Warriors came from the 6:48 mark of the first quarter to the 5:09 mark of the second. During that time the Warriors scored 20 points while only allowing Millbrook to run two plays — Sherando recovered a pooched kickoff after its first touchdown, then recovered an Anderson fumble two plays after its second and took advantage of the short field to go up 20-7.

The Pioneers (6-4, 2-2 Northwestern District) weren’t finished at that point, but the Warriors (6-4, 3-1) were plenty revved up and appeared to be in no mood to stop.

“We knew they were going to come out to play,” said Sherando senior Taylor Loudan, who took the vast majority of snaps from center and finished with 277 yards and three touchdowns on 33 carries. “Unfortunately they hit us in the mouth.

“But we responded, and obviously, we never let up from there.”

As a result, they got to jump and chant as they held the Crimson Apple aloft after the final whistle. Awarded each year by The Winchester Star to the team that fares the best between the Winchester-Frederick County schools, Sherando has now won the Crimson Apple competition five times, breaking a tie with Handley for the most titles among local schools.

“It’s big to defend [the trophy], and also with a win we get a home playoff game next week,” Loudan said. “That’s huge, especially for us seniors. I think we’re going to be ready to fight next Friday.”

Millbrook coach Reed Prosser was proud of how his team battled in the second half, but two plays over 14 minutes was just too damaging.

“That’s where the game got away,” Prosser said. “Once they got the big lead, we’re trying to play catch-up, and they’re just running the ball.”

The Warriors outgained Millbrook 449-229, with all but 11 of those yards coming on the ground. Junior fullback George Aston added 154 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries.

The Pioneers started off the game well enough, getting the Anderson touchdown on the first play after he broke a couple tackles, forcing a Sherando punt, then driving down to the Warrior 30, where Prosser elected to go with the wind and booming leg of Tyler Gray to try a 47-yard field goal.

But that attempt came up short, and from there, Sherando came up deceptive and physical. Taking over at its own 20 with 6:48 left in the first quarter, Sherando went 80 yards on 14 running plays before Aston scored from 3 yards out with 11:55 left in the second quarter to tie the game at 7-7.

Millbrook couldn’t seem to get a read on Loudan, who would frequently take the shotgun snap, spin, fake a pitch to Josh Ojo in motion, then turn back upfield, where he often found big running lanes.

“I thought Taylor did a good job with some of the things we were doing in the Wildcat, I thought George did a good job running hard — we did some mixing and matching there — and I thought we did better up front,” Sherando coach Bill Hall said.

The touchdown might not have been that big of a deal if Millbrook’s explosive offense had actually been able to take the field in response. But after the Pioneers let Josh Wagner’s opening pooch kickoff drop at their own 40 before they grabbed it, no one made an immediate move when Wagner sent another high pooch kick to about the 40.

That allowed Sherando to swoop in and recover the ball at the Pioneers’ 38. Eight plays later, Aston scored from 1 yard out to make it 13-7 with 7:52 left in the second quarter. (The extra point was blocked.)

Though that was the only pooch kick that Sherando recovered, Wagner gave Millbrook fits with his kicks throughout the first half — the Pioneers, struggling with the wind, only attempted to catch one of the five on the fly.

Impressively, Wagner only started doing it two weeks ago, and he was glad he can play a part in the Warriors’ surge.

“I just started doing [pop-up kicks] for fun, and the coaches saw it, so we just started doing it,” said Wagner, whose four receiving touchdowns lead the Warriors. “It worked really well today. It worked well the first time, so we tried it again.

“It was a big momentum-swing. After that the offense just pretty much took over, and we never looked back.”

An Anderson fumble on second down on the next possession gave Sherando the ball at the Milbrook 26, which led to a Loudan 9-yard touchdown run that made it 20-7 with 5:09 left. Loudan added another touchdown on the Warrior’s next possession to make it 27-7 at the half, and he scored again on the opening possession of the second half to make it 33-7.

Loudan said it was just a great overall team effort in terms of execution.

“Our defense stood up, offensive line did a great job, the fullbacks did great,” he said. “It was a team win tonight.”

Prosser — who gave Sherando a lot of credit for its execution and its physical play — said the Pioneers just need to turn around and regroup.

“The reference I used to the kids was that we just lost a conference championship game in basketball,” he said. “The NCAA Tournament starts next week. Winning the Apple Cup is nice, but we’ve got bigger goals that we’re trying to attain. I know our kids will refocus, because I was really proud of them in the second half.”

The Pioneers were led by Anderson (80 yards and a touchdown), Justin Neff (16 of 24 for 111 yards and a touchdown) and T.J. Bruce (six catches for 56 yards and a touchdown).

Chris Smith had 2.5 sacks and a fumble recovery for Sherando.

— Contact Robert Niedzwiecki at  rniedzwiecki@winchesterstar.comFollow on Twitter @WinStarSports1