McLean sweeps Herndon with ease at Homecoming

The Highlanders beat Herndon 49-0


Katie Romhilt

READY TO ROLL – with the game just starting, the Highlanders have the ball on offense, seeking to score a touchdown.

Paarth Soni, Online Sports Editor

What a season it has been for the varsity football team. Although it is not over, it is clear that this group of boys worked hard to get where they are today. Going into the homecoming game, McLean was 3-1.

“Our guys had a great week of practice, especially coming off a loss against South Lakes,” varsity football coach John Scholla said. “We knew that we had to get some things fixed up and we had to have a sense of urgency and competition in practice. Our players did just that.” The team was scheduled to play Herndon, one of the weaker teams in the district, which gave them an opportunity to achieve some impressive milestones.

“My mentality going into the hoco game was to make a statement with my teammates,” senior quarterback Bijan Soltani said. “Since there was a chance it could be our last home game at McLean we wanted to go out in dominating fashion to show what all our hard work has led up to.”

The boys made a statement out there, playing hard from the jump. They had the support of around 250 parents and students cheering them on from the bleachers. By the end of the first quarter, the Highlanders were up 10-0.

“Throughout the game, I think our only setback was that our passing offense wasn’t clicking right away. But our players and coaches made some adjustments and we started to click,” Soltani said.

Up until halftime the team had been relying on running back Ryan Jessar to put points on the board. He scored one touchdown in the first quarter and another in the second quarter along with two field goals by Senior kicker Ivan Maric to end the half with a 20-0 lead. However once the wide receivers started getting openings, the game became a runaway. Touchdown after touchdown, the team finished the game with 49 points.

“I think that our guys on offense are so talented, well disciplined and confident that they can have success on each and every-play,” Soltani said, “Our line does a great job making holes for our running backs and protecting me in the pocket so I can just dump the ball off to our skill guys who always make us look good.”

This was one the highest scoring games the Highlanders had in the past few seasons, and their defensive effort was also impressive. They locked Herndon in at 0 points the entire game.

“Our defense is confident that they can hold the opposing team’s offense every-time they step on the field and that’s exactly what they did for the hoco game,” Soltani said.

The team is preparing to play Yorktown Thursday , April 1st. . This game will be important for them as they will be able to clinch a playoff spot if they win, something McLean hasn’t been able to do in a decade.

“This is a great group of guys. This senior class was our first incoming freshman class when I was first hired,” Scholla said. “Watching them grow up over the last four years has been awesome. Not only have they become great players, but they have grown into fine young men.”