Sterling, VA (November 18, 2016) – This 5A North playoff matchup looked to be a good one with the home-standing Potomac Falls Panthers, seeded fourth, facing the fifth seed Albemarle Patriots. The Panthers were coming off a solid opening round victory over Orange County while the Patriots had advanced by defeating Falls Church.
Chas Sumser Photography was there to capture the action and emotion and posted a gallery of images from the game.
From the very beginning the game itself did not really live up to its potential. Filled with penalties and stoppage it seemed as though neither team could develop a sustained rhythm. It was clear, however, that Potomac Falls was the stronger and more efficient offense. Playing virtually mistake-free, the boys in black steadily increased their lead with touchdowns in the first, second and fourth quarters. At the same time, the Panthers' outstanding defense bent a little, but never gave up a score.
Albemarle's fate became certain when their quarterback was ejected just before the halftime whistle. Virtually about to score and capture some locker room momentum, the Patriots were assessed an unnecessary roughness penalty that ended the second period and their playoff run. They would never really threaten to score again. Two brilliant interceptions on sure Panther scoring plays kept the game close for a while, but good defense wasn't enough to win this one.
Final score: Potomac Falls 22 - Albemarle 0. The Panthers will travel to Massaponax to face the top seeded team in the region. It will be Panthers vs. Panthers with a chance to advance to the regional championship at stake.