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After battling hard for three quarters, Hopewell's explosive offense and special teams play proved too much for Tabb to handle during Thursday's season-opening 49-20 loss at Bailey Field.
Utilizing a heavy dose of its running game, Tabb was able to control the pace of play through the first half and draw the Blue Devils' defense toward the line of scrimmage.
Such was the case during the game's opening score with 6:41 left in the opening quarter. After running the ball five times to start the game, the Tigers allowed quarterback Wil Marks to air the ball out to his tight end Jackson Hunter for a 42-yard touchdown pass to go up 7-0.
A depleted Tabb defense that has nine new starters struggled to stop Hopewell's potential from breaking through.
After giving up a big play earlier in the first quarter, the Blue Devils responded with a 64-yard touchdown pass from Cameren Hill to Greg Cuffey with 1:50 left in the opening period of play.
Hill was the standout player of the game, completing 7-of-14 passes for 275 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.
A crucial weapon for the Tigers was kicker Stanley Henderson, who showed his leg strength during pregame warmups by drilling 45-yard field goals. During the game, Henderson went 2-2 on extra points and nailed a pair of field goals.
Henderson's first field goal came with 4:49 left in the first half, booting the ball through the uprights from 40 yards out to put the Tigers up 10-7.
Just like in the first quarter, Tabb found itself on the wrong end of a big play. Hill once again went to the air, this time hitting Vic Figueroa for a 91-yard touchdown pass that gave Hopewell a 14-10 lead heading into halftime.
The game remained tight through the third quarter with Henderson hitting a 22-yard field goal to bring Tabb within one point of Hopewell before the Blue Devils answered with a 5-yard touchdown run from Hill.
Trailing 21-13, Tabb began to wear down from the speed of Hopewell. Two plays into the fourth quarter, Hill hit De'Antae Jones for a 19-yard touchdown.
"We played well for two-and-a-half quarters," Tabb Head Coach Matt Lawson said. "Then the ball didn't bounce our way. It went from 28 to 35 real quick on us."
A quick three-and-out by Warhill deep in their own territory led to a PJ Jones blocked punt that was scooped up by Abou Camarra and returned a short distance for a touchdown.
With the game out of hand and Hopewell leading 35-13 late in the fourth quarter, the Blue Devils subbed in backups and continued to score against the Tigers.
Cuffey entered the game at quarterback and took the ball in himself for a 5-yard touchdown run to put Hopewell up 42-13. The Tigers responded with a touchdown from junior running back Rodney Haggins, but it was too little, too late.
A final touchdown from Hopewell with 25 seconds left in the fourth quarter ended the game on a sour note for the Tigers.
After the game, Lawson praised his defense for holding up well against the run for most of the game, but said the offense, which turned the ball over three times, needs some work.
"We've got a lot of things to work out offensively," Lawson said after the game. "I expected to win. You don't get into this thing to not win games. It is what it is. We've got to work to get better and we'll continue to get better."
Tabb will hope to rebound against Bay Rivers District foe Jamestown at home on Sept. 11.
Hopewell: 7 7 7 28 — 49
Tabb: 7 3 3 7 — 20
T: Hunter 42 pass from Marks (Henderson kick) 7-0
H: Cuffey 64 pass from Hill (Irvin kick) 7-7
T: Henderson 40 FG 10-7
H: Figueroa 91 pass from Hill (Irvin kick) 14-10
T: Henderson 22 FG 14-13
H: Hill 5 run (Irvin kick) 21-13
H: Figueroa 19 pass from Hill (Irvin kick) 28-13
H: Camarra 3 punt block return (Irvin kick) 35-13
H: Cuffey 5 run (Irvin kick) 42-13
T: Haggins 3 run (Henderson kick) 42-20
H: Crawford 12 run (Irvin kick) 48-20
First downs: 15; 10
Rushes-yds: 28-201; 47-222
Passing-yds: 275; 78
Comp-att-int: 7-14-1; 4-18-2
Fumbles-lost: 4-3; 1-1
Hopewell: Cameren Hill (7-14, 275 yards, 3 passing TDs, INT, rushing TD)
Tabb: Wil Marks (4-18, 78 yards, TD, 2 INT), Rodney Haggins (18 car, 126 yards, TD), Jackson Hunter (1 rec, 64 yards, TD)
Dockery Leads Bruton to Season-Opening Win
Bruton's football team got its season underway with a 32-24 road win against King William on Thursday night.
After a scoreless first quarter, King William got on the board first with a rushing touchdown to go up 6-0. The Panthers responded with a Mike Rodgers pick-six with 3:30 left in the first half to tie the game at 6-6.
Before the first half was finished, Jalen Carr hauled in a 19-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Greg Dockery to take a 13-6 lead heading into the break.
Midway through the third quarter, King William once again got on the board, this time with an Alex Dandridge field goal to cut Bruton's lead to 13-9.
Dockery made his presence known again for the Panthers, answering King William's score with a 57-yard touchdown run to put Bruton up 19-9.
Bruton and King William exchanged touchdowns through the fourth quarter until the final whistle blew with the Panthers earning the victory.
The Panthers (1-0) will continue their season on Sept. 11 with a road game against Smithfield.
Individual statistics were not reported for this game.
Bruton 32, King William, 24
Lafayette Shuts Out Huguenot
The Lafayette football team cruised to its first win of the season, taking down Huguenot 41-0 on the road Thursday night.
Lafayette took no time getting in front of Huguenot, holding a 20-0 lead by the end of the first quarter. By halftime, that lead had grown to 35-0.
The second half featured plenty of playing time for backups as the Rams cruised to an easy victory.
Individual statistics were not reported for this game.
Lafayette 41, Huguenot 0