With one upset already achieved, the seventh-seeded Yorktown Patriots will attempt to continue their Cinderella story in the semifinals of the 6D North Region high-school football tournament.
Yorktown (7-4) faces the host and six-seed Westfield Bulldogs (8-3) in that semifinal Friday night, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. The winner advances to the Nov. 25 title game against the defending champion and top seed Madison Warhawks (10-1) or the fifth seed Herndon Hornets (8-3).
“We are confident we will play well against them,” said longtime Yorktown coach Bruce Hanson (296 wins) said. “Westfield is super well-coached. They don’t make mistakes and they play very well within themselves.”
Hanson said his team will again embrace the underdog role with nothing to lose.
“That’s the way we look at it,” Hanson said.
Yorktown upset the host, No. 2 seed and previously undefeated South Lakes Seahawks, 7-6, in a first-round triumph. The Patriots won with strong defense and behind the passing attack led by quarterback Hudson Greene on offense. He threw for 311 yards, connecting multiple times with wide receivers Finn Luca and Chris Montecino.
Yorktown didn’t run the ball with much success.
“We will air it out, but we hope we can run the ball better against Westfield,” Hanson said.
Westfield lost to South Lakes, 28-24, in the final regular-season game for each team. The Bulldogs allowed 13 points or fewer in eight of its regular-season games, with South Lakes and Madison each scoring 28 in the other two.
Westfield routed host and No. 3 seed Washington-Liberty, 30-7, in a first-round playoff game, also an upset based on seeding.
Yorktown and Westfield have played four times in history, with the Bulldogs winning each contest, including the 2019 region-championship game, 35-7.
Hanson said one of the big reasons the Patriots defeated South Lakes was strong defensive play.
“I have to credit the defense for playing so well,” Hanson said. “Our defense has been strong all season.”
Yorktown has allowed just nine points in its past two games, defeating Herndon, 14-3, in its final regular-season contest.
Among players leading that defense have been Montecino, Michael Merritt, Mason Yuh, Van Tranfa, Valentino Antoine, Everett Broadbent, Alek Yaskin, Max Troiano, Henry Southland, Kidus Yinsu, Noe Antoine, Eathan Blackwell and Jackson Freeman-Moore.
NOTE: Yorktown last won a region championship in 1999.