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It's been a long time coming.
For 17 consecutive games, a win remained elusive for Jamestown's football team.
That was until Friday night when, thanks to a standout performance from the Eagles defense, Jamestown managed to defeat Bruton 14-7 on the road.
Jamestown's game plan was neither pretty nor flashy, but for the first time in a long time it was effective enough to get a win.
As much as Jamestown earned the win, Bruton also gave the Eagles quite a bit of help early.
After Jamestown was forced to go three-and-out on its opening drive of the game, the Eagles punted the ball away to the Panthers. Bruton return man Jalen Carr fumbled the punt and Jamestown recovered at the Bruton 46-yard line.
The Eagles wasted no time capitalizing on the field position as Jamestown quarterback Hunter Brittain dumped a screen pass to Rashaun Jones, who weaved his way 46 yards into the end zone for the opening score with 9:59 left to play in the first quarter.
"They were blitzing a lot on the first drive and coach made a good call to throw a slip screen and just invite the defensive line to come to you," Brittain said of the touchdown. "You just dump it off and that's easy work for me."
Bruton suffered from another miscue during a possession that started after recovering a Jamestown fumble.
Panthers quarterback Greg Dockery was not prepared for a snap out of shotgun and watched the ball bounce off his helmet into the arms of Jamestown's C.J. Delfico, who returned the fumbled to the Bruton 45-yard line.
Once again, the Eagles capitalized on the Bruton turnover. The Eagles strung together a six-play, 45-yard drive that was finished with another touchdown pass from Brittain, this time 30 yards to Tyler Highley.
In the second quarter, Brittain had his only blunder of the night as he tossed a reckless ball over the middle of the field. The pass sailed into the hands of Bruton's Daniel Jones, who returned it down to the Jamestown 10-yard line.
Set up with prime field position, the Panthers used a heavy dose of the run game to set up Jones for the 1-yard touchdown run up the middle that made the score 14-7 in favor of the Eagles with 2:52 left in the first half.
From that point on, both defenses buckled down and adopted a bend-but-don't-break mindset.
Bruton received the ball to open the third quarter and methodically moved down to Jamestown's 8-yard line. Instead of opting to try a field goal, Bruton went for it on fourth down. The Panthers came up two yards shy of the first-down marker and gave the ball back to the Eagles.
A quick three-and-out from Jamestown gave the ball back to the Panthers, who again put together a long drive. The Panthers moved from their own 37-yard line down to the Jamestown 24-yard line in eight plays.
As was the theme of the night, turnovers proved costly for the Panthers. For the second time in the game, Dockery struggled to handle a snap and fumbled the ball away to the Eagles.
Jamestown's offense, which had slowed to a crawl since its fast start in the first quarter and finished the game with just four first downs, again went three-and-out and put the pressure on the defense to hang on for the victory.
Once again, Bruton leaned on its run game and moved deep into Jamestown territory. With just over two minutes left and facing a fourth down, the Jamestown defense forced an incomplete pass from Dockery and got the ball back.
A clutch first-down run from Brittain ran the clock low enough for the Eagles to kneel out the clock. As the clock approached zeroes, Jamestown's first-year head coach Donnell Brown was doused in Gatorade by his players.
As the whistle blew, Jamestown players sprinted to the middle of the field and celebrated with war cries and hugs. The pent up frustration of 17 losses poured out as the Jamestown players reacted as if they had just won the Super Bowl.
"The players played their hearts out. Those seniors deserve it. I'm so happy for them," Brown said after the game, still soaking wet from the celebrations.
Leading up to the game, Brown preached finishing strong and cited the 41 seconds that remained on the clock when New Kent scored a game-winning touchdown to spoil the Eagles' homecoming.
Brown challenged his players and coaching staff during what he called the toughest week of the season. Both the players and coaches were up to the challenge, earning a much-deserved win for a program that has seen so little success over the last three years.
Though one win does not suddenly make Jamestown a football power in the Bay Rivers District, the Eagles have shown significant growth over the last two weeks.
With a win under their belt and some momentum on their side, the Eagles appear to be turning a corner.
"The players never lost belief. We knew it would be a process and we would have to be chugging away. Once you get that win, the fan base can now believe," Brown said. "If you want more players, you have to start winning. This win is going to help us out."
And while college and professional football coaches publicly preach the mindset of quickly moving on to the next game, Brown has no problems with letting his players enjoy this win for a bit.
"People forget these are 14-, 15-, 16-year-old boys — they deserve to enjoy this one tonight,"he said.
Jamestown (1-5) will travel to play Smithfield on Oct. 23, while Bruton (1-6) will travel to play Poquoson that same day.
Jamestown: 14 0 0 0 — 14
Bruton: 0 7 0 0 — 7
J: Jones 46 pass from Brittain (Weissenfluh kick), 7-0
J: Highley 30 pass from Brittain (Weissenfluh kick), 14-0
B: Jones 1 run (Malik kick), 14-7
First downs: 4; 13
Rushes-yards: 21-41; 44-175
Comp-att-int: 4-8-1; 6-9-0
Passing yards: 83; 50
Fumbles-lost: 1-1; 3-3
Penalties-yards: 40; 50
Jamestown: Hunter Brittain (4-8, 83 yards, 2 TDs, INT, 6 car, 17 yards), Rashawun Jones (2 rec, 55 yards, TD)
Bruton: Daniel Jones (16 car, 48 yards, TD), Ian Gruver (12 car, 47 yards)
York Wins Late Against Tabb
A late touchdown plunge from York quarterback Ramsey Hayyat propelled the Falcons to a 13-7 win at home against Tabb on Friday.
