No more. By opening their football season with a 12-6 victory over the host Osbourn Park Yellow Jackets, the McLean Highlanders snapped a frustrating 21-game losing streak dating back to the final game of the 2016 campaign.
McLean defeated Osbourn Park on Aug. 29 in high-school action with a lot of determination, just enough offense, getting field goals of 24 and 42 yards from Stefan Maric and playing stingy hard-nose defense.
“It wasn’t easy, but we flipped the page,” McLean coach John Scholla said. “That was a big physical team and we powered through to get a win. Our players battled hard and our defense was lights out.”
McLean led 9-0 at halftime and 12-0 in the third quarter, then held on. An interception on the final play of the game by defensive back Ryan Jessar clinched the win and ended the streak.
Jessar scored McLean’s touchdown on a four-yard run. Maric’s 42-yard field goal gave the Highlanders a 9-0 halftime lead. He booted the 24-yarder in the third period.
Jessar rushed for 30 yards. Quarterback Bijan Soltani was 14 of 24 passing for 90 yards.
“Ryan ran hard and got some key first downs,” Scholla said. “Bijan made some plays on offense to extend drives and help us keep the ball, and our offensive line did a good job.”
Joe Lokke, Matt Duval and Tio Graybill all caught four passes for McLean.
On defense, Cotter Smart and Bryce Molnar each made eight tackles and Mitch Palombi (one sack) and Nicky Varela six each. McLean recovered two fumbles.
NOTES: McLean last won a season opener in 2014 by a 35-29 score over Washington-Lee . . . McLean’s last victory prior to defeating Osbourn Park was a 28-20 win over Fairfax in the ninth game of the 2016 season.