OP rides the wings to a win


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MANASSAS — The Osbourn Park High School concession stand had a special on hot wings Friday — a tasty 2 for 1 tribute to the Yellow Jackets’ successful offensive scheme.

While the wings were about the only thing producing heat during a blustery night of playoff football, Osbourn Park used its prolific Single Wing attack and a smothering defensive effort to capture the program’s first playoff victory, a 21-15 win over Franklin County in a Northwest Region, Division 6 semifinal.

Back in the postseason for the first time in 14 years, the Yellow Jackets (10-1) forced four Franklin County turnovers, completely shut down the Eagles vaunted Multiple I offense and advanced to next week’s regional championship game at Hylton.

Junior David Beachy caught a pass on 4th and 8 on OP’s second possession of the night and turned it into a 31-yard touchdown reception as the Yellow Jackets built a 21-6 halftime lead.

Running back Roland Hilliard, who rushed for 1,175 yards and a Cedar Run District-leading 12 touchdowns during the regular season, scored twice for Osbourn Park.

The 5-foot-8 senior ran 14 yards for the first of two second-quarter scores and later caught a 13-yard pass from quarterback Doug Suliga with 44 second remaining in the first half.

Another exceptional effort from the defense wrapped up the Yellow Jackets’ historic playoff victory. Tyler Dean recovered one fumble, Raymond Williams caused another and Jason Myers intercepted a pass as Franklin County tried to counter by throwing the ball 33 times.

It didn’t work

The Eagles (9-2), who used a smash-mouth running game to earn their way into the regional playoff for the first time, abandoned their game plan early on. That had a lot to do with the play of Osbourn Park’s defensive front, including 6-foot-5 Clark Lanzendorf and 6-foot-6 defensive end Kirk Simmons.

Franklin County advanced this far by handing the ball off to tailback LeBryan Patterson, but the senior had no room to maneuver on Friday. After gaining 1,343 yards to set a new single season rushing record, Patterson was held to 60 yards on 16 carries.

He scored the Eagles’ first touchdown on a 2-yard run with 10:50 remaining in the first half. A missed extra point left Franklin County trailing 7-6 at that point.

The Yellow Jackets pulled away with two second-quarter scores and needed only to run out the clock in the second half.

An overflow crowd of Eagles’ followers made the four-hour trip from southwestern Virginia, but they had little to cheer about. Franklin County scored 15 fourth-quarter points, but two came on a safety when OP punter Scott Robinson purposely ran out of the end zone with time running out.

Quarterback Daniel Brooks, who replaced starter Daniel Bowles late in the second half, connected with Patrick Preston for a 38-yard touchdown with 25 second left.

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