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With back-to-back losses and a recent shutout loss against Warhill, Grafton Coach Matt McLeod challenged his team to keep fighting during an important home game against York on Friday.
The Clippers heeded his words and battled back from a 9-0 deficit to defeat York 17-9 and claim the Charlie Hovis Trophy, which is awarded to the York County team — Grafton, York or Tabb — that beats the other two in any given season.
For McLeod and his Clippers, winning the neighborhood is at the top of the priority list. With a 49-14 win against Tabb already in hand, Grafton made sure it was taking back York County starting Friday night.
In the early going it appeared York was set to claim the Hovis Trophy as the Falcons controlled the line of scrimmage on defense and caused havoc for the Clippers.
With just under 10 minutes remaining in the second quarter and Grafton pinned inside its own 1-yard line thanks to a big sack the play prior, a low snap during a punt attempt interrupted Reed King's kicking motion.
King tried desperately to get the kick off while rolling to his right, but mishit the ball and had to fall on it for a safety to put York up 2-0.
On the ensuing kickoff, York running back Devin Campbell scampered 79 yards before being tackled at the Grafton 3-yard line. One play later, quarterback Ramsey Hayyat hit a hole and found the end zone for the game's opening touchdown to give York a 9-0 advantage.
For the second consecutive week, Grafton found itself in a first-half hole.
"When we were down 14-0 last week, we didn't do anything to respond," McLeod said. "All week we talked about during a game there are peaks and valleys. When you're in the valley, you have to find momentum to get back to the crest and ride it."
Grafton found its momentum after York, which recovered an onside kick after going up 9-0, turned the ball over on downs at Grafton's 21-yard line.
With a heavy dose of ground-and-pound with Trevaun Walker, the Clippers marched down the field 11 plays before Walker ran into the end zone from four yards out with 1:10 left in the first half. The extra point by King made the halftime score 9-7 in favor of York.
Grafton continued to use the momentum from the touchdown in the second half. After forcing York to go three-and-out with 4:42 left in the third quarter, the Clippers again strung together a drive and put themselves into scoring position.
The Grafton drive would have ultimately stalled if not for a tremendous 34-yard reception by Grafton receiver Andrew Pase, who high-pointed the ball, leaped in the air and landed hard while retaining possession.
Pase's catch set up a 39-yard field goal by King that put Grafton up 10-9 as time expired in the third quarter.
After struggling for a stretch in the first half, Grafton's defense woke up and disrupted York's offense. The Clippers sacked York quarterback Hayyat five times and forced three fourth-quarter interceptions.
Grafton used the turnovers to kill clock and put up points as Tavaris Noel recorded his first interception of the game with just over five minutes remaining. A long return by Noel set up a 5-yard touchdown run by Walker, his second of the game.
Trailing 17-9, York had one last attempt at sending the game into overtime. The Falcons drove all the way to the Grafton 10-yard line, but were backed up to the 20 after a sack and delay of game penalty.
On fourth down, Hayyat threw up a prayer into the end zone where Noel was waiting to intercept the pass and clinch the game for the Clippers.
"You don't understand how big that was," McLeod said. "At the end of the day, one of our goals is to win the Hovis Trophy. It's a big deal for us to be able to go to the Wawa with our Grafton stuff on and say we beat the neighborhood. That's a big deal for our kids."
Grafton (5-3) will look to build on the win during a road game against Jamestown on Friday, while York (5-3) will try to rebound at home against Smithfield that same night.
York: 0 9 0 0 — 9
Grafton: 0 7 3 7 — 17
Y: Safety, 2-0
Y: Hayyat 3 run (Weis kick), 9-0
G: Walker 4 run (R. King kick), 9-7
G: R. King FG 39, 10-9
G: Walker 5 run (R. King kick), 17-7
First Downs: 13; 9
Rushes-yards: 35-130; 35-109
Comp-att-int: 7-19-3; 3-6-0
Passing yards: 87; 50
Fumbles-lost: 0-0; 1-1
Penalties-yards: 5-45; 7-55
York: Devin Campbell (26 car, 122 yards, 3 rec, 69 yards), Adam Lytle (2 rec, 40 yards)
Grafton: Trevaun Walker (23 car, 85 yards, 2 TDs), Tavaris Noel (2 INTs)
Pine Paces Lafayette Against Tabb
Whether by ground or air, Lafayette's offense faced little resistance from the Tabb defense during Friday's 55-14 win at home.
