IWA avenges earlier loss, claims state title

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 20, 2007

ISLE OF WIGHT—One of the first things Isle of Wight Academy coach Dale Chapman told his team after it assembled at midfield following Friday’s game was that the team he was looking at was not the same team that took the field some six weeks ago on a hot Saturday afternoon on the Eastern Shore.

For his punch line, he said, because the team he was looking at Friday night had just won its third consecutive Virginia Independent Schools Division 3 title by manhandling Broadwater Academy 28-14.

The Friday night win not only erases the Oct. 6 32-25 loss at Broadwater; Friday’s game was the Vikings’ only loss of the season, just as the October game was Isle of Wight’s only loss of the season. It also erases one of the only bad showings Isle of Wight had displayed all season.

&uot;For one thing, we were not healthy over there,&uot; Chapman said. &uot;They kind of intimidated us there, which is unusual for this team.&uot;

On Friday, it was the Chargers who owned the intimidation factor, outgaining Broadwater by 200 yards on offense and never trailing in the contest.

IWA ran up 285 yards rushing and added 64 passing; Broadwater threw for 112 yards and rushed for only 37. Broadwater was held to minus-4 yards rushing in the second half.

Isle of Wight took the opening kickoff and ran nine plays to get the first touchdown.

Senior quarterback/defensive end/kick returner Rusty Brake took the opening kickoff to his own 45-yard line and the Chargers were methodical in running the ball down the field. Brake, J.D. Honeycutt and Lance Moore did much of the running until Brake scored on a keeper up the middle. The point-after by Cody Dowdy was good and IWA led 7-0 with 6:55 left in the first quarter.

&uot;We wanted a ball-control game plan,&uot; Chapman said afterward. &uot;The first drive in the first quarter was exactly what we were looking for.&uot;

But Broadwater didn’t enter the game 11-0 without possessing some talent. The Vikings, on their second drive of the half, started on their own 48 late in the first quarter and moved the ball effectively, even converting a fourth-down-and-1 on the Chargers 16 during the drive.

Nathan Turner ran left and got into the end zone from 15 yards out to tie the game.

The game would never be tied again.

Later in the second quarter, Brake dropped back and lofted a pass to Kevin King who caught the touchdown pass with 3:25 to play in the half.

Isle of Wight scored its third touchdown with 3:01 left in the third quarter when Brake found Zack Lamb in the corner of the end zone to make the score 21-7.

Broadwater threatened — mainly through the air — and added a 21-yard touchdown pass with 15 seconds left in the quarter to move within 21-14.

Honeycutt broke open on a 33-yard run around the right end to score with 8:34 to go — making it 28-14.

But Honeycutt intercepted a pass on his own 15-yard line, and Isle of Wight began running out the clock.

Broadwater got the ball back late in the fourth quarter, but with no timeouts, down two touchdowns and no running game to speak of, the Chargers played the pass. Bryan Edwards cut in front of a pass near midfield to intercept and quickly fell to the ground, protecting the ball — and the win.

Broadwater quarterback Spencer Mapp said, &uot;Coming into this season we knew we were going to make the playoffs and that Isle of Wight was going to be the team to beat.&uot;

The senior had that correct.

But it was the Chargers who celebrated the win at midfield with several hundred fans snapping photos, smiling widely and hugging.

That’s what happens when a team wins three straight championships.