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Turnovers Add To Dukes' Woes In Loss At Nottoway

The importance of a number of football statistics can get overblown. Time of possession and quarterback ratings have had their time in the spotlight over the years, but there is one that is hard to argue against. The turnover battle.

Cumberland lost it at Nottoway last Friday night, and subsequently lost the one statistic that is impossible to refute, the final score as the Dukes (1-4) fell to the Cougars 39-12.

Cumberland turned the ball over five times, while forcing none by Nottoway.

“We can't do that,” said CHS head coach Michael Sutton. “Turnovers have hurt us all year. You can't give a team like Nottoway extra possessions. Once they get a lead, they aren't going to do anything to lose it.”

Also, the Dukes, who moved the ball through the air well all night, got into the red zone three times without coming away with points.

Nottoway jumped out to a 6-0 lead, before Cumberland tied the contest on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Devonte Booker to tailback Quentin Langhorne. After falling behind 12-6, reserve quarterback Demarius Trent, who was in for Booker for a while taking care of a minor injury hit Rawhawn Sims for a touchdown to tie the game at 12-apiece.

“It was back and forth for a while,” said Sutton. “But once they got up two scores, and we were unable to score in the red zone, they were able to dictate their pace.”

Nottoway led 26-12 at the half, and scored twice more after the intermission.

Booker led the Dukes passing by completing ten passes on 24 attempts for 214 yards and a touchdown. He also had three interceptions and a lost fumble. Trent was 2-4 passing for 76 yards and a touchdown with a lost fumble.

Cumberland could only get 38 yards on the ground. Sims led all receivers with six catches for 181 yards, while Javon Boatwright had two grabs for 67 yards.

Defensively, the Dukes were led by Craig Anderson, who had 11 tackles, while Antonio Richardson had seven stops and Arthur Byrd had six.

“We've got to work on a lot of things on both sides of the ball,” said Sutton, explaining that what happens on offense has an affect on what happens on defense. “We need to restart and put the first half of the season behind us. Now, we're in 'part two.'”

Cumberland will host Clarke County on Friday night at 7 p.m. for homecoming.

“It's the same Clarke County,” said Sutton. “They graduated a number of seniors from last year, but they've been winning long enough that they expect to win. That's where we want to get, and we can get there.

“Even though the first half of the season has been rough, I still don't see any quit in our guys. We're still having good practices, and you can tell that they're willing to do what they need to do in order to not go out this way.”