High School Football Notebook —Only one unbeaten team remains
Published 6:03 pm Thursday, September 29, 2022
And then there was one. After Week Five of the high school football season, just one unbeaten team remains in the James River District. That would be the Central Lunenburg Chargers, who improved to 5-0 after their 53-14 win over Randolph-Henry last Friday.
The Chargers met or exceeded several benchmarks on their way to victory. For the third time this season, they eclipsed 50 points. For the first time since 2014, they reached the 5-0 mark in a season. Lunenburg head coach Will Thomas said he was proud of the effort.
“Overall, we played good. Our defense was dominant in the first half and took away the run since that is their bread and butter,” Thomas said.
Dominant is one way to put it. Central Lunenburg wasted no time in setting the tone, scoring on their first possession and building a 33-0 halftime lead.
“They had some turnovers early on and couldn’t get anything going offensively. They had some athletes and hit us in the mouth a little bit, too,” Thomas said. “Late in the first half, we fumbled the ball and looked a little bit sloppy, but picked it up after half-time.”
Even before intermission, junior quarterback Connor Mattox completed three passes for 31 yards, all resulting in touchdowns. Two of the aerial scoring strikes went to junior tight end Seth Bishop and the other to senior Jamel Alexander.
“We probably didn’t throw the ball three times last year,” quipped Thomas. “We don’t throw the ball that much, but we were efficient at it, and it’s good when it all clicks. They were crowding the box, so that makes it easier. Connor threw the ball well.”
The rushing attack also did its part, amassing 291 yards on 40 attempts from seven different ball carriers. Leading the way was Bam Jones with 113 yards and a score on nine attempts. Fellow senior K.J. Watson added 74 yards and 2 TD’s on 13 carries. Sophomore Amarion Moore chipped in 50 yards on 10 rushes.
Lunenburg’s special teams got in on the act, too. Junior Thomias Morrison had an 83-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
Next up for the Chargers is a trip to Nottoway on Friday, Sept. 30. Nottoway (2-2) has gotten the better of Lunenburg in the last three meetings. That includes 28-14 in come-from-behind fashion a season ago with Tyler Banks, who’s now playing football in the SEC at Ole Miss, starring for the Cougars.
“We went up 14-0 and it was one of those games where we said we were very fortunate to be up 14-0,” recalled Thomas. “They put it into high-gear in the second half and had some great athletes with Banks and other dudes. They still have some good athletes. It’s usually close and going to be tough.”
Adding to the intrigue are the facts that Thomas has coached some of the current Cougars players in Little League Baseball previously and is among three of the Lunenburg coaches presently residing in Nottoway.
“They’ll be chirping at church,” Thomas said. “If they win, they’ll give it to me. If I win, I’ll give them a hard time. But they’re all good folks.”
BUCKINGHAM WINS THIRD CONSECUTIVE
Since their 37-24 season-opening loss to Appomattox, the Buckingham Knights have been on a tear, winning three in a row. In each victory, Buckingham has scored at least six touchdowns each time out, including a 48-6 rout of previously unbeaten Prince Edward last Friday night.
Buckingham scored 28 of its 35 first half points during the second quarter, which saw junior QB Zahir Chambers reach the end zone on a pair of runs. The Knights would add two scoop and scores on fumble recoveries.
Early in the second half, a 15-yard touchdown run by senior Kymeir Lockett put Buckingham ahead 42-0. Avery Schaeffer capped off the scoring for the Knights with a five-yard touchdown a minute into the fourth quarter Hykeim Wynn scored the lone touchdown for Prince Edward (3-1) with seven minutes remaining in the contest.
David Hamed rushed for 205 yards and five touchdowns on 14 carries as Nottoway exploded for a 40-0 half-time lead and won by that same final margin over the Cumberland Dukes in the James River District opener for each squad. Hamed was one of 11 different Nottoway ball carriers as the Cougars piled up 389 of their 404 yards through the running game.
With the loss, Cumberland dropped to 0-4 overall. It was their third straight shutout loss of the season. They play host to Prince Edward on September 30th. Ironically enough, the lone win of the 2021 campaign for the Dukes came in a 46-44 thriller over Prince Edward.
OTHER REGIONAL SCORES
• Fuqua School 42 Arcadia 24
• William Campbell 44 Altavista 8
• Southampton 45 Amelia County 6