There was a full moon Friday night, and there were a couple of loony plays during Kecoughtan's 16-14 win over Bethel.
One began with a fumble by Warriors quarterback Anthony Dorsey, a rare mistake on a terrific night by the senior. During a 15-second scrum, 12 different players got their hands on the ball. Bethel's Justin James appeared to pick it up and take a couple of steps, but he dropped it as well.
Finally, Kecoughtan got it back. It ended up as a 13-yard loss.
Too bad NFL Films wasn't in town. It would have been perfect for "Football Follies."
But later came the game's most critical play. With Bethel leading 14-7 late in the third quarter, quarterback Rashad Manley was in the shotgun at his 15-yard line. He turned to get the attention of a receiver lined up to his left, and as he did the center snapped the ball.
It rolled past a startled Manley and into the end zone, where Bethel's Rashad Proctor fell on it for a safety. Kecoughtan scored on the ensuing possession.
"We needed that, because the team was getting tired," Dorsey said. "That gave us confidence to play harder."
POQUOSON NEEDS DEPTH
Following Poquoson's season-opening 36-7 loss on Friday to Dinwiddie, Islanders' football coach Elliott Duty said priority No. 1 will be developing more depth. He'll have some time to do so, because the Islanders next game isn't until Sept. 18, when they host Lafayette in a big early showdown of Bay Rivers District heavyweights.
"We've got to get in better shape, and we've got to find some more guys who can play, particularly on the defensive line," he said. "We can't have so many guys going both ways."
Several guys who went both ways showed very well for the Islanders: Tee McConnell, Dylan Hill and Luke Hill.
McConnell picked up where he left off last year at cornerback, where he intercepted nine passes last season. McConnell picked off a pass in the end zone at Dinwiddie, giving the Islanders a lift when it appeared the Generals might make the game a runway.
In addition to carrying the ball 10 times, and throwing a touchdown pass on a fullback option, Luke Hill made hit after hit on defense. Ditto for brother and fellow linebacker Dylan Hill, who played a lesser role on offense than the other two, but lived up to his billing as a relentless and hard-hitting linebacker.
"Dylan played well," Duty said of the 6-1, 175-pound sophomore. "He's kind of the leader on that defense."
Dinwiddie used its size and strength to take away the running game that was Poquoson's bread-and-butter en route to the district title last season. But the Islanders adapted by going to the air, with McConnell displaying an improved ability to create on the run against constant pressure.
McConnell threw for 143 yards, with Luke Hill's 39-yard touchdown pass accounting for the rest of the Islanders 182 yards in the air. McConnell's threw for more than 51 yards only twice last regular season, with a high of 82 yards.
A MILESTONE FOR DENBIGH
Marcellus Harris III received the traditional Gatorade bath after a season-opening win over Heritage.
He was still smiling a few minutes later when something else hit him--this is the first time in his tenure the Patriots have been over .500.
"Of course that feels good, but it also feels good just to get that first won out of the way," said Harris. "We worked these guys real hard over training camp, so this win means a whole lot for our program as we try to take that next step."
Harris is only in his second season as coach of the Patriots, but is trying to instill a winning attitude in a team that has seen only one winning season in the past decade.
"We've got the talent to put something together here," said Harris. "This victory will go a long way towards showing these guys their hard work is paying off."
PHOEBUS WORKING THE CLOCK
To be sure, you'd rather be on the good end of a blowout. But even if you are, those running-clock nights can have a negative effect – specifically, it limits what you can work on.
Phoebus coach Stan Sexton, whose team led Gloucester 43-0 at halftime Thursday night before polishing off a 63-0 win, made the most of it. With the game out of hand, the Phantoms sped things up and made future opponents think a little more.
One wrinkle is the point-after. The holder is starting quarterback Paul Morant. The place-kicker is backup quarterback Eric Enderson. So Phoebus will line up as if going for the 2-point conversion before falling back to kick.
But once, Enderson took the snap from his kicking position and hit Anthony Haste for a 2-point conversion.
"Just letting people know we have that," Sexton said. "Just trying to make them know that at all times we have the capability to do that."
With the continuous clock, Phoebus went to a no-huddle offense in the third quarter.
"We wanted to run as many plays as we could," Sexton said. "We need to be ready for that."
Rex Harrison threw the 64-yard touchdown pass for Tabb in its loss on Friday to Amherst. The TD pass was incorrectly credited to a Tabb teammate. ... Smithfield's 52 points are more than they scored in any game last season, and that York's 51 points are more than they scored last season. ... Ben Edwards 267 yards and five touchdowns on Friday, are numbers higher than any Bay Rivers back had in a game last season.
Dave Johnson, Marty O'Brien and Chris LanciaCopyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times