Lafayette quarterback and outside linebacker Cheyton Pine, who was recently selected to play in the 2016 Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl, had a big game for the Rams with four touchdown passes in the first half.
The Rams started the game with a score on their opening drive as Joey Kraegenbrink plunged two yards into the end zone for the game's opening score less than two minutes into the game.
With Lafayette up 7-0, Pine hit receiver Hezekiah Grimsley for a 32-yard touchdown pass with 9:49 left in the opening quarter. Grimsley, who touched the ball three times on offense, scored a touchdown each time he handled the ball.
Just over four minutes later, Pine connected with Trey Neville for a 3-yard touchdown that put Lafayette on top 21-0.
Tabb responded on the ensuing possession as quarterback Alec Kurek led the Tigers on a long drive that was capped when tossed a 39-yard touchdown pass to Nick Hunter to make the score 21-7.
Similar to the first 12 minutes of the game, Lafayette dominated the second quarter. After being held quiet for the first 5:30 of the second quarter, the Rams exploded on offense to pull away from Tabb.
With 6:26 left in the first half, Grimsley took a handoff 17 yards for a touchdown. Roughly two minutes later, Kyle Johnson busted off a 52-yard touchdown scamper that put the Rams up 35-7.
A quick stop by the Lafayette defense set up Pine for his third touchdown pass of the night, this time a 23-yarder to Grimsley. Pine's final highlight at quarterback came with five seconds left in the first half when he hit Tyreke Graham for a 27-yard touchdown pass.
Lafayette held a 48-7 advantage at the half.
The second half featured far fewer fireworks from both teams, as Lafayette and Tabb combined for 14 points.
John Douglass hammered home a 1-yard touchdown with 6:21 left in the third quarter for Lafayette's final score of the night. Tabb scored its final points as time expired in the fourth quarter when Kurek hit TJ Jones 10 yards for a touchdown.
Lafayette (8-0) remains perfect on the year and will prepare to play Bruton on the road Friday. Tabb (3-5) has now lost three consecutive games and will try to rebound on the road against Warhill on Friday.
Tabb: 7 0 0 7 — 14
Lafayette: 21 27 7 0 — 55
L: J. Kraegenbrink 2 run (Horne kick), 7-0
L: Grimsley 32 pass from Pine (Horne kick), 14-0
L: Neville 3 pass from Pine (Horne kick), 21-0
T: Hunter 39 pass from Kurek (Henderson kick), 21-7
L: Grimsley 17 run (Horne kick), 28-7
L: Johnson 52 run (Horne kick), 35-7
L: Grimsley 23 pass from Pine (Horne Kick), 42-7
L: Graham 27 pass from Pine (kick missed), 48-7
L: Douglass 1 run (Horne kick), 55-7
T: Jones 10 pass from Kurek (Henderson kick), 55-14
First Downs: 11; 21
Rushes-yards: 31-72; 36-302
Comp-att-int: 7-15-1; 5-8-2
Passing yards: 142; 118
Fumbles-lost: 2-2; 0-0
Penalties-yards: 8-60; 6-65
Tabb: Alec Kurek (6-11, 139 yards, 2 TDs), Nick Hunter (1 rec, 39 yards, TD, 7 tackles, INT)
Lafayette: Cheyton Pine (5-8, 118 yards, 4 TDs, 2 INTs, 6 car, 56 yards), Hezekiah Grimsley (1 car, 17 yards, TD, 2 rec, 55 yards, 2 TDs), Joey Kraegenbrink (8 car, 65 yards, TD)
Poquoson Rallies to Top Bruton
Leading 20-17 in the third quarter, Bruton allowed Poquoson to score 21 consecutive points during a 38-20 road loss on Friday.
After getting behind 14-0 in the first half, Bruton answered with a pair of touchdowns.
First, Jalen Carr hauled in a 75-yard touchdown pass from Greg Dockery that made the score 14-7. Later that quarter, Dockery found the end zone again with a 1-yard quarterback keeper. A missed extra point made the score 14-13 in favor of the Islanders heading into halftime.
Poquoson kicker Chris Coccimiglio opened the second half with a field goal that extended Poquoson's lead to 17-13.
