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Eagles fall 62-29 to undefeated Raiders

Prince Edward County High School’s varsity football team faced undefeated Amelia County High School on Friday night, and while the Eagles gained the momentum a couple times, they could not sustain it, as the visiting Raiders won 62-29.

“This one stinks,” Prince Edward Head Coach James Ford said. “This one’s tough. Amelia’s — they’re a heck of a team. They’re explosive, they’re a good football team. And they’re so balanced. They’re really, really balanced.”

While the Eagles were able to pile up a combined 271 yards on the ground against Amelia, their rate of scoring was not sufficient to keep up with the Raiders.

“We were able to move the ball a little bit, and our guys did well — offensively, we did well,” Ford said. “Defensively, we’d get ourselves on third down, and then they’ll hit a key play on third down and score, and then we’re behind the 8-ball. So, it stinks, but I take my hat off to (the Raiders). … They’re just a really good football team.”

Amelia set an aggressive tone to start the game when 6-foot-3 senior wide receiver Ziayahn Jackson returned the opening kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown. With a 2-point conversion, the Raiders were up 8-0 almost immediately.

But Prince Edward responded with a drive that ended with a 1-yard scoring run by senior wing back Jarrel Robinson.

The Raiders showcased their powerful passing game next, as Jackson scored on a 43-yard reception of a pass from senior quarterback Jalen Brown, followed by a 2-point conversion that made the score 16-7.

The Eagles showed their own passing game has some potency as freshman quarterback Nate Reed connected with senior wide receiver Tajh White for a 6-yard touchdown. A 2-point conversion made it a 1-point ballgame again.

Then Jackson scored for a third time in the quarter, this time on a 35-yard reception, contributing to Amelia’s 24-15 lead to end the first period.

The Raiders outscored Prince Edward 32-6 in the decisive second quarter. They grabbed a 40-15 advantage after touchdown passes of 55 and 92 yards from Brown to senior wide receiver Howard Divens.

Senior running back Rahme Marshall helped the Eagles respond as he scored on a 14-yard run. The 2-point conversion attempt failed.

Before halftime arrived, Amelia was able to score twice more, first on a 7-yard run by senior running back Justin Wilson and second on a 40-yard reception by Jackson from a Brown pass. The score was 56-21 at the break.

Prince Edward’s final touchdown came in the third quarter when Reed and White connected again for a score, this time on a 1-yard pass.

“Offensively, we did well,” Ford said. “We shot ourselves in the foot a couple times with some flags, but for the most part, our offense hung in tough and played well.”

For the game, Eagles senior running back J’Sean Dupuy finished with seven carries for 151 yards, Robinson had five carries for 56 yards and a touchdown, and Marshall had seven carries for 33 yards and a score.

Reed went 7-for-11 passing for 22 yards and two touchdowns while also running seven times for 28 yards.

White ended up with four catches for 16 yards and two scores. Senior wide receiver Rah’Quan Payne had two receptions for five yards.

“Defensively, we weren’t bad,” Ford said. “We just gave up key plays. We’d get a stop on first or second down, and then third down, they’ll make a play.”

Dupuy recorded seven total tackles, including five solo tackles, and one forced fumble. Marshall registered seven tackles, including six solo, and junior defensive end T.J. Williams had seven tackles, including four solo, and one sack.

Prince Edward (3-3) visits Central Lunenburg High School (4-3) on Friday at 7 p.m.