Isaac Reed had never coached a day of football in his life before leading the defense of the Northern Neck Rivermen. Yet the talent that he has around him has helped guide the team to the its first undefeated regular season title.
“Honestly my biggest problem that I love to have is trying to make sure everyone has some playing time and using
them the best we could,” Reed said.
The program’s first undefeated regular season came in the final win over the Virginia Silverbacks, 14-0. Winning 10 regular season games humbled owner and head coach Dennis Cornwell after remembering his first season with the organization. The team was 0-10.
“We definitely did it and I was proud for those guys, “ Rivermen head coach Dennis Cornwell said.
During the 2013 regular season, the defense gave up only 57 points through 10 games in comparisons to second lowest in the Mason Dixon Football League to the Virginia Crusaders.
Linebacker Sid Thompson said he didn’t want to speak to far in the future about the playoffs. Instead he said he believes this team is on track to repeating as league champs from two years ago.
“I feel like it’s about time. We’ve always been the younger team and underdog and we’ve been more focused than ever, but at the same I think this is our time,” Thompson said.
Last weekend, the Rivermen picked off the Silverbacks for two interceptions and two fumbles. Derrick Manning collected one each, Divine Veney found a pass and Laslow Pickett recovered a fumble.
The Rivermen offense ended the regular season posting 302 total points in the league, which is the second highest next to the potential playoff opponent, the Virginia Crusaders. Neither team has faced each other, but in the meantime both will prepare for their respective road to the championship.
On Sept. 21, the Rivermen shut out the Silverbacks 14-0 to improve their record to 10-0. Quarterback Walt Covington led the team both on the ground and in the air last Saturday throwing for 65 yards on a poor throwing night for the Rivermen.
The quarterback connected with wide receiver Jermaine Weldon for an eight-yard touchdown pass, ran in for another and converted a two-point conversion with David Jackson. Barrett Hollingsworth was 1-1 for extra point attempts.
In the running game, Mike Vann led the way with 17 carries for 69 yards followed by Adeola Ogunwenmo with five carries for 43 yards.
Devonte Reynolds led the defense with four solo tackles and assisted on nine. RJ Jones forced a fumble by the Silverbacks.
The first round of the single elimination playoffs begin on Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. against the fourth seeded Virginia Titans versus the top seeded Rivermen at King George High School.
“We can’t look past them because we’ve beaten them twice this year. They are going to bring everything they’ve got, they are going to come at us and we’ve got to be ready for anything,” Reed said.
The winner will play on Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. against the winner of the second seeded Arbutus Big Red and third seeded Virginia Silverbacks game in the conference championship at the higher seed’s site. Lastly the league championship will be played on Oct. 19. Location is still to be determined.
The Mason Dixon Football League All Stars will face the stars of the Tru Football League on Oct. 26. Game time and locations still to be determined.
Follow the Rivermen on Facebook for updates. For more information, call 540-845-1009.
The Rivermen are in their fourth year of the and are comprised of players from around the region that enjoy playing the game and has proven to be it as a stepping stone to compete on the collegiate and professional level.
Running: M. Howard 3-4, W. Covington 1-1 TD, T. Short 3-8, A. Ogunwenmo 5-43 and M. Vann 17-69
Receiving: M. Howard 3-45, J. Weldon 1-8, T. Short 1-7, M. Vann 1-3 and D. Jackson 1-2.