Bruton responded with a 17-yard touchdown pass from Dockery to Danjie Taylor that gave the Panthers their first lead of the game at 20-17.
With a three-point lead in hand, things began to unravel for the Panthers. Poquoson responded with a 1-yard touchdown run from Kyle Poultney that handed Poquoson a 24-20 lead.
As the Panthers struggled to find offense in the fourth quarter, Poquoson added a pair of touchdowns — a 15-yard run from Cole Jackson and a 64-yarder from Poultney — to pull away and seal the game.
Bruton (1-7) is looking to snap a seven-game losing streak, but will face a tough test at home against Lafayette next Friday.
Individual statistics were not reported for this game.
Bruton: 0 13 7 0 — 20
Poquoson: 7 7 10 14 — 38
P: Henesey 7 run (Coccimiglio kick), 7-0
P: Hicks 2 run (Anderson kick), 14-0
B: Carr 75 pass from Dockery (Malik kick), 14-7
B: Dockery 1 run (kick missed), 14-13
P: Coccimiglio FG 38, 17-13
B: Taylor 17 pass from Dockery (Malik kick), 20-17
P: Poultney 1 run (Andersen kick), 24-20
P: Jackson 15 run (Coccimiglio kick), 31-20
P: Poultney 64 run (Andersen kick), 38-20
Bishop Sullivan Cruises Past HRA
Hampton Roads Academy could not stop the potent rushing attack of Bishop Sullivan during a 53-0 home loss Friday evening.
The first quarter was dominated by Bishop Sullivan's Brandon Gaddy, who rushed for two touchdowns over the opening 12 minutes. Gaddy finished the game with 103 yards and three touchdowns on seven carries.
Bishop Sullivan continued to run up the score in the second quarter as Ameen Spain got into the action, rushing for two touchdowns in the quarter. Gaddy added a 55-yard stouchdown run before quarterback Bobby Price added a 1-yard score.
At halftime, Bishop Sullivan held a commanding 44-0 lead.
The Crusaders did not throw a pass in the second half, but still added a field goal and fumble return touchdown in the fourth quarter to cap the scoring.
Hampton Roads Academy (2-6), which has lost six consecutive games after starting 2-0, will attempt to rebound during a road game against Isle of Wight Academy on Friday.
Bishop Sullivan: 14 30 0 9 — 53
Hampton Roads Academy: 0 0 0 0 — 0
B: Gaddy 4 run (Gaddy pass from Price), 8-0
B: Gaddy 1 run (pass failed), 14-0
B: Spain 20 run (Spain pass from Price), 22-0
B: Spain 16 pass from Price (Gaddy run), 30-0
B: Gaddy 55 run (White run), 38-0
B: Price 1 run (run failed), 44-0
B: Hine FG 21, 47-0
B: Query 40 fumble return (kick blocked), 53-0
Bishop Sullivan: Brandon Gaddy (7 car, 103 yards, 3 TDs), Ameen Spain (2 car, 39 yards, 2 TDs), Bobby Price (3-7, 60 yards, TD, 4 car, 62 yards, TD)
HRA: Chris Leavey (9-22, 130 yards)
Warhill Runs Past New Kent
After going winless over the first five games of the season, Warhill's football team has now won back-to-back games after the Lions defeated New Kent 27-0 on the road Friday.
The Lions were paced by their standout running back Collin Bright, who accounted for all of Warhill scores. Bright finished the game with four touchdowns.
Warhill has not only won back-to-back games, but has also held its last two opponents scoreless during the pair of victories.
The Lions (2-5) will look for their third consecutive win during a home game against Tabb on Friday.
Individual statistics were not reported for this game.
Warhill 27, New Kent 0
Smithfield Drubs Jamestown
A week removed from its first win in 17 games, the Jamestown football team logged another loss, 67-7 to Smithfield on the road.
Jamestown struggled to contain the Packers from the opening whistle as Smithfield built a commanding 47-7 halftime advantage. The Packers tacked on 20 points in the second half to complete the rout.
The 67 points is the most Jamestown has given up this year, surpassing the 66 points scored by Lafayette on Sept. 25.
Jamestown (1-6) will try to rebound on Thursday with a home game against Grafton.
Individual statistics were not reported for this game.
Smithfield 67, Jamestown 7