Dukes shut out by Chargers

Published 8:02 pm Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The sixth-seeded Cumberland County High School varsity football team showed fight on defense but could not produce points against host No. 3 Central Lunenburg High School on Thursday during the first round of the Region 1B playoffs. The Dukes fell 35-0 to finish with an overall record of 0-11 for the second consecutive year.

“We struggled to move the ball on offense, and it’s been like that the last four or five weeks, and it came back to bite us again,” Cumberland Head Coach Jamaal Artis said. “Defensively, I don’t think we played bad at all.”

The Dukes just struggled to contain the Chargers’ powerful run game that was able to execute some big plays.

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Artis indicated that the his team’s defense was hurt by having only short breaks due to the offense going three-and-out in different instances.

Cumberland was in an all-too-familiar situation after also falling to Central Lunenburg in the first round of last year’s playoffs.

The Dukes had struggled this year in part due to injuries that sidelined key players like senior lineman Christian Jackson and junior lineman Wyshawn Gilliam.

But Artis, having just completed his first season as the Dukes’ head coach, enters the offseason with some clear objectives.

“We’ve just got some things we need to fix next year on offense,” he said. “We’ve got to get stronger. That’s No. 1. We’ve got a lot of kids coming back, a lot of linemen coming back, so that’s a plus. It’s kind of a blessing in disguise that we lost the linemen early this year — we lost Chris, and we lost Wyshawn, so other guys had to step up and play. We played without (Muzzammil) Fulani tonight. He had an emergency, he had to go home. He started nine games at guard, but other kids stepped in, so that’s been my motto all year: I’m not going to worry about who’s not here. I’m going to worry about who’s here.”