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Colonels Thump Dukes

The Cumberland High School football team got off on the right foot in its road game last Friday at Altavista.

They forgot about the left.

The Dukes, who turned an early interception into a touchdown were unable to sustain the early momentum en route to a 47-20 loss to the Colonels.

“They were a solid football team, and did what they were supposed to do after a shaky start,” said CHS head coach David Sullivan. “They didn't let an early mistake bother them and took advantage of ours.”

Cumberland's Wesley Anderson returned an intercepted pass to the Altavista 10-yard line. Two plays later, Dione Booker put the Dukes ahead 6-0. From there, it was all Altavista.

By the end of the quarter, Altavista had turned the early miscue into a distant memory. The Colonels built a 31-6 lead. A snap over the punter's head, and other mistakes, helped the hosts gain a comfortable advantage.

Down 40-6 at the break, Cumberland, which couldn't get much going offensively, was able to make some adjustments and started to move the ball.

“We discovered that they were leaving the middle of the field open,” said Sullivan. “When we started to go inside, we had some success. I'll take the blame for not seeing that sooner.”

The Dukes scored twice in the second half on a 15-yard touchdown by TJ Ford and a two-yard pass from Bo Winbush to Caleb Burton.

Unfortunately for the Dukes, the hole already dug was too deep.

“They didn't pull their starters until well into the fourth quarter, so I'm glad that we got to see how we adjusted and improved against their first teams.”

Winbush was 3-10 for 46 yards passing with a touchdown. Ford led the Dukes on the ground with 59 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown, and Kevon Jones had 43 yards on eight carries.

Anderson led the defense with six solo tackles, four assists and the early interception, while Justin Coleman had four tackles, four assists and two tackles for a loss.

“It's back to the drawing board,” said Sullivan. “We've got to get better, especially as we get to our district games.”

Cumberland will travel to Randolph-Henry on Friday. The two teams are the only James River District schools that have yet to get a win.

“There's a sense of urgency for us on the practice field. I'm sure it's the same for them over there. We really need a win. We need it as a team. We need it as a school. That would do wonders for us going forward.”