Eagles Fall In Finale
To start the season, the Prince Edward County High School football team's biggest problem was excessive penalties. That was fixed after the first couple of games. Over the final two weeks of the season, another problem started to show itself, turnovers – fumbles in particular – began to weigh on the Eagles.
So much so that in its final game of the season, PE turned the ball over eight times in a 54-36 loss to Southampton.
How does a team commit eight turnovers and still manage to score 36 points? That puzzles PECHS head coach James Ford as well.
“I think it was because of where we've been turning the ball over,” said Ford. “Of our eight turnovers last Friday, seven of them were on our side of the 50. When you give the other team a short field, they can score quickly.”
The Eagles got off to a good start in their bid for sole possession of second place finish in the Southside District. Prince Edward drove the ball down the field, and scored on a shovel pass from Davon Adams to Ralick Lockett in the flat. Lockett did the rest to put the Eagles up.
Southampton drove back down the field and scored, and then regained possession when Prince Edward mishandled the kickoff.
“It was one of those pop kickoffs,” said Ford. “It hit off one of our up-men, and they got the ball back and went down to score. That set the tone for the remainder of the half.”
PE trailed 27-7 at the intermission.
“They scored four touchdowns, and three were off of our turnovers. We made some adjustments at halftime, forced a punt, got the ball back and fumbled. That's the kind of night it was.”
Southampton built a 47-13 lead at the end of the third quarter.
“Our seniors huddled up, and told the team that 'we couldn't go out like this. We had to leave the field with some pride,'” said Ford. “We picked up our game. Some of it was against their seconds, but we were no longer turning the ball over.”
James Jones scored on a touchdown run. Adams hit Daquan Adams for a touchdown pass, and Lockett scored his final touchdown as a Prince Edward player with a 79-yard fumble recovery and return for a touchdown.
“They put their studs back in toward the end and got one back, but they were trying to get to the running clock [a 35-point lead], and we wouldn't let them.
“We played well enough in the fourth that if we don't have those turnovers, who knows what would've happened.”
Lockett led the Eagles on the ground with 90 yards on 12 carries, while James Jones had 79 yards and a touchdown on four carries.
Adams was 14-23 passing with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Marquis Fitzgerald had four catches for 22 yards. Lockett had three catches for 26 yards and two touchdowns, while Jones had three grabs for 23 yards and Cleon Watkins had one 15-yard touchdown catch.
Defensively, PE was led by Tyrek Goode, who had 11 tackles (seven solo), Isaiah Davis (10 tackles, six solo), Joseph Toney (eight tackles, six solo) and Milton Monk (eight tackles, five solo).
Prince Edward ends the season 3-7, which is a two-game improvement over the 2010 campaign.
“Honestly, I thought 4-6 going into the season,” said Ford. “We played a tough schedule. Six of our ten games were against teams that are in the playoffs. It's not going to get any easier next year.
“We return some good leaders, but we're going to have to find someone to step up and replace Lockett.”