The varsity football team lost to the Northern Virginia Homeschool Athletic Association (NVHAA) Centurions 32-21 at home on Friday, Sept. 13, following the annual Back To School Bash.
To begin the game, wide receiver Mark Hamilton (24) scored a 25-yard touchdown halfway into the first quarter. However, the Centurions quickly gained the lead, scoring two touchdowns and a two-point conversion to make the score 14-6. Quarterback Sihun Kim (11) connected with Hamilton on a 70 yard touchdown pass to tie the game, but the Centurions scored another touchdown, ending the first quarter ahead 20-14.
Defensive back Caden Phillips (11) intercepted the Centurions to begin the second quarter, but the Colonials were unable to convert the turnover into points, and the Centurions scored a touchdown on their next possession to go up 26-14.
Led by a touchdown and two point conversion by running back Sherzoy Jan (12), who totaled 140 yards, the Colonials narrowed the Centurions’ lead to one score halfway through the fourth quarter. However, the Colonials were ultimately unable to pull through for the victory as the Centurions scored another touchdown, ending the game with a final score of 32-21.
“There were two possessions where we could’ve taken the lead in the fourth quarter, but we couldn’t. So that was kind of disappointing,” Hamilton said. “But in general, we played well as a team.”
Even though it wasn’t enough to win the game, the Colonials had defensive success throughout the game.
“Our defense dominated much of the game, shutting down the Centurions’ run game and most of their short passing game,” Aaron Raffle, the team’s head coach, said.
And even as Jefferson fell behind, the large crowd rarely wavered in their display of school spirit.
“TJ definitely has more school spirit than any other school I’ve seen. The most noticeable was clothing – I wore all white,” freshman and first-time-watcher Prithvi Seri said. “And we were all chanting really loudly.”
Although Friday night’s loss was disheartening, the varsity football team continues to learn from their mistakes.
“Friday night’s loss to the Centurions was hard to swallow for our team, especially after defeating Lee High School for our first conference win in 6 years the week before,” Raffle said. “We won’t let this loss define our season. It just makes us stronger and makes us more driven to be successful.”