The mud and driving rain took its toll on the Northumberland Indian’s Quick Strike offensive as the Essex Trojans slogged their way to a 14-6 win here Saturday afternoon.
Essex received the opening kickoff but was forced to punt the ball away after three downs. The Indians saw an early opportunity blunted in the opening quarter. Later they took advantage of their next possession when Delvin Palmer scooted over from two yards out. A run for the two points after was no good. Early in the second period, Essex tied the game when Antwain Greene punched in from the two yard line, The Tropjans attempted run for the two points was stopped short. Northumberland had another promising drive slowed by penalties and had to surrender the ball on downs at the Essex nine yard line.
The Indians got the second half kickoff but could not move the ball and had to punt it away. Essex then began to move the ball using the less muddy sides of the field but lost on downs on the Indians thirty yard line. Later in the same quarter, the Trojans began a nine play, 43 yard scoring drive that ended on the first play of the final quarter when Greene found pay dirt on a three yards run. This time the two point conversion was good with K.J. Dameron crashing over the goal line.
The remainder of the game was one of frustration for the Indians. A very wet ball in a hard, cold rain made passing almost impossible. The wet and very muddy field kept the faster Indians running backs from using their speed and illusiveness. A final drive of the game was also slowed by penalties. The game marked the end of a stellar season for the Indians (11-2) and sent Essex on to the state semi-finals against Riverheads next Saturday.
Mason Adams hit on seven of nine passes for 40 yards with one pick. Delvin Palmer hit on two of three attempts. Collin Saunders caught five passes for 19 yards. Palmer caught two passes for ten yards, Jerquist Morris one for nine and Keon Redmond had one reception. On the ground Keon Redmond was leading Indian ball carrier with seven attempts for 20 yards. Palmer had 18 carries for nineteen yards, Adams one for three and Morris one carry.
Unnecessary penalties again were costly to the Indians but Essex doubled them in penalties. They were flagged for four fifteen yarders, all on tackling plays against the Indian’s Delvin Palmer. Once for a late hit out of bounds, twice for targeting, a helmet to face hit, and for a horse collar tackle, any of which could have injured the player being tackled.