For the Yorktown Patriots, the shortened seven-game high-school football season was like two campaigns.
There was the 0-2 beginning when the Patriots lost badly and struggled in all aspects of the game. Then there was the 5-0 finish, when Yorktown was vastly improved in all areas, especially its productive running attack and defense that grew tougher and stingier with each contest.
Yorktown capped its season with a 24-15 victory over the T.C. Williams Titans at Annandale High School on April 9. Yorktown rallied from a 7-0 halftime deficit to build a 24-7 lead.
“Are you kidding me? Tonight it took our offense a while to get going, but our defense bailed us out and was strong the whole game and kept their quarterback in check,” Yorktown coach Bruce Hanson said.
That defense made a goal-line stand right before halftime when T.C. had a first-and-goal, but did not score, keeping Yorktown within 7-0.
“That was the turning point of the game, no doubt,” Hanson said. “We were about to go down 14-0 and lose the game right there. Then we stopped them. That was huge.”
On offense, Yorktown rushed for 201 yards and passed for 52.
Han Miller led the running game by rushing for 132 yards and touchdown runs of 65 and 17 yards. Christian Mulumba had 34 yards rushing, quarterback James Yoest had 14 and a TD run of five yards, and Jake Morgan had nine.
Yoest was 4 of 7 passing for 42 yards and Matt Larsen 1 of 3 for five. Jack Flood had three catches for 24 yards and Liam Andersen and Gabe Miller had one catch each.
“Han deserves some recognition,” Hanson said. “He won the game for us tonight with his running, and has been running like that for five games. He is a special runner.”
On defense, Flood had a 24-yard interception return for a touchdown and Colby Distaso and Sam Keenan made numerous tackles and Andrew Evans broke up a pass.
NOTES: Yorktown allowed 34 and 33 points in its first two losses. After that, 15 points were the most an opponent scored against the Patriots in their final five victorious contests . . . Hanson ended the season with 274 career victories.