High School Football: Prince Edward picks up homecoming win
Published 12:19 am Saturday, October 14, 2023
They stepped up. That was Coach Larry White’s message after the game. In the middle of a season filled with injuries and players learning new roles, Prince Edward County High picked up their first win in a 24-14 victory over Randolph-Henry.
“We told the guys to believe and trust the process on offense and defense,” White said. “And they did. It means a lot.”
In fact, there was never a point in Friday’s game where the Eagles were behind. Playing at home, in front of a loud homecoming crowd, both teams started out slow, with defenses dominating in a scoreless first quarter. Prince Edward scored first in the second and Randolph-Henry responded minutes later, sending the game into halftime at 8-8. The Statesmen would only score once more the entire game.
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“I want to give credit to the defense tonight,” White said. “They finally stepped up.”
In a season where Prince Edward has been giving up an average of 55 points per game, coughing up 63 in last week’s loss to Amelia County, it was like a different defense stepped out on the field Friday night. From the opening kickoff, they swarmed the ball, securing tackles and preventing the Statesmen from moving down the field.
Coming out of halftime, the Eagles kept Randolph-Henry scoreless in the third quarter, while adding two touchdowns of their own to make it 24-8. Randolph-Henry would add a touchdown near the end of the game, but that’s where things would end, with the Prince Edward players celebrating their first win with the crowd of parents and classmates on homecoming night.
White said he was proud of his team and hoped to see this improvement continue.
Prince Edward looks ahead
This win, which brings the Eagles to 1-6 on the season, was the last home game this year for Prince Edward. Now they’ll go on the road to face 6-1 Buckingham, then 1-6 Nottoway and finally, at 0-7 Cumberland.
Dukes shut down by Amelia County
Speaking of Cumberland, it was a rough week for the young Dukes. Playing on the road against a 5-2 Amelia County squad, Cumberland lost 30-12.
On the one hand, Cumberland was able to put up 247 rushing yards on the night, led by senior quarterback Auston Wise. Wise rushed for 92 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. Sophomore Deonta Bartee added another rushing touchdown for the Dukes, with 69 yards on 7 carries. They also got help on the ground from senior Deon Pittman, who added 65 yards on 7 carries and senior Kaleb Leach, who had 21 yards on 4 carries.
The problem was that Cumberland just couldn’t get the passing game going, even as an option. Wise went 2 for 3 for 33 yards against Amelia’s defense, as the Raiders sat back and dared the Dukes to run.
Up next is a trip to Lunenburg, where the 6-1 Central High Chargers wait. Then Cumberland will finish the season with home games against Buckingham and Prince Edward.
Editor’s note: The Buckingham Knights were off this week.