Chargers beat SA, finish 9-0

Published 9:12 am Saturday, October 31, 2009

COURTLAND—Daniel Brown and the Isle of Wight Academy offensive line put the second half on their shoulders Friday night. After a poor first half, the Chargers sprung to life for a come-from-behind 21-14 win over upset-minded Southampton Academy in a Virginia Commonwealth Conference game.

IWA finishes the regular season undefeated at 9-0 and is the conference champion. The Chargers have also locked up the number one spot in the VISAA Division III state rankings and will host a home playoff game on November 13 and would have home field advantage should they reach the state championship game on Nov. 20.

After being stalled for just 9 yards on 12 plays in the first half, and trailing 14-7, IWA looked like a team on a mission in the second half both on offense and defense. After allowing Southampton Academy to dominate the first half on offense with 156 yards on the ground, IWA gave up just 48 yards of offense in the second half.

IWA tied the game on its second possession of the second half. On a 3rd and 9 play, Brown hurled a 31-yard bomb to John Hibbard down to the Southampton Academy 11. Brown then ran it down to the 1 and scored on a 1-yard run with 2:32 to play in the third quarter. Justin Vick’s kick tied the game at 14-14.

The Raiders could not move the ball on its next possession and had to kick. Michael Milteer shanked the punt, which went just 8 yards. Six plays later, Brown struck again. On a keeper, he bumped off a tackler, sprinted 28 yards, and dove into the end zone for the game-winning touchdown with 8:47 to play. Vick sealed the final score with the extra point.

It was gut check time for IWA at the half.

“We challenged everybody that if they want to do this, they had to stop standing in the shadow of the guys that have done it before. It’s your turn, it’s your time. If you want to get in here, you’re going to have to make plays,” said Dale Chapman, IWA head coach.

Chapman said the hype of the game may have affected his players.

“Our offensive line wasn’t doing a very good job in the first half, so we challenged them to do a better job. Daniel was a little overzealous in his passing,” Chapman said. “I think the whole hype of this game — trying to go undefeated, trying to get a conference championship – I think everybody was so amped up that it took us a whole half to try to get ourselves together.”

Things started out ominously for the Raiders at the beginning of the game. Marching down the field on the ground on its first series, SA quarterback Wesley Barnes telegraphed a pass, which was picked off by IWA’s Brown.

But IWA could not take advantage and had to punt.

The Chargers were able to get on the board after SA’s second possession. Heath Price took Milteer’s punt all the way to the SA 7 yard line. Two plays later, Charles Keyt punched it in from 1 yard out. Vick booted the extra point to put IWA up 7-0.

On the Raiders’ third possession, SA kept the ball on the ground and moved the ball 64 yards in nine plays. John Hinkle busted loose up the middle for a 15-yard touchdown run with 9:59 to play in the half. Michael Milteer’s extra point tied the game at 7-7.

The IWA offense was stymied the rest of the first half. Eight of IWA’s yards came on the last play of the half.

Meanwhile, Vick shanked a punt for 16 yards, setting the Raiders up on their own 46. Twelve plays later. Jacob Rose dove in from 3 yards out and Milteer kicked the extra point to put the Raiders up 14-7.

Brown led the IWA offense with 75 yards rushing on 12 carries. The Raiders (7-2) were led by David Bogese with 108 yards on 22 carries.

Southampton Academy has a win or go home game next week at Blessed Sacrament Huguenot. Coming into Friday night’s contest, the Raiders were fifth in the state and need to get to the number four spot to reach the state playoffs.

“Hopefully we can get a win next week and make it to the state. That’s a must win for us,” said Dale Marks, SA head coach. “We had it in front of us and we came close tonight, but we didn’t get to where we needed to get to. I feel bad for the guys, but they played extremely gutty and hard the whole game.”