With limited time for game preparation after Hurricane Sandy last week, Essex marched to their ninth straight victory on the road in Montross last Wednesday, shutting out Washington & Lee 39-0.
“Both teams prepared for each other for about a week before the storm hit, but I was pleased with the execution on offense,” said Essex coach John Fulks. “I feel for them and us because it’s a tough situation to come into, so I’m glad we came out on top.”
In the opening quarter, Essex jumped out to a 14-0 lead over the Eagles.
Essex’s quarterback Dominek Broaddus connected with Dartanious Jones for a five-yard touchdown reception followed by a Jason Compton field goal.
On the next Trojans’ drive, W&L’s defensive back Dwayne Cherry intercepted a pass from Broaddus to give the W&L offense back the ball. But the Eagles failed to convert. With Essex back on offense, Broaddus would connect with Jones a second time for a 46-yard touchdown reception. Compton’s extra point attempt was good.
Before the quarter ended, Essex’s defensive back Sterling Hammond recovered a fumble to give his team back the ball. On the opening play, Broaddus hooked up with receiver Keith Bundy for a 40-yard reception. Compton’s extra point put Essex up 21-0 early in the second quarter.
Before the end of the half, W&L continued to struggle with sustaining drives and containing Essex running back Rahiem Rolling. On the opening drive before the half, Rolling ran for 28 yards, followed by a Broaddus 40-yard pass to Tyrell Ware. DeAndre Baylor drove for four yards and receiver Alonzo Tompkins caught a pass in the corner of the endzone to put his team up 27-0.
W&L tried to mount a drive before the end of the half, but defensive back Jamar Kelly intercepted a pass to end the second quarter.
Essex continued to put the pressure on the Eagles during the second half. With a great kick-off return from Rolling to put the ball on the W&L 38-yard line followed by a 13-yard carry on the first play, Jones was set up for his third touchdown of the night. Broaddus connected with Jones for 25-yard touchdown reception to put Essex up 33-0.
In their next drive, W&L made it to Essex’s 23-yard line looking for their first score of the night. But the Eagles offense was denied and left the field after failing to convert on a fourth down attempt.
Essex’s final scoring drive of the game was thanks to a final effort by Broaddus in the pocket. The sophomore connected with Rolling for a 32-yard reception and a 14-yard touchdown pass two plays later.
The clock continued to roll with 3:50 left in the third quarter. During that time, Hammond collected an interception and W&L’s Gabe Loesel and Linwood Newman each had a fumble recovery.
Both teams are expected to make the playoffs following their final regular season games.
Coach Antron Yates, of W&L, said it’s important for his team to forget this loss and prepare for their final regular season game against Colonial Beach.
“We’ve got to have a short memory loss and get ready to play on Friday and Saturday,” said Yates. “Essex is a state contender. They are strong, fast and physical. They are a doggone good football team.”
On Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. W&L (5-4, 2-2) will play its final regular season game at Colonial Beach (5-4, 2-2); Essex (9-0, 4-0) will host Rappahannock (6-3, 3-1) for their final regular season game on Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. Essex will look to win the regular season district title, and if Rappahannock wins, they will tie with the Trojans for the district title.