Monarchs play with heavy hearts, heavy hits

When the Monarchs took the field Friday for their Central District tilt with Prince George, it was with heavy hearts. In recent days, the Meadowbrook and Chesterfield community lost Meadowbrook High School senior Josh Franklin to a train accident. The Monarchs were able to play inspired football as they cruised to a 50-7 victory over the Royals.

“The boys played well tonight on both sides of the ball,” said Meadowbrook head coach Troy Taylor. “They lost a friend last Friday evening, that was inspired football right there.”

The Monarchs started fast and never looked back, as Marcus Beckwith grabbed a sack on the first play from scrimmage. After a Royals four and out, Meadowbrook scored on its first drive of the game on a 1-yard quarterback keeper by sophomore Gerard Johnson.

The Royals came out on their second drive, and committed their second of five fumbles. This fumble set up a 22-yard scamper by Johnson for his second touchdown of the first quarter.

Another turnover on a muffed punt by Prince George set up another Meadowbrook touchdown, this time by Domico Phillips, who before the game was ranked second in the Central Region in rushing, behind L.C. Bird’s Yahkee Johnson. Meadowbrook led 22-0.

Meadowbrook scored again the first time they touched the ball in the second quarter; this time, it would be the special teams of the Monarchs behind a 60-yard punt return by Devon Woodley.

The Monarchs added a safety to their total with a sack of Royals quarterback John Ford in the end zone by junior Quan Evans.

After two more Phillips touchdowns, one a 42-yard run that Phillips took down the sidelines, Meadowbrook led Prince George 44-0 at the half. Phillips finished with 151 yards and three touchdowns. On the season, Phillips has amassed 1,055 yards rushing and a total of nine touchdowns, averaging better than 8 yards per carry.

“I’ve been trying to work harder and lead the team better this year,” said Phillips. “It’s my senior year I need to go out strong.”

It was also homecoming for Meadowbrook, as Ossie Thrower, a member of the football team, and Tia Felton, a member of the cheerleading squad, were selected as homecoming king and gueen.

A large halftime lead meant many players who don’t see normal playing time would get some playing time. This was especially fun for the Meadowbrook sideline.

“It’s always good when the guys that don’t get a lot of reps get in the game get in there, and the sideline is excited,” said Taylor. “I think they had a good time.”

There was a strong effort on both sides of the ball, and the defense had two standouts. Renard Rowe had four sacks for the Monarchs and Beckwith had 3.5 sacks.

Meadowbrook recovered three of the five Royals fumbles in the game, with Cornelius Tyler, Leon Austin and Eric Richardson all jumping on loose balls.

Just two touchdowns were scored in the second half, as senior Akil Dorsey found the end zone for Meadowbrook, and Prince George found the end zone in the fourth quarter on a 2-yard run by running back Keith Jefferson.

With the win, the Monarchs improved to 2-1, a record good for a second place tie in the Central District with Petersburg and Matoaca. Next, they go on the road to face Colonial Heights.

“Colonial Heights is a much improved ball club under Coach Krupp,” said Taylor. “You have to bring your A-game every week in the district.”

Prince George (4-4, 1-2 district) will travel to Thomas Dale (2-4, 1-2 district). Thomas Dale is coming off a loss to Dinwiddie, who currently tops the central district with perfect record of (6-0, 3-0).

Stay tuned for more Central and Dominion district football coverage in the Village News and check out www.villagenewsonline.com.

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