The opening weekend of the 1A East Region football playoffs had some very surprising upsets. On Friday, November 9 night, the region’s top seed feel to the eight seed W&L by a 42-19. The third seed, Rappahannock was topped by the sixth seed West Point, 39-7. Only the number four seed Essex pulled out a win 46-26 over fifth seed Northampton after trailing 12-0 in the early going.
The second seeded Northumberland Indians had their game moved to Saturday to face the seventh seeded Colonial Beach Drifters. The Drifters, who lost in the regular season by one point to the Indians came in with one thing in mind-upset.
But the Indians put together a strong second half defensive effort and came away with a 26-13 to advance to the second round.
After being stopped on their initial drive, the Drifters scored on a ten play 44 yard drive when Seth Jewell hit Tavares Lucas with an eleven yard pass with Garret Mothershead kicking the extra point. The Drifters had the ball for 21 plays, the Indians got in only seven in the first quarter.
Colonial Beach added a second TD midway the second period when Jewell hooked up with Carvion Davis on a 16 yard pass. An attempted run for the two points was stopped short and upset looked within their grasp. The Indians fought back when Devin Palmer ignited the smoldering offense on an electrifying 57 yard run. The point after kick was partially blocked. Five minutes later Keon Redmond burst up the middle into the Drifter’s end zone and the score was 13-12 favor Colonial Beach. That’s where it ended by half time.
What is aid in the locker room stays in the locker room and in this case, perhaps it should be, but a new defense and another offense took the field for the Northumberland Indians. They took the second half kickoff and marched eighty yards in six plays. On the seventh play, Delvin Palmer was loose again. This time he scampered 45 yards for the go-ahead TD. As the third period came to a close, Palmer got loose one more time. Breaking into the secondary, he shed a couple of tacklers and faced the two Drifter defensive backs both with speed enough to catch him. He faked to his right, effectively freezing them and went 57 yards for the final TD of the game. A Mason Adams to Collin Saunders pass added the two points.
Delvin Palmer was the game’s leading rusher with a team’s year high of 228 yards in 19 attempts. A Colonial Beach coach echoed other coaches thoughts when he said “It’s time for him to take his talent to another level.” Jerquist Morris, running in some tough places picked up 25 yards in nine attempts.
Redmond seventeen in five carries. Switching the offense in the second half allowed the Indians some running flexibility. Delvin Palmer threw two passes, connecting on both for 71 yards. Mason Adams threw five times and completed four of them for 31 yards. Neither threw an interception. Collin Saunders was the game’s leading receiver with four catches for 68 yards including one catch when he laid out flat in the air for the catch.
Derrick Smith caught two passes for 34 yards.
Once more the defense was magnificent holding the Drifter’s potent double wing attack to just five first downs and allowing only one penetration beyond the fifty yard line in the second half. Their passing attack that had scored twice in the first half found their passers under pressure and three attempts were intercepted with Delvin Palmer getting two and Kobe Wiggins getting the other. On their final offensive play Trenton Liner came up with a fumble recovery. Defensive Coordinator Mac Mothershead couldn’t say enough about his players. Blake Edwards, in a new position of outside linebacker had a “huge game.” Collin Saunders, Delvin Palmer both drew special praise. While tackle charts are not complete prior to press time. Caleb Davis, Carl Johnson, Elijah McLean and Jaheim Owens had their names called continuously for tackles by the game’s announcer. Coach Aaron Lewis stated “It was a well orchestrated game, well played. We played a smart football game, not making mistakes.” About West Point, he added “Almost the same team (from last year, it’s going to be tough.”
Next Friday, November 16 the Indians face another strong double wing offensive from West Point. The Pointers Lawrence Porter was the Tidewater District’s leading rusher, averaging over 130 yard per game. Porter was the district’s second leading scorer with ten TDs and running mate Noah Lawson close behind with eight. The passing attack of O’Conner to Anderson has connected for nearly two hundred yards this season. It doesn’t get any easier for the Indians because West Point is looking for revenge from last year’s first round regional loss.