By Zach Long – Thomas Dale and Meadowbrook have produced several tight, gritty games over the past few years, and this season’s meeting was no different.
Thomas Dale downed Meadowbrook 18-6 Friday.
High-octane freshman Chris Tyree scored on the opening kickoff for 83 yards to give Thomas Dale the early lead, but it would be halted by a vicious Meadowbrook defense for the rest of the half.
Meadowbrook would score all their points in the first half. Kicker Jacob Grabham nailed two field goals early, and the Monarchs, trailed 7-6 heading into the locker room for intermission.
The second half had two things in common with the first: defense and Tyree.
To start and end the half, Thomas Dale would down Meadowbrook in its own end zone for safeties. In between those defensive scores, Tyree came down with a jump-ball interception and scored on a beautiful sideline run with 5:15 left in the game. He would finish with 150 yards rushing. Coach Kevin Tucker was not surprised by Tyree’s ability to make plays down the stretch.
“Chris does what Chris does best,” said Tucker. “He finds that seam and can turn a 3-yard carry into a 40-yard touchdown, and he gives us that big play threat each week.”
Meadowbrook’s defense withheld for the entirety of the game, giving Thomas Dale a hard time. However, that one run by Tyree would prove to be the difference maker in a crucial game for playoff position.
With the loss, Meadowbrook falls to 3-5 on the season. The Monarchs have Dinwiddie and Prince George left on the schedule. Most likely, they will need to win both games to snatch a postseason berth.
Thomas Dale continues an upward trend and moved to 6-2. They have two tough games left in Hopewell and Matoaca. If the Knights are able to notch two more victories, they could possibly play host to two post season games this year.
Hopewell 46, Matoaca 35
By Onyx Lee – With playoffs approaching faster than ever, Hopewell seems to be finding its identity. They’re now sitting at 6-2 following their victory over Matoaca last Friday, 46-35.
Both teams are known for several offensive weapons, so defense would have to be a factor. The first half consisted of several forced fumbles and interceptions for both teams, but the Blue Devils would capitalize on nearly all of the Warriors mistakes. With Hopewell jumping out to an 18-7 lead in the second quarter, Matoaca’s Tre’von Stewart snagged two touchdown passes to take a lead on a 14-point swing, Hopewell answered with a 60-yard quarterback keeper by Greg Cuffey to score and they led 26-21 at the break.
Momentum swings made the second half a thriller, with Matoaca refusing to go down without a fight on their home field. Sophomore defensive backs Jonathan Coleman and Deonte Talley both picked off passes to try to aid the Warriors’ cause on defense. However, Hopewell’s read-option rushing attack of quarterback Greg Cuffey and running back Ronnie Walker proved to be too much for Matoaca.
Cuffey led Hopewell with 177 yards from scrimmage (123 passing) to go with two passing touchdowns and a score on the ground. Walker finished with 131 yards and a touchdown for the Blue Devils. Senior Nas Cooper totaled 102 rushing yards and two scores.
The Warriors were led by running back Jeremiah Carter with 56 yards and three touchdowns. Stewart finished the game with five receptions for 63 yards and two scores. Sophomore quarterback Jameel Gordon, who previously had seven touchdowns over his past two games, threw for a score, but he had his challenges, throwing two interceptions and fumbling the football.
Hopewell could move to the top seed in the 3A East by virtue of the victory. Matoaca came into the week as the seventh seed in the 5A South and could drop, as eight-seeded Lee-Davis was victorious over Hanover. The VHSL’s rankings were released Tuesday at www.rvagamebreak.com.
L.C. Bird 75, George Wythe 8
By Harrison Louis – Great starts lead to great endings, and that was how it was for L.C. Bird.
L.C. Bird played an outstanding game from start to finish against George Wythe. Led by Shedrick McCall, who scored three touchdowns and ran for 167 yards, the Skyhawks rolled 75-8 over the Bulldogs.
McCall, scored nine touchdowns in the last three weeks, he said:
“I had to do what I have to do. Ever since the Manchester game, I felt as if I had to redeem myself, a lot of people saying I’m a fluke and put me down, but I’ve had the right coaches and teammates around me supporting me mentally.”
The Old Dominion commit also says he still has a lot to give in these next few games.
Another running back, who also made a huge impact in the game was Devonte Wright, who also scored three touchdowns and ran for 144 yards. Wright scored every time he got a carry.
“It feels really good to go out and play the game I love and showing what I really can do on the field,” Wright said.
Wright is a quick and elusive back for L.C. Bird and, using his quick ability to change the speed of the game could be a key player for the team in the playoffs.
Another contributor on offense for the Skyhawks was running back Corbin Donaldson, who was able to gain 88 yards, but also scored four touchdowns this game.
On defense, Demetrick Atkins had a good showing that game.
“It’s a really good fit for me; I love the environment,” Atkins said. “But what really makes my job easy is having two great linebackers in Isaiah Moore and Rayshard Ashby makes it more comfortable playing back. It’s also tough because every week it’s always someone that’s going to try to be the playmaker.”
With two more games left in the regular season for both teams, L.C. Bird is 7-1. They go back on the road to play Huguenot this Friday. George Wythe (1-7) will hit the road to play Cosby. Both games start at 7:30 p.m.