Plays like those made by the visiting skilled football players from Tappahannock did not make the game any easier for the home standing Colonial Beach Drifters. In last Friday’s district football game, the Essex Trojans improved their record after shutting out the Drifters, 41-0.
In the air, the Drifters defenders struggled to stop the Trojans’ receivers from using their athleticism to grab balls from the defending all-state quarterback
Dominek Broaddus and running backs finding themselves spots to gain yards.
Head Coach Scott Foster knew the Trojans were going to be a challenge for his team and others when the season started with their big-play ability.
“The better team won,” Foster said. “With our corners, we couldn’t have been in any better coverage. They just make the play on the ball.”
Friday’s win for the Trojans was a reward for the team since their first loss of the season two weeks ago after the overtime loss to James Monroe, 40-37.
“The test we got at James Monroe was good, but ever since then we’ve been picking it up at practices, on the field and doing what we’re supposed to in school,” Broaddus said.
The quarterback connected with D.J. Ashlock for a nine-yard touchdown pass early in the game followed by a 52-yard touchdown pass to CJ Jones. On the ground, Dre Baylor ran in for a touchdown from 21 yards out, Broaddus running for another from eight yards and Jamar Kelly intercepting a 19-yard pass for a score.
With back-to-back wins, users on message boards have questioned if coach John Fulks and his staff will be able to keep his team playing at a high level after such lopsided victories. Fulks said it’s a challenge, but he’s confident his guys are keeping themselves motivated.
“I think these guys are focused on finishing strong these games, trying not to buy into the hype and take it one week at a time,” Fulks said.
Fulks said his defense had a challenge with the Colonial Beach offense led by running back Lamar Lucas last Friday. The freshman running back collected 110 yards on 19 carries from the single wing offense. Quarterback Nick Graves was 2-4 with 21 yards to LaShaad Thompson for 17 yards and Shamar Shanks with four.
Essex improved to 6-1 on the season, 2-0 in the district following Friday’s win. Colonial Beach dropped to 3-4 on the season, 1-1 in the district.
Lancaster (3-4, 0-2) will host the Trojans on their homecoming on Oct. 27 while Colonial Beach plays their final home game against Northumberland (3-4, 0-2) the same night. Both games kick off at 7 p.m.
ESSX 7 21 6 7—41
CBEA 0 0 0 0—0
As the high school football regular season winds down, it is time to start thinking about state playoff possibilities. With the new groupings and classifications statewide, local teams have greater chances of advancing to post-season play.
All the teams in the Northern Neck District are classified 1A. For the 1A classification, there are two groups, 1A East (the Northern Neck teams are all here) and 1A West. The top 16 teams in each group advance to the playoffs and are bracketed with the higher seed in each game hosting. Teams play through the bracket until only two teams remain in each group. At that point, the remaining teams will cross bracket, meaning the lower remaining seed from each bracket will play the higher remaining seed from the other. The winners from those games will play for the state championship.
Before last week’s games, Essex was seeded third, Rappahannock seventh, W&L ninth, Colonial Beach 13th, Northumberland 14th, and Lancaster 15th. Most of that changed after W&L beat Northumberland 37-6, Rappahannock beat Lancaster 35-8, and Essex beat Colonial Beach 41-0. As it sits now, all six Northern Neck District teams would be in the playoffs. Essex (6-1 overall, 2-0 in conference) moved up to second in 1A East. Rappahannock (6-1, 1-1) moved up to fifth. Washington & Lee (4-3, 2-0) remains ninth. Colonial Beach (3-4, 1-1) is still 13th. Lancaster (3-4, 0-2) moved up to 14th, and Northumberland (3-4, 0-2) dropped to 15th.
If the playoffs were to start this weekend, Essex would host Northumberland, Lancaster would travel to Altivista, Colonial Beach would visit Central, W&L would play at Parry McCluer, and Rappahannock would host Chincoteague. With three weeks remaining in the season, however, all of that is likely to change. This week’s Northern Neck District match-ups have Northumberland at Colonial Beach, Essex at Lancaster, and Rappahannock at Washington & Lee.