Dukes Short In Shoot-Out

Published 4:30 pm Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Given the number of skill players both Cumberland and Altavista have, an offensive shoot-out was expected. Still, what turned out to be a 61-44 victory for the Colonels managed to turn more than a few heads.

“It was our strengths against their strengths,” said CHS head coach Michael Sutton. “They scored early and we managed to get back into it, but it was a game of cat-and-mouse all night.”

Cumberland was the cat. Altavista held a 21-14 lead at halftime, but scored 21 points in the first five minutes of the third quarter to take what appeared to be a commanding lead, before Cumberland cut the Colonels' lead to 48-36.

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“It was a little too late,” said Sutton. “That 21-point spurt at the start of the third quarter got us. We couldn't stop their run, and they couldn't stop our pass.”

Cumberland (1-3) had trouble stopping Altavista sophomore tailback Justin Brown, who got 401 yards on just 17 carries.

The Dukes matched Altavista's ground game with an almost equally impressive offensive showing by quarterback Devonte Booker, who put up arena league-like numbers himself. Booker passed for 431 yards on the night, and delivered touchdown passes to four different Cumberland receivers.

Despite facing double-teams most of the night, Rashawn Sims caught eight passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns. Demarius Trent caught six passes for 121 yards and a score. Quentin Langhorne and Shaquille Warren each had receiving touchdowns, and Booker added a rushing score.

“I was really happy with how Trent stepped up,” said Sutton. “They were putting their best two defenders on Sims. Trent was able to take advantage of that to where by the end of the game, he was getting double-teamed.”

In all, six different CHS receivers caught passes on the night. Still, the Dukes were unable to get anything going on the ground, other than what Booker was to manage by scrambling.

“We do have to work on our running game, but I was happy with our pass protection. We did a good job of picking up their blitzes and giving Booker time to throw.

Defensively, CHS was led by Antonio Richardson and Arthur Bird with eight and seven tackles respectively. Justin Haislip recorded six stops, while Sims and Booker had six and five tackles respectively.

“For us to go into the home of the defending state champions and battle with them, I was as pleased as I could be with a loss.”

Cumberland will travel to Nottoway on Friday for a 7:30 p.m. contest.