The Northumberland Indians varsity football team took the field for a Saturday game here against Surry County and when the time ran out they had an opening game 37-7 win. The game was a strange one, with the offense struggling to get it together for the entire game. On the defensive side, the Indians appeared in mid-season form. The defense was so overpowering that they scored the first touchdown of the game and set up the second. Defensive end Elijah McLean and nose guard Caleb Davis were in the Cougars backfield so much it was wonder they weren’t penalized for having too many players in the back field.
Surry County won the coin toss but chose to hold off until the second half. The Indians received the opening kickoff only to punt it away after losing fifteen yards. Surry County did little better, giving the ball back in four plays. The Cougars got the ball back one play later after an Indian fumble. They moved the ball to the Northumberland 29 where they coughed it up. A fleet footed McLean scooped it up and the race was on. Sixty-six yards later he scored for the Indians and Harry Lee made his first extra point try of 2018 good. On the opening day of the second period, Indian quarterback Qwa’Shaw Williams spotted a streaking Delvin Palmer down the far side lines and lofted a pass to him. The play covered 43 yards and Palmer was so far behind the Cougars secondary, all they could do was line up for the point after. Lee made good. Lee also hit on a thirty-seven yard field goal, the promise of things to come. Both teams struggled offensively most of the game, Northumberland not blocking and out of sync, Surry County because of the Indian’s aggressive defense.
In a lack luster offensive third quarter there was one very pleasant surprise as freshman quarterback Denzel Palmer threw a 34 yard strike to Dionte Kelly for the Indians final score. Lee adding the PAT.
In the final quarter of play, taking advantage of the Indians freely substituting on defense, the Courgars got on the score board on a two yard run by Melvin Howell and the extra point kick by Benjamin Toothman.
Due to losses on sacks, the Indians only recorded 61 rushing yards. Delving Palmer had 59 and a touchdown on three carries, Derrick Smith picked up 36 yards in seven attempts. The Indians did pick up 115 yards via air mail with Williams hitting on seven throws in thirteen for 82 yards and a TD. Williams threw one interception. Denzell Palmer threw four passes with one completion and a score. Dionte Kelly was the leading receiver for four catches for 61 yards and a TD, Delvin Palmer had two catches for 50 yards and a TD.
Jahein Ownens had five tackles including one fumble recovery and one a loss. Chris Saunders had an interception. The Cougars had only nine yards rushing in 42 attempts and only 23 yards passing on eight completions.
The Indians take the trip across the pond (Chesapeake Bay) Friday for a game against Northampton at Eastville. The Yellow Jackets got that all important first win with a 28-6 victory over Middlesex. They should be a much improved team this year. Every school in the Northern Neck won their opening game this past week, some by big numbers.