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Manassas Park edges Drifters

In a battle of winless varsity teams, the visiting Manassas Park Cougars (1-2) defeated the Drifters, 21-18. It would be the second week in a row that the Drifters would lose by less than a touchdown in the final quarter. While the Cougars solely depended on a ground game attack, passing only once throughout the contest, the Drifters gave the visitors from the north everything but the kitchen sink.

John Byrd led the Cougars with 15 carries for 111 yards, while teammate Michael Williams finished the night with 13 carries for 84 yards, and two touchdowns. The Cougars controlled the clock throughout the game, punting only once.

As for the Drifters, Travis Cundiff continues to lead his team in offensive production. He carried the ball for 43 yards on seven carries. Also, he produced 114 yards on two kick returns that featured one touchdown. Farinet finished the night with three completions for 48 yards, on nine attempts, that included one touchdown.
The Drifters appeared to be on a mission during their first possession of the game when they marched 54 yards down the field for the game’s first score courtesy of a Josh Sanford 3-yard touchdown, thrown by Dylan Farinet.
In less than 5 minutes and 10 seconds, the Cougars took the lead on a 26-yard touchdown scored by Williams. After the extra point conversion, the Cougars lead by one (7-6).

On the ensuing Drifter possession, Cundiff returned the kickoff for 86 yards, giving the Drifters a 15-7 lead. The Drifters’ second attempt at a two-point conversion failed.

The Drifters entered the second quarter with the game’s momentum on their side. After recovering a Cougar fumble late in the first quarter, the Drifters capitalized on the turnover by swiftly taking the lead with Cundiff scoring from 10 yards out. After the third missed two-point conversion, the Drifters found themselves with a 11-point lead — which would later haunt them toward the conclusion of the game.
It appeared that the Cougars had simply run out of gas. After a sack on Donavan Johnson, Byrd found a hole in the Drifters’ defense and ran for 34 yards, down to the Drifters 26-yard line. Several plays later, Johnson scored from five yards out on a quarterback keeper. After the extra point conversion, the Cougars were within striking distance. The Beach led by four points (18-14).

The second half started with a defensive standoff.  For the first time in the game, the Cougars decided to use freshman Ryan Kolb as their feature back. The decision would later prove its weight in gold as Kolb led the Cougars for the game’s final score. With less than a minute and 20 seconds to play, Kolb scored from 12 yards out, giving the Cougars a 21-18 lead.

After an exchange of turnovers by both teams, the Cougars would run out the clock, giving them their first win of the season.
On Friday, the Drifters will travel to the unfriendly confines of Mason High School in Falls Church for their third non-district game of the season. Game time is 7 p.m.

At half time, the Drifters marching band performed for the first time on Monroe Park’s field, before a standing room only loyal Drifter crowd. In tribute to the famed musician Roy Orbison, they played the musical hit, “Pretty Woman.”  In addition, participants of the Colonial Beach Youth Athletic Association were honored at mid-field.

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