by Shawn Manuel
Woodbridge came into the game with nine straight wins and was facing a Gar-Field team that needed a win to secure a spot in the playoffs. The 9-0 Vikings kept their undefeated season alive behind a scrappy defense and the legs of freshman running back Jaylen Avent, who was later named The Great American Rivalry Series MVP by the media.
Woodbridge came out in the first quarter the same way they have all season, striking first. With a mix of passing and running plays, the Vikings found themselves taking an early 7-0 lead behind a Buckley one-yard run. The Indians offense couldn’t find any breathing room as they watched from the sidelines as Jaylen Avent picked apart their defense. Avent would later score before the half on a 32-yard run in which he eluded multiple tackles.
During the halftime festivities, well-deserving members from each school were inducted into the Great American Rivalry Series Hall of Fame. SSgt Stanley presented Winston October from Gar-Field with this prestigious award. Sgt Hubbard followed, by presenting De’Antwan “Rocket” Williams from Woodbridge with his trophy. Darren Hill, a close friend of the family, accepted on Williams’ behalf.
Gar-Field came out of the locker room looking for a win to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Indians would cut the lead to four when Jackson walked the ball in from one yard out. Little to no surprise, Avent would follow with a 66-yard burst down the sideline on his way to his second touchdown and a comfortable 21-10 Viking lead.
The Indians would make a final push in the fourth quarter, but the Woodbridge defense was too strong. The game ended with the Vikings on top 35-16. Avent would end his MVP campaign with a 61-yard run sealing the Vikings victory and earning their second consecutive district title.
Jaylen Avent showed “rocket-like” moves just as the Woodbridge Hall of Fame award winner De’Antwan did against Gar-Field in previous years. Sgt Hubbard presented Avent with the MVP award as his team patiently waited for their championship trophy.
Coach Kevin Smith and the Vikings were presented with the Great American Rivalry Series Championship Trophy by Marine SSgt Stanley. Woodbridge held the trophy high, while Coach Smith thanked the Marines and the Great American Rivalry Series for all their hard work and for allowing them to be a part of this year’s Series.
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- Woodbridge vs. Gar-Field – 2009