In a game in which both offenses struggled to find consistent yardage, points were at a premium.
York got on the board with 5:40 left to play in the first quarter as Hayyat hit Adam Lytle for a 16-yard touchdown pass. A failed two-point conversion made the score 6-0 in favor of the Falcons.
Tabb kicker Stanley Henderson attempted to even the score with two field goals – from 47 and 36 yards, respectively – in the first half but missed both.
The Tigers missed those potential game-changing six points late in the fourth quarter.
With 6:32 left in the fourth quarter, Tabb quarterback Alec Kurek connected with Leon Southard for a 90-yard touchdown. Henderson's extra point put Tabb up 7-6.
Southard finished the game with seven catches for 136 yards and a touchdown.
As time dwindled in the fourth quarter, York strung together a 12-play drive that found the Falcons facing a 4th-and-1 from Tabb's 2-yard line with just over two minutes left to play.
Hayyat kept the ball and plunged into the end zone for the go-ahead score. Logan Weis' kick put York up 13-7 over the Tigers, which held for the final score.
York (5-2) has won five of its last six games and will face Grafton on the road Oct. 23. Meanwhile, Tabb (3-4) has lost back-to-back games and will face a tough test on the road against Lafayette next week.
Tabb: 0 0 0 7 — 7
York: 6 0 0 7 — 13
Y: Lytle 15 pass from Hayyat (pass failed), 6-0
T: Southard 90 pass from Kurek (Henderson kick), 7-6
Y: Hayyat 2 run (Weis kick), 13-7
First downs: 11; 6
Rushes-yards: 34-24; 27-79
Comp-att-int: 12-24-0; 6-14-0
Passing yards: 168; 106
Fumbles-lost: 0-0; 2-2
Penalties-yards: 7-60; 16-125
Tabb: Alec Kurek (10-22, 158 yards, TD), Leon Southard (7 rec, 136 yards, TD)
York: Ramsey Hayyat (6-14, 106 yards, TD, 14 car, 18 yards, TD), Devin Campbell (9 car, 44 yards, 2 rec, 9 yards)
Warhill Upsets Grafton for First Win of Season
After a late loss against Poquoson last week, Warhill took out its frustrations on Grafton during a surprising 17-0 shutout win at home against the Clippers on Friday night.
Warhill running back Collin Bright was responsible for getting the Lions on the board early and often in the first quarter.
Bright found some room and bolted into the end zone from six yards out for the game's first score before breaking free for a 29-yard touchdown run later in the quarter to put Warhill up 14-0.
Warhill kicker Fletcher Whalen got into the action when he connected on a 23-yard field goal in the second quarter to put the Lions up 17-0.
Holding a 17-0 lead at halftime, the Lions defense continued to dominate the Clippers and hand Grafton its first shutout loss since a Sept. 11 loss to Poquoson.
With its first win of the season, Warhill (1-5) will face another winnable game when the Lions travel to play New Kent on Oct. 23.
Grafton (4-3) is now on a two-game losing streak and will need to rebound during a home game against York next Friday.
Individual statistics were not reported for this game.
Grafton: 0 0 0 0 — 0
Warhill: 14 3 0 0 — 17
W: Bright 6 run (Whalen kick), 7-0
W: Bright 29 run (Whalen kick), 14-0
W: Whalen FG 23, 17-0
North Cross Drubs Hampton Roads Academy
Turnovers and penalties sank Hampton Roads Academy during a 53-20 road loss at North Cross in Roanoke on Friday.
Trailing 14-0 early in the first quarter, HRA got in the board as Brandon Westby picked off a pass and returned it 80 yards for the score.
Three consecutive touchdowns from North Cross extended the Raiders' lead to 35-6 before HRA responded with a 22-yard touchdown pass from Chris Leavey to T.J. Carlos. A missed two-point conversion made the halftime score 35-12 in favor of North Cross.
The second half was not much better for HRA, which turned the ball over six times in the game with four fumbles and two interceptions.
The Navigators got their final points in the third quarter when Devone Humphrey hauled in a 40-yard pass from Leavey. Unfortunately for HRA, the score was too little, too late to stay competitive in the game.
HRA (2-5) will look to snap a five-game losing skid when it hosts Bishop Sullivan next Friday.
North Cross: 20 15 7 12 — 54
HRA: 6 6 8 0 — 20
N: Arnold 13 run (Lowman kick), 7-0
N: Lowery 69 punt return (Lowman kick), 14-0
H: Westby 80 pass interception (kick blocked), 14-6
N: Garrison 5 fun (kick missed), 20-6
N: Lowman 1 run (Lowman run), 28-6
N: Lowery 70 pass interception (Lowman kick), 35-6
H: Carlos 22 pass from Leavey (pass failed), 35-12
N: Lowery 16 pass from Lowman (Lowman kick), 42-12
H: Humphrey 40 pass from Leavey (Humphrey run), 42-20
N: Slash 42 pass from Lowman (kick missed), 48-20
N: Rose 32 run (kick missed), 54-20
North Cross; HRA
First downs: 19; 14
Rushes-yards: 25-130; 39-114
Comp-att-int: 16-32-2; 8-22-2
Passing yards: 328; 165
Fumbles-lost: 3-1; 6-4
Penalties-yards: 7-59; 14-91
North Cross: Lowman (16-32, 328 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INT, 7 car, 11 yards, TD), Slash (6 rec, 143 yards, TD)
HRA: Devone Humphrey (21 car, 102 yards, 2 rec, 43 yards, TD), Chris Leavey (8-22, 165 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INT)