The weather this year has made this a strange season thus far. Playing two games in one week made it even stranger. But the strangest thing of all was the Indians getting three wins over the past week. Here’s how that works outs, on Monday, in a make-up game, Northumberland came from behind to beat W&L, 18-13; On Friday, they escaped an upset minded Colonial Beach, 35-34. They also learned that Mathews would forfeit rather then play a make-up game next month. That brings the current Northumberland record to 7-0 with regular scheduled games this Friday at Rappahannock and November 2 at Lancaster plus a half game to complete at Northampton on Monday the twenty-ninth.
The W&L game was set to be played the Saturday before for Northumberland’s homecoming but a storm named Michael had other plans.
On Monday night last week the two teams met in what was an ugly contest. The Indians scored first on a 50 yard shovel pass from Mason Adams to Delvin Palmer covering fifty yards. Harry Lee added the point after. W&L returned the favor with a 58 yard jaunt by James Kelly Jr. and when Jacob Ristou made the extra point, the game was tied, 7-7. Late in the same quarter, Lee made a 29 yard field goal and the Indians were back on top. That lead didn’t last long as Kelly opened the second period with a 30 yard TD run. Ristou’s kick was blocked by Dionta Kelly and the score at half time had the visiting Eagles 13-10.
That score held as both defenses stiffened to shut things down. Midway the final 12 minute final quarter, Adams hit Collin Saunders with another shovel pass. Saunders burst through the line, evaded the Eagles secondary and raced 65 yards for the go ahead TD. Lee’s PAT was blocked. Later in the quarter, W&L was down deep in their territory with a fourth and twenty-seven to go. They decided to punt the ball away but the snap from the center went over the punter’s head. With the Indians in full pursuit, he wisely booted the ball out of the end zone for a two point safety.
Mason Adams had his best night to date. He threw nineteen passes, connecting on the 13 of them for 213 yards and two touchdowns plus no interceptions. His favorite targets were Collin Saunders who had seven receptions for 128 yards and a score. Delvin Palmer had three catches for 73 yards and a TD, Dionta Kelly had two catches for 12 yards. Yardage on the ground was tough to come by with Jerquist Morris leading the way with 15 yards. The win belongs in the defensive units side of the ball. They completely shut down the Eagles in the second half, allowing only one first down, recovering a fumble and scoring a safety. Stats are had to come by but frequently around the Eagle ball carriers were Carl Johnson, Blake Edwards, Jaheim Owens, Caleb Davis, Collin Saunders, and Delvin Palmer.
The game opened with the Drifters Kindrick Smith returning the opening kickoff 91 yards for the games opening touchdown. The two point conversion was no good. The Indians retaliated with a kickoff return by Jerquist Morris that went 85 yards for a TD. Harry Lee was true on the first of his give very important extra point kicks.
Still in the opening quarter, the Drifters Corvion Davis returned an interception 35 yards for a score, again the two point conversion was not good. Northumberland then scored on a sixty yard Mason Adams to Delvin Palmer pass with Lee on the extra point. At first period end it was Northumberland 14, Colonial Beach 12.
In the second quarter, the Indians seemed to assert themselves offensively, taking advantage of Drifters miscues. Morris scored twice on one yard runs and with Lee’s all important extra points seemed ready to put it away. The Beach responded with a 41 yard toss and catch from Seth Jewell to Tavares Lucas but once more the two point conversion run was stuffed short. A half time the Indians led 28-18.
Going into the final quarter of play the offensive thrusts were not effective for the most part. Midway the quarter, the Drifters found themselves stopped on their own fourteen yard line. Dropping back to punt, then Carl Johnson stormed in from the outside and blocked the kick. Daniel Bradley picked it up and went into the end zone. With Lee’s kick, Northumberland led 35-28. But it wasn’t over as the Drifters as they marched 70 yards in a ball controlling twelve plays. Kenneth Allison scored after an Indians penalty had moved the ball to the three yard line. Another Jewell to Lucas two point conversion pass brought the final score to 35-34 favor the Indians.
Mason Adams led the offense for the Indians as rushing yardage was tough to come by against the swarming, penetrating Drifter defense. Adams connected on nine of fifteen passes for 123 yards to one TD but had two interceptions. Devin Palmer caught five passes for 75 yards and a score. Collin Saunders had five catches for fifty yards.
Defensively it was the same bunch of battle tried warriors holding the Drifters back with the exception of the number of tackle made in the secondary by Palmer and Saunders. Northumberland’s pass defense was almost non-existent. “It wasn’t pretty but we got it,” stated Coach Aaron Lewis, later adding “It was a tough game to us. “
The game closed the regular home season for Northumberland with a trip scheduled this Friday to Rappahannock. The Raiders have been very strong this year and are the only other undefeated team in Northern Neck District play. They feature the district’s leading passer in C.J. Gaines plus the second leading receiver in Savion Epps, Epps also is the second leading scorer in the Northern Neck. They took apart W&L last Friday by a score of 27-6. The following Monday, its back across “the pond” for the Indians to complete their game at Northampton, leading 14-0.