Eagles Fall in Battle of Manassas

Manassas proved to be a historic battle ground for the Clarke County Eagles as their string of consecutive wins came to end Friday night with a loss to the Manassas Park Cougars 21-14. The three-time defending Bull Run District champion Eagles lost in the last minute of the game, leaving them with their first regular season defeat in three years.

The Eagles defense lines up against Manassas - Photo Mike Dowling

The battle opened with both teams driving the field for touchdowns setting the stage for another high scoring game, but it was not to be. The Eagles put together a long drive on their second possession, but a fumble by #1 Grant Shaw ended the drive and took the steam out of the Eagle offense. The Cougars were unable to capitalize on the turnover and were forced to punt the ball away 2 minutes into the second quarter. As the Eagles took possession again, the Cougar defense turned up the heat shutting down the Eagles and forcing them 3 and out. A short punt left the Cougars in ideal scoring position at the Eagle 29 yard line. After a seven play drive the Eagles defense held their ground forcing a field goal attempt by the Cougars which went wide left. The Eagles took over on the twenty but could not sustain a drive punting the ball away with 2:07 left in the half. In the closing minutes of the first half, Manassas Park marched the ball down the field, but the drive was defused by an interception by #46 Tyler Shiley on the 14 yard line to end the half.

The third quarter would be dominated by the Cougars. Their opening drive would consume almost 8 minutes off the clock and take them down to the Eagle   17. Pressed into their own territory, the Clarke County defense made their stand and scuttled the drive stopping the Cougars on a 4th down conversion attempt.

On offense, the Eagles fizzled in the 3rd quarter going three and out and managing only 2 yards in total offense.

The Cougars next possession would carry into the 4th quarter and end in a 17 yard touchdown pass to take the lead 14-7 with 8:32 left in the game. Hoping to catch the Eagles off-guard the Cougars attempted an onside kick but failed to recover and the Eagles took over at   their own 42.

Cougars score with 1:04 left in the game - Photo Mike Dowling

The pressure revived the Eagle offense. Six plays later they would tie the game   with a 27 yard touchdown run by #22 Ron Anderson with 5:28 left in the game. With the score tied and the clock winding down, the Cougars would answer back driving the field in 13 plays. Cougars quarterback Nick Kolb capped off the drive carrying the ball in to take the lead 21-14 with 1:04 left in the game.

The Eagles would have one more opportunity to score as they returned the Cougar kickoff to their own 49 yard line. The Eagles took to the air for the final drive but were unable to connect ending the game with a Cougar interception.

With the loss, the Eagles drop to (8-1, 2-1). The win puts Manassas Park (6-2, 2-0) into a first-place tie with Madison County in the Bull Run District standings.

The Eagles have a bye next week but will face Madison at home on November 12th at 7:30 PM.


  1. Tough game, guys. We are looking forward to your home game against Madison on the 12th! I am so proud of the Eagles supporters who traveled to Manassas Park. So sad the home team’s stands look practically empty.

    • What Beth said about fan support. The MPark stands looked pretty empty. Unfortunately that didn’t seem to affect the Cougars on the field. The Eagles should hold their heads high, as they took it down to the last minute before falling to a very good team. The Cougars offense had good speed to the outside to counter the inside threat of #34. Ball control by MP in the second and third quarters only gave Clarke something like eight play in that span. The best way to deny a high-powered offense like the Eagles’ single wing is to deny them the ball.

      Serious kudos should be given to the Clarke red-zone defense for denying the Cougars scoring opportunities over that same middle periods span. That being said the drive the team made in the fourth quarter to answer the Cougars second touchdown was a symphony of intensity and precision. Well done!

      Sidebar: Nancy and I have had the honor of employing several past and present Clarke County football players in our hay operation over the past two seasons. Suffice to say their parents and their school community should be proud of these young men and their peers who so ably contribute to making Clarke County a wonderful place.