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The A-Blast

Atoms Football Is Desperate To Get To .500 Wins

Alexander Burita, Staff Writer

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The Annandale Atoms looked great starting off their season, winning their first two games. Most importantly, they looked confident in their abilities and the possibilities for winning the region looked high. But now, they are really struggling. On Oct. 20, their eighth season game, they lost badly by a score of 15-47. They have lost their last three games and at best can break even with only fifty percent wins seeing that they only have two games left.

Next week, if the Atoms want any chance of pulling themselves out of the hole that they dug themselves into, they have to beat the mighty Hayfield. Hayfield has won six out of eight games. Since Hayfield is first in their conference, they are dangerous and will be tough to beat. Another serious factor is position in the conference. Undoubtedly, Hayfield is a stronger team than Mount Vernon, who is third in the district, who the Atoms lost to.

Hayfield has won their last three games against Mount Vernon, T.C. Williams (who Annandale plays next week and desperately needs to win), and West Potomac (who are exactly one spot ahead of the Atoms in their district). Furthermore, Annandale got clobbered last week by West Potomac 47-15.

All of this evidence points toward the fact that Hayfield and T.C. will be the favorites to win when Annandale plays each of them. But, this does not mean that Annandale can not win like I stated earlier.

Against Mount Vernon, the Atoms did show some relevance in bits and pieces though their defense simply tired out and could not hold up against the explosive Mount Vernon offense. Offensive players such as quarterback Dylan Gill and running back Tyler Rush had a decent game.  

Starting the second half, the Atoms looked stronger after scoring a touchdown and making the two point conversion. They also scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter nearing the end of the game but by that time, it was too late for them to pull ahead of Mount Vernon and try to make a comeback. So, my question along with many other Atoms football fans is: What went wrong in this game? Also, if corrected, could the game have been salvageable?

According to Wide Receiver and Safety Jack McCrossin, “[Annandale] played well in the beginning but let a couple big plays happen and [Mount Vernon] took the momentum.” To improve next week he also says that “we have to play better coverage against the next two teams (Hayfield and T.C. Williams) that have play makers.” To prepare for the big game next week, the Atoms look to “come up with a good game plan and have a good week of practice.”

Furthermore, according to Defensive Tackle Leslie Moriba, “We were struggling on offense and defense and have to come back the next two weeks stronger against a good Hayfield team by being focused and determined to win these last two games.” The mental game is just as important and can sometimes be more important than skill and the physical game. Also, to improve Annandale’s defensive game “I will be prepared by fixing my mistakes from last game and pushing everyone else to go harder in practice.” This next game against Hayfield will undoubtedly be a high-risk high reward situation that Annandale will need to go all out on for a win. As seen in the game against Mount Vernon, momentum will be the key. The Atoms certainly can not afford for Hayfield to feel confident in consistently scoring on every drive. This will require a strong defense.

The important factor to note so far in their season is that the Atoms looked alive and proved that they have the ability to win and look confident while doing so. For example, they routed Washington-Lee in Arlington to snap the two game losing streak. But, to win these games, they need to be more efficient under pressure. Three of their games have been down to the wire and were decided by only one point. Marching down the field quickly when time is against you just may be the deciding factor between the win and the loss.

If Annandale is prepared to win against both T.C. Williams and Hayfield in their next two weeks than that just may be enough to pull them up to fourth or possibly even third in their division based on how West Potomac and Mount Vernon perform. In football, anything can happen in four quarters of play so hope is not quite lost yet for the Atoms this season.

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The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.
Atoms Football Is Desperate To Get To .500 Wins