The Meadowbrook Monarchs are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2008. This time they have their first outright Central District Championship in school history, assuring that with their 44-6 romp over Matoaca last Friday night.
“It feels great to finally win this district,” said Meadowbrook head coach Troy Taylor. “We had a goal to go undefeated this season, and we didn’t quite accomplish that, but going undefeated in the district is quite an accomplishment; it’s tough in the Central.”
Despite an overall slow start and five turnovers, the Monarchs were still able to cruise against the Warriors.
Meadowbrook would strike first as a 68-yard run by quarterback Gerard Johnson set up a five-yard score by running back Brandon McShine, who finished with 140 yards on the evening. Two drives later, Johnson would score again from eleven yards out.
Matoaca would answer with their only score of the game in the second quarter as quarterback Khalil Coleman hit wide receiver Resean Cole over the middle for a 24-yard touchdown strike and cut the Monarchs’ lead in half at 12-6.
“Matoaca fought hard in this game and all season,” said Taylor. “Credit to Pat Manuel and their staff, they have been through a lot recently as a team.”
The rest of the game was all Monarchs on both sides of the ball. The offense would score 32 unanswered points throughout the rest of the game, and the defense would make several big plays to squash any progress Matoaca would make in moving the ball. Sophomore safety Daijaune Dorsey intercepted two passes on the night. Dorsey was a mid-season call-up from junior varsity this season.
“Our defense has really started to play together,” said Monarchs senior linebacker Emmanuel Henry. “We’ve had guys like Daijaune [Dorsey] step up and make huge plays for us; we are ready to go as a unit.”
Offensively, two more scores would come in the first half as Johnson would score mid-way through the second quarter on another touchdown run and defensive line man Treyvon Bailey would get big time penetration and register his first of two safeties on the night with a sack of Coleman in the end zone. The score was 22-6 at the half.
Johnson would add two more second-half touchdowns to bring his total to four to go with his 225 yards rushing. Reserve running back Javon Manuel would also score on a 26 yard touchdown scamper in the fourth quarter to close scoring.
While Meadowbrook won a D-5 State Championship in 2004, the Monarchs hadn’t won a Central District championship in school history. That season they lost to Hopewell in the decisive game in the standings.
“It feels incredible to stand here as district champions,” said offensive lineman Shaieek Turner. “But there’s a lot more work to do- we want that state championship- that’s what we’ve been working towards all season.”
Meadowbrook finishes the regular season at 9-1 overall and 6-0 in the Central District. The Monarch’s lone loss of the season came in week two against a Highland Springs team that narrowly missed the playoffs. Meadowbrook’s play during the season has earned them the number three seed in the Central Region Playoffs and a match-up with number two Varina this Friday night at 7:30 p.m. The winner will advance to play the winner of Hermitage/Bird for the Regional Championship and a spot in the state tournament.
The Warriors finished the season at 4-6 overall and 3-4 in the Central District. The Warriors notched wins against Colonial Heights, Prince George and Petersburg in district and Clover Hill out of district. As a young team, they will look to build on successes this season for next year’s campaign.
The Village News will have full coverage of both Meadowbrook and Bird and their runs in the playoffs. Like us on Facebook for Friday night updates or follow us on Twitter at @VNewsSports.