Football Season Starts 1-0

David Hookey, Sports Editor

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coach_adamsOn Thursday, Sept. 3, the Annandale Atoms football team kicked off their 2009 regular season with a 21-14 victory over the Centreville Wildcats.

“The game was fantastic,” said head coach Dick Adams. “It was very important for this football team to get a win and develop confidence heading into the season.”

The Atoms fell behind early when Centreville scored on a 23 yard pass, but rebounded when sophomore quarterback Tony Hysjulien threw a 30 yard touchdown pass to junior fullback Jake Barnes.

However, the Wildcats were able to capitalize on a fumble in the end zone to take a 14-7 lead at the half. “At halftime we knew we weren’t playing as well as we should’ve so we made sure to come out and play well in the second,” said junior Nick Lalande. The Atoms did just that. The team drove down the field and leveled the score at 14 on a one-yard run by senior running back Stacey Anderson.

This touchdown was set up by a beautiful pass from Hysjulien to junior Melvin Robinson. Entering the fourth quarter, the Atoms seemed to be in control of the game and were able to tack on the winning score late in the game. Senior quarterback Rick Adams capped off a long drive with a one-yard touchdown run.

“It was great to win that game on the big 80-yard drive at the end,” said coach Adams. One of the obvious highlights of the game was Annandale’s implementation of a two quarterback system.

Hysjulien and Adams seemed to split snaps evenly, with Hysjulien having more passing plays and Adams more rushing. “Rick [Adams] is a senior with good leadership and can really run the offense well for us,” said coach Adams. “Tony [Hysjulien] has a good arm and has the ability to stretch the field to Melvin Robinson and Rob Potts. Together they give us a good one, two punch.”

Hysjulien finished the game 9-16 for 203 yards and the touchdown to Barnes. Adams was 3-6 for 38 yards and also had 11 yards rushing. “Having two quarterbacks is really helpful because it can keep defenses off balance,” said Lalande.

The Atoms defense was also a bright spot in the game. After giving up 14 points in the first half, they buckled down and kept Centreville scoreless in the final two quarters. Senior Jack Velasquez got a key sack for the Atoms in the fourth quarter, which stifled a potentially game-tying drive by the Wildcats.

“Our defense was alright in the first half except for the one touchdown they had on us but in the second we played much better,” said senior Robert Potts. As the season progresses, the team has set lofty goals for this year’s team. “We want to find a way to get to the playoffs and win the district championship again,” said coach Adams. “We’ve won three of the last four district championships so we want to keep it up.”

Players are also intent on having a winning year. “Our first goal is to get into the playoffs and our second is to win the district,” said Potts. The Atoms’ next game is Sept. 11 at Falls Church High School.Their next home contest isn’t until September 25 against Oakton.

In these games the team looks to continue their winning ways and make progress in achieving their goals. “This is potentially a really good team and this win will give us the confidence we need to succeed,” said coach Adams.

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