By Harrison Louis and Josh Matthews
Thomas Dale 7
It was tabbed as the local showdown that football fans had been waiting for two 6A foes, the second-ranked Manchester Lancers and the third-ranked Thomas Dale Knights at Lloyd Swelnis Stadium, both teams fresh off blowout victories where they put up 50 points.
Thomas Dale their game in the first half, drawing with Manchester tied 7-7 with the game in the first half. The Knights defense was able to hold a balanced and skilled Lancers offensive attack at bay. Thomas Dale’s equalizing first-half touchdown was scored on a three-yard run by Michael Bailey.
Halftime adjustments were made, and unfortunately, those adjustments favored Manchester. Wake Forest commit and quarterback Brendon Clark reeled off three straight rushing touchdowns to quickly expand the Lancers’ lead to 27-7 by the end of the third quarter.
Running backs Jaysen Glover and Kevin Henderson Jr. added scores for the Lancers via the ground game in the fourth to further cement the victory. The Manchester defense thwarted the Knights’ passing game, which helped to make the Thomas Dale offense one-dimensional.
The loss leaves Thomas Dale still searching for the playoff magic that led them to a state championship in 2009. Despite not reaching the promised land, the Knights have enjoyed success, winning no less than nine games in each of the past four seasons. They’ve earned a victory in each of the last four years as well. In 2015, the Knights finished 6-4 in the regular season, but reeled off three playoff wins before falling to perennial 6A powerhouse Oscar Smith.
Perhaps most importantly for the Thomas Dale faithful, the team snapped a losing streak against rival L.C. Bird, thumping the Skyhawks 36-6 in the second game of the season.
Monarchs’ Braxton pulls second offer
Although their football season has ended, Meadowbrook still made the headlines this week. A defensive standout, Adonte Braxton has picked up his second offer from Bluefield University.
The 5-10, 170 pound defense back already holds an offer from UVA-Wise.
Braxton showed his importance to the team as he was a consistent, if not spectacular defender with his 68 tackles alongside a whopping 19 pass break-ups showing he can be a quarterbacks worst nightmare. Braxton has also made All-Conference for the past two years.
“It feels great, I worked so hard this season and I’m praying it pays off,” Braxton said of his recent college success.
Bluefield is a Division II school located in Bluefield, Virginia. Bluefield is 6-5 this season showing improvement from the previous season.
Marsh has Georgia on her mind
Another Thomas Dale star has made a big time college decision. This time it’s Titiana Marsh who will participate in track and field at the University of Georgia.
This news would break with friends and family surrounding her in the library at Thomas Dale as she put the pen to the paper to officially sign.
Marsh has been a star since the onset of her high school career. She broke a national record with a 41 foot triple jump as a freshman. She broke yet another record in the event as a sophomore at the 5A/6A indoor track with a humongous jump of 42 feet, 4 inches.
As things stand in her senior season, she holds the Virginia state record in outdoor triple jump at 43 feet, 5 inches. Also to her name is the indoor long jump record- 20 feet, 5 inches. She ranks second in the indoor triple jump and fourth in the outdoor long jump all-time. She’s amassed 10 state titles in various field events over four years and placed fourth at the New Balance Nationals.
The true student-athlete also showed she can get it done in the classroom with an outstanding 4.2 GPA, which led to her offers by top notch schools such as Texas Tech, Florida State, & North Carolina State.
Marsh will continue to grow this year, as she will look to continue to break records and earn many more accomplishments in her senior season for the Knights.