Football Update: Essex and Rappahannock

Raiders stun W&L Eagles, win 14-13

The Rappahannock Raiders (5-3, 2-1) scored a special homecoming victory Friday night, defeating Northern Neck District rival Washington and Lee 14-13, in what was the Raiders’ first football win over the Eagles (5-3, 2-1) in recent memory.

“It feels very good to have this win behind us, as I have been sharing with our current and former players.  This was a big win for us,” said Raider Coach William West. “This was a huge step in the right direction for us.”

The Class of 1987 added an extra cheering section in the far end zone as they celebrated their 25th year as Raider alumni and fans packed the stands on both sides of the field.

During halftime activities, Rachel Berger was named the homecoming queen.

The larger crowd added extra enthusiasm to the game and helped the Raiders find the effort they needed late in the game, West said.  “It was about the spirit of this team, finding the right spirit.  We have been fighting this battle for a long time.”

West added that on Friday night there was no backing down, regardless of the team or adversity.

The Raider defense came up big, scoring a touchdown and containing W&L’s dangerous offense in several key situations.  Tylek Sorrell raced away with a fumble, going 70 yards to put Rappahannock up 14-0 mid-way through the second quarter.

Aaron Rock provided another all-around contribution, catching a five-yard pass from quarterback Will Hoover in the opening minutes to give the Raiders an early lead, kicking two extra points and grabbing what was a game-ending onside kick attempt by the Eagles.

The game turned on a penalty in the waning moments.  The Eagles had driven into the Raiders’ red zone and scored on a running play, but the touchdown was called back by a holding penalty.  Moments later, on the same drive the Eagles scored on a short-yardage pass to make the score, 14-13.  The momentum seemed to shift and the Eagles looked poised to make the game-winning two-point conversion, which would have been from the Raider three-yard line.  But when Eagles’ receiver Dexter Thompson caught the ball, he threw it up in the air, which was an immediate excessive celebration penalty for 15 yards.  That put Eagles at the Raider 18-yard line with 35 seconds left.  On the W&L two-point attempt, Rappahannock’s Aaron Rock intercepted the pass.

Moments later, the Eagles attempted an onside kick and Rock was there again to fall on the ball and effectively end the game.

W&L’s D.J. Weldon scored on a 25-yard run mid-way through the second quarter and the kick made it 14-7 at the half.  Weldon had probably the best night on the Eagles’ side of the ball.  Besides the touchdown, he also recovered a fumble.

Around the district on the same night, Rappahannock defeated Washington & Lee at home 14-13 and Lancaster fell to Essex on the road 55-6.

On Oct. 26, Colonial Beach (4-4, 1-2) will host Lancaster (4-4, 1-2) and Northumberland (1-7, 0-3) will travel to Rappahannock (5-3, 2-1). Both games begin at 7 p.m.

On Oct. 27, Essex (8-0, 3-0) will travel to Washington & Lee (5-3, 2-1) for a 1 p.m. game.

 

Trojans  closer to district title

Essex continues to climb to possibly earning a potential undefeated season record and a district championship after defeating district opponent Lancaster 55-6 in Tappahannock last Friday.

Essex Head Coach John Fulks said at this point in the season, the goal is to just keep everyone healthy after the performance against Lancaster.

“I was very pleased with the defense play because Lancaster has put up a lot of points and they really held them back pretty well,” said Fulks. “On offense, I thought the quarterback was sharp. We didn’t execute as well…but all in all it was a good night.”

On the opening drive of the game, Essex showed exactly why they have remained undefeated this entire season after seven games coming into last week’s meeting with the Red Devils.

On Oct. 19, wide receiver DeAndre Baylor scored the first two touchdowns for the Trojans followed up by kicker Jason Compton knocking down both extra point attempts. The two scores gave a 14-0 lead before the end of the first quarter.

These two scores was also credited to a stingy defense from Essex forcing a fumble and recovered by Raheem Rolling, two incomplete passes and hitting Lancaster quarterback Kedrick Lee twice.

Down 14-0, the Lancaster defense showed signs of a comeback when defensive back Taj Smith made a key deflection to give the ball back to his team on a fourth and 14 situation for the Trojans.

But two plays later, Lancaster gave the ball back to Essex after defensive back Sterling Hammond caught a interception to put his team in great field position for their third score.

Essex’s quarterback Dominek Broaddus connected with wide receiver Dartanious Jones for a 14-yard reception, then Rolling carried the ball twice resulting in his first touchdown of the night. Compton knocked down the extra point to give Essex a 21-0 lead.

The Lancaster offense, is known for their ability to score, was swarmed by the Trojans’ defense in their next possession. The punt team gave the defense an opportunity with Essex back near their endzone.

But moments later Broaddus connected with Jones for a big gain before the half could end. Rolling ran for 21 yards, then Broaddus connected with wide receiver Keith Bundy Jr. for a 19-yard touchdown. Compton’s kick was good to give Essex a 28-0 lead at the half.

Lancaster started with the ball in third quarter, but as the offense failed to score, Essex had no problem doing so.

In the drive for the Essex offense, they found another way of scoring as the marched down the field for 49 yards on three plays. Broaddus connected with receiver Alonzo Tompkins for a 29-yard reception, Rolling ran for seven yards and Baylor scored his third touchdown after a 14-yard thrown by Broaddus. Compton capped off the drive with another kick to give the Trojans a 35-0 lead.

On their next trip out to the field, Essex took over on downs resulting in Essex’s Tyrell Ware, scoring on a 36-yard touchdown reception thrown by Broaddus. Essex took a 42-0 lead over Essex after an extra point kick by Compton.

As often as they have been known by, Lancaster came out with a big play in the game. With the ball on their own 21-yard-line, Lee connected with receiver Ricky Gibson for a 79-yard touchdown reception. The two-point attempt was no good, but Lancaster still trailed Essex 42-6.

With great field position, Essex capped off a 44-yard drive with a seven-yard run for a touchdown by Rolling. Compton scored the extra point to give Essex a 49-6 lead late in the fourth quarter.

Essex’s final score came after a 24-yard run by Anthony Jones.

Around the district on the same night, Rappahannock defeated Washington & Lee at home 14-13 and Colonial Beach went on the road and defeated Northumberland 51-26.

On Oct. 26, Colonial Beach (4-4, 1-2) will host Lancaster (4-4, 1-2) and Northumberland (1-7, 0-3) will travel to Rappahannock (5-3, 2-1). Both games begin at 7 p.m.

Then on Oct. 27, Essex (8-0, 3-0) will travel to Washington & Lee (5-3, 2-1) for a 1 p.m. game.

Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 11:06 am