The Drifters did what none of their predecessors could ever do in their final regular season game last Saturday. Following 43 years of head-to-head competition, the Colonial Beach varsity football team held their inter-county rivals scoreless.
On Nov. 3, the Colonial Beach Drifters defeated Washington & Lee 12-0 to earn their first win over the Eagles ever and improve their rating before the Eastern Sectional Division 1 playoffs.
“That is huge. I don’t even know if the team understands that this is big,” said Colonial Beach Coach Scott Foster. “To other teams it’s another win or another loss, but for us we’ve never done it.”
Colonial Beach's Nick Graves looks for his receiver down field.
Foster said he’s been a part of the community since the early 1980s and over the years the Drifters never earned a win like on Friday.
“It’s bragging rights and this year, finally, we have those,” Foster added.
Former football coach and athletic director, Wayne Kennedy, watched the game from the stands.
“Anyone that has walked the sidelines, been a parent or community supporter, this is for everybody in Colonial Beach,” said Kennedy. “No disrespect to W&L, I have a lot of admiration for their program I just think we’re getting a little better.”
This win comes in the same year that the JV football team won the Northern Neck District regular season title with an overall record of 7-1 after a 3-4-1 record the year before.
“Yes it was a big turn around,” said JV Coach Earl Payton. “I’m just really proud of my team this year. They have put in a ton of work and have had a very positive attitude this season…I really do think about 12 of them will go to varsity and contribute right away. It just means great things for our program as a whole.”
Colonial Beach 12, W&L 0
The final regular game of the season between the Eagles and Drifters was rescheduled as a result of Hurricane Sandy earlier in the week.
On Saturday in the Drifters’ opening drive, Colonial Beach could have won by more after quarterback Nick Graves connected with Shamar Shanks for a 48-yard touchdown reception. But the score was called back after a penalty on an offensive lineman.
In the next drive for W&L, the Eagles turned the ball over on a fumble recovered by Graves on defense.
In the second quarter, W&L’s offense marched from their own 34-yard line poised to score before halftime.
Washington & Lee's Eric Mason looks for running room.
Quarterback Dwayne Cherry connected with receiver Eric Mason for a big gain to put the Eagles close to the redzone. Cherry then connected with running back Kwame Gray for a 15-yard gain to put the Eagles on the 10-yard line.
Gray continued to pound on the Eagles defense for the next three plays gaining three yards every time. But on a fourth and one situation on the Colonial Beach one-yard line, the Drifters defense made a critical stop after a run by Gray.
Colonial Beach and W&L ended the half with no points on the scoreboard.
On the first drive of the second half, Drifter fans jumped in excitement for the first score of the game.
Colonial Beach ended a 65-yard drive with a 35-yard touchdown reception scored by Shanks from Graves to give the Drifters a 6-0 lead.
In an effort to score, Cherry gave the ball back to the Drifters when Colonial Beach’s Jaquan Lancaster intercepted the pass.
The Drifter offense failed to score on the next drive, but the defense continued to make the game difficult for W&L.
Colonial Beach’s Sidney Horton was credited for deflecting a critical pass thrown by Cherry to send the Eagles off the field. But W&L’s D.J. Weldon came up with a deflection of his own on Graves.
Into the fourth quarter, both teams continued to exchange possessions with no results. With less than eight minutes in the game, Colonial Beach struck again scoring on a five-yard touchdown run by running back Dion Gonzalez.
This came after two straight penalties on W&L’s defense and Colonial Beach gaining positive yards running the ball. Colonial Beach led 12-0 with four minutes left in regulation.
W&L tried to make some quick strikes down the field, but failed to reach the endzone in the closing minutes. The game ended with a 12-0 win for the Drifters.
As a result of Hurricane Sandy, W&L was playing their second game following the 39-0 loss to Essex on Oct. 31. W&L Coach Antron Yates didn’t use that rescheduled game as an excuse.
“We could have a lot of excuses, but most of them had the same problems we have. It was just obvious I didn’t have my team prepared to play tonight,” said Antron Yates. “They [Colonial Beach] are a scrappy team.”
Editor’s note: in the printed version of the Westmoreland it was omitted that it has been 43 years instead of 41 since the two teams started playing each other.