One way to slow a potent offense is to control time of possession. For Poquoson on Friday night, controlling time and keeping Smithfield's attack off the field proved that true in spades.
The homestanding Islanders put together scoring drives of 7 minutes, 29 seconds and 8:29 and methodically pulled away from the Packers for a 21-3 Bay Rivers District win on Homecoming at Poquoson Field.
After a first quarter in which both teams struggled to get anything going offensively, the Packers scored first when Jamison Jones capped an 11-play drive with a 32-yard field goal at the 9:51 mark of the second quarter.
"We struggled tackling I thought early in the game, but when it got down to it, the defense stepped up and really made some big stops in the red zone," Poquoson coach Elliott Duty said. "They made several big plays on fourth down and forced a turnover."
The Islanders answered that score with a drive that took almost seven and a half minutes off the clock.
Senior Troy Fiedler had an 11-yard run on a third-and-4. The rest of the 56-yard drive was covered in short 3- to- 5-yard spurts. Sophomore Tee McConnell ended it with a 1-yard plunge with 2:16 left in the half for a 6-3 lead.
McConnell started the second drive for Poquoson in the second half with his version of a Harry Houdini escape.
After scrambling and nearly being tackled for a big loss, he escaped three tackles and converted it into a 12-yard first-down run.
Two plays later, the Hill brothers connected on a 49-yard halfback option from Luke to younger brother Dylan, who took it down to the 1-yard line.
The Packer defense tried to stiffen, but Clark Schurz bulled his way from the 1 to put Poquoson (4-2, 4-1) up 12-3. McConnell then found Schurz on the two-point conversion with 3:34 left in the third.
Smithfield made one last push deep into Islander territory after that score, taking the ball down to the Poquoson 35, but the defense stopped senior Ralph Williams on a fourth-and-1 run. The Packers were 1-for-5 on fourth-down conversions in the game, with the lone conversion a 9-yard fake punt run by Clemente Jenkins earlier in the drive.
Poquoson put the game away with a drive after the defensive stand that took nearly 8 1/2 minutes. A McConnell dart around right end took the ball down to the Packer 9 before a pair of losses and a holding penalty brought the ball back to the Smithfield 22. Schurz ended any Packer hopes, breaking through the line and rambling into the end zone with 3:54 left.
"Our tempo tonight offensively was very good," Duty said. "We ran the ball, got in the huddle quickly and ran more. It even helped get us a 12-men-on-the-field penalty in the second half as we kept them off balanced."
POQUOSON 21, SMITHFIELD 3Smithfield0300 — 3Poquoson0687 — 21 S — Jones 32 FG
P — McConnell 1 run (kick failed)
P — Schurz 1 run (Schurz from McConnell)
P — Schurz 22 run (White kick)
SmiPoqFirst downs1017Rushes-yards34-16851-219Passing yards3051Comp.-att.-ints2-12-02-5-0Punts-avg.0-02-31.5Penalties-yards5-446-50Fumbles-lost1-11-1