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Wolverines Sports

Old-School win for Mangano

Varsity vs Gar-Field HS on 9/5/2008
Posted Saturday, September 06, 2008 by Matthew Stanmyre

The rain from Tropical Storm Hanna was falling hard and fast, splashing through North Stafford running back Torry Hart's face mask, and his cleats barely were knifing through the soggy grass as he tried to sprint downfield last night. A Gar-Field defender huffed after the sophomore, but Hart ducked his head and churned his legs.

Sixty-six yards later, after his improbable scoring run became the difference in visiting North Stafford's 16-12 victory over Gar-Field in a Virginia AAA nondistrict matchup, Hart collapsed into the arms of his teammates.

He was perhaps the most unlikely hero on the field, but there was no doubting his importance. Hart lifted North Stafford, which has 10 sophomore starters, to an improbable victory and made Coach Joe Mangano's debut with the Wolverines particularly sweet.

"Coach had been telling us that North Stafford is back," Hart said. "He was right."

Last night, Mangano made his first trip back to Gar-Field, where he resigned as head coach eight months ago after four seasons with the Indians. After the final seconds ticked off the game clock, a pack of North Stafford fans poured onto the field and danced while players doused Mangano with a bucket of Gatorade. Mangano then leapt into the arms of an assistant coach.

"When I left here, I left here," Mangano said. "I broke ties. North Stafford's my home, and these are my kids."

It was Hart's run midway through the fourth quarter that allowed Mangano such joy. Rain moved into Woodbridge just before kickoff, and the precipitation turned into a downpour as the fourth quarter started. Hart burst through the line of scrimmage as the storm intensified, then outran a defender to the end zone with 6 minutes 12 seconds to go. It was Hart's first game at the varsity level, and he had been knocked for losses on his first two carries of the game.

"For these kids and this program, this win means the world to them," Mangano said. "They've been told they were losers, but they did everything we asked them to."

North Stafford 16 Gar-Field 12 Debut, Too: Gar-Field Coach Tom Gryder made his home debut last night after guiding the Indians to a 20-14 road victory over Colonial Forge last week. Pick Two: North Stafford defensive back Jared Fayorsey had two second-half interceptions, including one on Gar-Field's last possession to help cement his team's win.


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