Eagles Fall To Dragons
FARMVILLE – An inspired defensive effort by the Prince Edward County High School football team wasn't enough to overcome the Eagles' offensive shortcomings in their 21-6 loss to Southside District foe Park View on Monday night at PECHS.
The game was postponed to Monday due to the weather that moved across the area late last week, rendering the football field at Prince Edward unplayable.
The Eagles (0-5, 0-2 SSD) held Park View out of the endzone for most of the first half, despite the Dragons beginning all but one possession on the PE side of the field.
“I was very pleased with the effort our defense put forth tonight,” said PECHS head coach Terrence Edmonds. “Right after the game, I told them that if we had been doing that all season, our record could be different right now. And if they continue to do that, I see a bright light. We knew it was going to be a tough year, and it is, but that was indeed encouraging.”
Park View, which turned the ball over on downs four times inside PE territory in the first half, finally was able to get into the endzone when quarterback William Thompson hit wide receiver Daveon Gregory late in the second quarter on a 35-yard pass to the PE one-yard-line as time wound down in the second quarter, and Thompson scored the touchdown two plays later.
“Our guy had that play defended pretty well,” said Edmonds. “That's their go-to receiver, so we knew it was only a matter of time before he came down with a catch. We've got to work with our defender on being a little quicker in turning back for the ball, but he really was just on the wrong end of a bad break.”
Prince Edward's offense was unable to get anything going. The Eagles only picked up two first downs in the first half. One of those came on a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty.
“Our offense didn't help our defense,” said Edmonds, who acknowledged many of the PE players play both sides of the ball. “We had some open receivers, but couldn't get our running game going. We've got to do a better job of recognizing our opportunities when they are presented.”
Park View broke the game open in the third quarter on a 75-yard touchdown run by Rameek Harris on third-and-five. The play was a momentum killer for the Eagles who was able to move the ball a little better in the third quarter, but it wasn't the game-changer Park View had hoped for, or PE had feared.
After a defensive stand in the fourth quarter junior Ralick Lockett fielded a punt on the PE ten-yard-line and returned it for a touchdown to pull the Eagles to within eight points at 14-6.
The two teams traded possessions until Thompson scored on a ten-yard touchdown run with 3:02 remaining to put the game away.
“When we were down by one touchdown, I heard the kids saying to each other that we weren't out of it. That didn't change when they went up by two touchdowns. That's a positive change for us. Our defense stayed up the entire time, and kept us in the game.”
Prince Edward quarterback Jeremy Walker was 7-13 for 54 yards and an interception, while Tyrek Goode was 2-2 for 47 yards passing in the waning moments of the game against a prevent defense by Park View.
Park View held Prince Edward to single-digits rushing, but Lockett had two catches for 37 yards, and Raheem Nash had four receptions for 35 yards and Raheem Smith had two catches for 29 yards.
Defensively, Noah Bowman led the Eagles with ten tackles and four assists to go along with an interception. Lockett had seven tackles and six assists with an interception. Rashaad Walton had six tackles and five assists, while Goode had five tackles and two assists. Walter Christmas had three sacks and a pass deflection.
“Bowman had a very good night on both sides of the ball. They had a linebacker who was giving us trouble in the first half, and he volunteered to take him on. We didn't have much trouble with him in the second half. Christmas' assignment was [Thompson] all night, and Christmas did a great job of forcing him to make decisions to pitch or pass the ball before he really wanted to.”
The Eagles will travel to Bluestone on Friday for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.