Coaches often warn their teams against giving up the “big play” to their opponents. In Northumberland’s last two games it’s beet “big quarter.”
Last Monday, Essex scored 35 points in the opening quarter of play. On Friday, at Montross the Washington & Lee Eagles scored 27 points in the third period in handing the Indians a 37-6 loss.
In the opening quarter of play, the Eagles mounted one drive that covered 48 yards in nine plays with Treshaun Brown connecting with Davon Hamilton on a
16-yard pass for the touchdown. Markeyse Thompson was good on the extra-point kick. The two teams played fairly evenly in the second 12 minutes with neither able together a strong offensive series.
That changed rapidly at half time with the Eagles scoring four times in the third quarter, all on pass plays. The Northumberland secondary was ineffective, often out of position and unable to stop Brown from connecting with his receivers. The first was eight-yard strike to Hamilton, that extra point attempt was no good. Brown then followed a 40-yard pass to Hamilton, a 32-yard touchdown to Jarret Sumiel and a 35-yard pass to Milan Bullock. All of the last three touchdowns were followed by Alex Lane kicks.
From that point on the Northumberland defensive front unit and linebackers began to take a toll on Brown and running back D.J. Weldon.
Midway the final stanza of play, Lane added a 27-yard field goal to close out the Eagles’ scoring. Late in the period, Zak Kent hit Ameer Veney in the right hand corner of the Eagles’ end zone for a 27-yard touchdown. The attempted two point conversion was no good.
Brown ended the game throwing for 273 yards (14-20) and five touchdowns. Hamilton was the leading receiver with six receptions for 124 yards and three touchdowns. Sumiel had seven receptions for 104 yards with one touchdown followed by Ryan Taylor with one reception for 10 yards and Bullock with one for 35 yards and a touchdown.
On the ground, Weldon had nine carries for 20 yards, Bullock had a carry for 24 yards, Marion Pollard had three carries for 10 yards and Brown had three carries for 13 yards.
Only two of the Northumberland running backs had positive yardage. Veney had six yards on one attempt, Daryl Smith picked up 15 in six carries.
Daquan Blue connected on seven of nine passes for 13 yards, Zak Kent hit on five of eight for 67 yards and a TD. He was intercepted twice. Veney caught nine passes for 55 yards and a touchdown. Carter one for seven and James Weldon had one for 21 yards.
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 Altavista, 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.