Despite some doubts about holes left by seniors who graduated, Thomas Dale High School rolled over Cosby last week, 34-0. “Our team played well...

Despite some doubts about holes left by seniors who graduated, Thomas Dale High School rolled over Cosby last week, 34-0.

“Our team played well defensively,” Thomas Dale coach Kevin Tucker said. “We had 11 tackles for losses.” He added that special teams played great, and the offense got better and better.

Chris Tyree scored on a nine-yard run. Earlier, he electrified the crowd with a 99-yard kick return for a score to set off Thomas Dale’s season with a bang.

A.J. Chavis rushed for 69 yards, including a 31-yard score. Quarterback Jasiah Williams ran for 72 yards and a TD and threw a scoring pass to running back D’Angelo Gray.

Special teams was a strength outside of Tyree, too. Kicker Garrett Graves averaged 47 yards on kickoffs, ensuring that a young Cosby offense was pinned deep inside its own territory.

Defensively, Rick D’Abreu showed why colleges lined up for him. The James Madison pledge finished the evening with 10 tackles, and dominated the line of scrimmage with five tackles for loss of yardage.

‘Battle of Chester’
In a game that was moved to Thursday, Aug. 30, Thomas Dale will battle L.C. Bird in the game dubbed the Battle of Chester.
Last season, the Knights were able to snap an eight-game losing streak against the Skyhawks that stretched back to the 2009 season when Thomas Dale won the state championship. The Knights dominated L.C. Bird last year, 33-6, and will look to do the same again.
Coach Troy Taylor, the new head man for L.C. Bird, is plenty familiar with facing Tucker and Thomas Dale and expects a challenge.

“Bird and Dale is a great rivalry,” Taylor said. “Kevin Tucker has done a great job at Dale. They have a lot of talent and one of the best players in the country, Chris Tyree.”

Tyree will indeed be a key for the L.C. Bird defense. The running back has accumulated over 25 college offers from the top schools across the country, including Florida State, Florida and in-state power Virginia Tech. His world-class 4.3 speed in the 40-yard dash is a spectacle, and if that’s put on display, it could be a long game for the Skyhawks.

Running backs are a thing for L.C. Bird as well, as junior Tre Mason burst on the scene with a 192-yard performance against Meadowbrook, ripping off three large runs to pad that total. If Thomas Dale’s run defense can live up to its “Darxk Zone” moniker, there could be a low-scoring battle.

The Battle of Chester will start at 7 p.m. at Ed Karpus Field on the campus of Thomas Dale High School.