When undefeated Battlefield made some early mistakes and fell behind to host Mountain View 10-0 after the first quarter in the Class 6, Region B semifinals, Bobcats coach Greg Hatfield’s initial thought was frustration .
But I knew that if they stayed the course and played the type of football they had been playing all season they could get back in the game.
Hatfield’s confidence (and faith in his players) was rewarded about four minutes into the second quarter.
With 8:40 left at its own 26-yard line, Battlefield got a big play from a big receiver, 6-foot-3 senior Brandon Binkowski, who caught a long pass from quarterback Calum O’Shea and returned it 74 yards for a touchdown that swung the momentum back in favor of the Bobcats.
Binkowski had a tremendous night with nine catches for 177 receiving yards, paving the way for a 21-18 victory that handed Mountain View its first loss (ending its season) and earned the Bobcats a spot in the regional finals. . Battlefield will travel to Freedom for the regional championship on Saturday, November 25 at 3 p.m.
When asked what he thought after Mountain View scored the first 10 points of the game, Hatfield said, “Holy crap.”
“We made some mistakes early on and we knew we had been down earlier in the games, so we knew we needed to keep fighting and playing and we did. Our kids are very tough,” Hatfield said with a wry smile.
Battlefield’s defense, its hallmark for much of the season, held Mountain View to 44 yards on the ground and rushed Mountain View quarterback Aaron Barber for much of the night.
Ultimately, Barber completed 14 of 32 passes for 173 yards, but Mountain View (11-1) was ultimately defeated by turnovers, including an interception and two lost fumbles.
A few weeks ago, some of the graduating members of the 2022 Freedom football state championship team were making fun of their former teammates in the si…
The Wildcats also missed a 39-yard field goal with 10 seconds left in the first half that could have brought them within 14-13 instead of the 14-10 deficit Mountain View faced at halftime. The missed field goal was made even more frustrating for the Wildcats because two penalties on their final possession before halftime took them from the Battlefield 5 to the 24, requiring the field goal attempt.
Binkowski also had a big defensive night, along with his brother Cameron, who got a fumble with about 58 seconds left, securing the victory for Battlefield.
Binkowski praised Battlefield’s defense, and the Bobcats will need a strong defensive effort next week if they want to stop Freedom’s potent, fast-paced offensive attack.
“We have the best defense in the state and our defensive coaches are some of the best I’ve ever played with,” Brandon Binkowski said. “We played hard in every game. “I give credit to our defensive line tonight for doing a great job.”
Mountain View opened the scoring when Connor Bugni kicked a 34-yard field goal with 6:31 left in the first quarter. The Bobcats increased the lead after a Battlefield fumble when Battlefield sophomore quarterback Calum O’Shea threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Binkowski with 4:05 left in the first half.
O’Shea launched a beautiful leap into the left corner of the end zone. It took all of Binkowski’s height to leap over the Mountain View defender for a touchdown that gave the Bobcats a 14-10 lead. That explained the possible halftime score.
Battlefield won the opening toss and held off until the second half, a decision that proved pivotal when the Bobcats used a bit of a dazzle to score on the first drive of the second half.
Battlefield moved the ball well early in the drive, moving from their 30 to Mountain View’s 43. O’Shea took the snap and fired a pass across the line of scrimmage to Bryce Banning, who in turn fired a strike to Braden Boggs for a 43-yard TD that gave Battlefield a 21-10 lead.
“We’ve practiced that play a lot and we knew Banning is a good athlete and he could execute it and the play would work.” Hatfield said, moments before greeting a Battlefield fan outside the visitors’ locker room by saying, “I’d rather be lucky than good.”
However, Mountain View was not finished. The Wildcats pulled within 21-18 on a 1-yard run by Tori Martin and a two-point conversion by Jamil Ramseur with 2:41 left in the third quarter.
Battlefield’s defense tightened as Barber was only able to complete 3 of his final 12 passes and the Bobcats’ defensive swarm forced a late fumble with just over 30 seconds left.
Hatfield said the Bobcats were looking forward to the challenge of playing Freedom.
“They’re a good team. We’ll practice hard this week and give them everything we have,” Hatfield said. “Any time you can practice on Thanksgiving (Day). It’s a good thing.”
Their followers stirred into stunned silence and their leader went writhing on the grass, Brentsville’s game plan going out the window in no time…
Although he is a freshman, O’Shea didn’t play like one, completing 17 of 26 passes for 199 yards. O’Shea deflected the praise after the game and instead praised others like the defense and Brandon Binkowski.
“The guys up front did very well. All the praise for the offensive line and our defense stepped up and bailed me out in the second half,” O’Shea said. “Brandon is probably the main reason we won this game tonight. Two great plays, especially that one (jump) in the end zone. He is a great athlete and did a great job.”
BATTLEFIELD (12-0) 0 14 7 0—21
MOUNTAIN VIEW (11-1) 10 0 8 0—18
MV—FG Bugni 34, 6:31
MV—Martin 1 run (Bugni kick) 1:03
Failed FG: Bugni 39, :10
BED AND BREAKFAST. Binkowski 74 pass from O’Shea (Karas kick), 8:36
BED AND BREAKFAST. Binkowski 18 pass from O’Shea (Karas kick), 4:05
B—Boggs 43 pass from Banning (Karas kick), 9:08
MV: Martin race 1 (Ramseur race), 2:41
in a hurry
Battlefield. Davis 13-38, Banning 5-15, Boggs 1-0, O’Shea 10-(minus 20); Mountain View, Ramseur 8-38, Martin 5-7, O’Neil 2-2, Barber 2-(minus 3).
Battlefield, O’Shea 17-26-1-199, Prohibition 1-1-0-43; Mountain view, Hairdresser 14-32-1-173.
Battlefield, B. Binkowski 9-177, Boggs 6-62, Banning 2-11, Davis 1-(minus 8); Mountain View, Crosby 4-31, Winters 3-72, Tanks 2-33, Martin 2-21, Tisson 1-7, Harris 1-7.