The road to victory is pointed due north this week as the South County football team travels to Annandale. Head Coach Pete Bendorf is looking forward to the trip.
The Stallions are coming off an emphatic 42-7 victory over Washington-Lee, but managed just one touchdown against Annandale in a 7-6 loss last season. This will be the second straight year the teams open Patriot District play against each other, and Bendorf knows what the game means to his team.
"It's a critical game just because it's a district game and we want to get off to the right start," said Bendorf.
Quarterback Jake Josephs put up big numbers against W-L with over 100 yards both on the ground and through the air while accounting for three touchdowns. Safety/wide receiver Ronny Vandyke made big plays on offense, defense and special teams, catching a touchdown pass from Josephs, returning an interception for a score, and blocking a punt that was returned for a touchdown by his brother Devin.
Still, Bendorf always sees room for improvement.
"Teams make the most progress in the first two or three weeks of the season. The things that happen to you really make a difference," Bendorf said. "We're making progress. We try to be thorough [at practice]."
Annandale beat Falls Church last week on the strength of its rushing attack, but quarterback Tony Hysjulien made the most of the few passing attempts he had. Hysjulien connected on just two of five throws for 44 yards, but both completions went for touchdowns in the Atoms' 35-0 victory.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. The game is being played on Thursday this week in deference to the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur.