A much-improved Drifters Football team compared to a year ago ended their four game winning streak and shot for a state championship in one night. With some missed opportunities and questionable calls, all the Drifters can do now is learn from their recent playoff loss and regroup.
On Nov. 16, the Colonial Beach Drifters traveled to Central Lunenburg for their second playoff game this season. But after it was all over with, the Drifters returned home with 28-0 loss.
Colonial Beach coach Scott Foster said from the their fans and to spectators that the his team wouldn’t have gone this far into the football season. Before the district season began, Foster said he told his players to treat every game seriously. Before the district season began, the team had an overall record of 3-2. Two district games later, the Drifters ended up under .500.
Foster said following the losses to the Rappahannock Raiders and undefeated Essex Trojans, he told his players to treat every game like a playoff.
The team responded not only with wins to follow, but scoring at an uncanny rate compared to what the team is used to doing. In the final regular season game, they also beat their intracounty rival Washington & Lee for the first time in 43 years, 12-0.
The Drifters were riding high and showed it, winning their first Eastern Sectional Division 1 playoff game over Lancaster 40-14 at home. But the scoring feat that Colonial Beach had carried for the end of the season disappeared on the road at Central Lunenburg. The team was shut out 28-0.
But the Drifters showed signs of improvement following Friday’s loss. Not only with a 7-5 finish, compared to last year’s 3-8 record, but the coaching staff at Luneburg saw it as well.
“They are much better…you could even see it on film and see this is different ball team,” said Lunenburg coach Will Thomas. “They shocked us pretty good.”
The Chargers had their way with the Drifters in the first round of the playoffs last year going on to win and then again early this season in a scrimmage.
At halftime of Friday’s game, the Drifters had opportunities to take the lead or tie the game. But the offense struggled to score in the endzone.
A potential pass from quarterback Nick Graves to running back Dion Gonzalez could have been a turning point for the Drifters. The fourth and one situation at Lunenburg’s goal line with 4.6 seconds left in the half was another.
Colonial Beach fans and viewers thought the pass attempt was defensive interference after Gonzalez was laid out in the endzone by a defender before the ball arrived. On the second potential turning point, Foster said Lunenburg’s defense stopped the run by Graves when they needed to do so.
“In that first half we were like a strong dam holding and stopping runs when we needed to, but in the second half holes came in it and giving up some water. I think that’s what got us,” said Colonial Beach coach Scott Foster. “I think if we had scored that would have definitely changed some attitudes. Not punching in that thing at the first half was key. Them holding us on that drive was big.”
Foster said he is looking forward to the future and inheriting the regular season district champion JV players. He said he would miss his outgoing players.
Dion Gonzalez, Josh Thomas, Tim McDowney, Nick Putman, Sidney Horton, Carlos Bermudez, Jaquan Lancaster, Mike McGorda, Devonte Harris, Mark Singleton, Aaron Fisher, Jason Vickery, Wally Reed and Devin Davis are the 14 seniors who played their final season.