Barons rout the Dukes

Published 6:14 pm Monday, September 12, 2016

Cumberland High School’s varsity football team had some momentum going into Friday’s game at Bluestone High School after a strong effort the week before, but none of that momentum manifested itself on the field.

The Barons went up 19-0 in the first quarter, and they led 39-0 at halftime on their way to a 46-7 blowout victory.

“To be completely honest, right now we’re just not a very good football team,” Dukes Head Coach Edgar Knapp said Saturday. “From soup to nuts, last night, (we) literally just played incredibly poorly. At this point as a coaching staff, we’re searching for answers. We gameplan each week, we think we have something solid, the kids practice and then we go to execute on Friday night, and there’s a complete lock-up. So, we’re struggling to find that situation that’s going to give us success. We just have played a couple of really bad games.”

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He was referring to Cumberland’s season-opening 33-6 home loss to Charles City High School and Friday’s game.

“We’re going to take this week and examine every last little thing that we do and see what needs to change to have a little better success,” Knapp said.

He credited Bluestone for being a good team that played well but pointed to four primary things the Dukes did to themselves that prevented them from having success, as well. First, they were inconsistent on defense and featured poor tackling, allowing 249 yards, including 205 through the air.

“It seems like every time that we get a stop on defense, we make a mistake,” Knapp said. “We had breakdowns in coverage twice, where we should be walking off the field and we just — for one reason or another — didn’t play the correct coverage.”

Second, the Dukes struggled to block on offense, gaining only 118 total yards.

“We have some young kids playing on the offensive line, but the expectation is there, and they have the ability,” Knapp said. “I guess getting the confidence is becoming a difficult thing, especially when you’re not being very competitive in the games.”

Third, the Dukes turned the ball over three times, including one interception and two fumbles.

“I’m still astounded by that, because we work on ball security every single day,” Knapp said.

Fourth, the Dukes struggled to score in the red zone, often because of the turnovers.

“In the first series, we fumbled in the end zone, and they fell on it for a touchdown, and then later, we’re going in for a score, and they pick off a pass,” Knapp said. “We had a kickoff return last night that took us all the way down to their 10-yard line … and then we didn’t score.”

Through three games, Cumberland has been outscored 119-13.

“We’ve got to get some things corrected, because we have an opportunity to turn things around because we have kids last night that played well,” Knapp said. “But individuals don’t win football games.”

Dukes sophomore Kahare Sutton had two kickoff returns for 85 yards, and he also had an interception.

The Dukes got their only touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter on a nine-yard run by senior Brandon Leabough. The score was set up by a fumble recovery by junior Davidrick Brooks.

Senior Jamie Trent led Cumberland with 89 yards on 16 carries, and senior Jaylen Gilliam led the team with five solo tackles and two assists.

Cumberland (0-3) visits King and Queen Central High School on Friday at 7 p.m.