Southampton Indians falter in opener
Published 11:59 am Saturday, August 30, 2014
COURTLAND—The Poquoson High School offensive line eventually overpowered Southampton High School in route to 33-13 victory in a Virginia High School League 3A conference 25 football matchup.
The Islanders ran all over the field, getting 259 yards on the ground on 54 carries. Meanwhile, the Indians only had 214 yards of total offense — 124 of those in the passing game.
Out of the gate, the Indians looked strong as Coby Williams got a 23-yard pickup on the ground, but two penalties and the offensive line giving way led to a quick punt.
During the first defensive stand, the Indians looked good, giving up some small yardage on the ground until it was third down with 5 to go on the Indians 46 yard line. Poquoson quarterback Trevor Dunagan had to scramble quickly after the defense got through and was sacked by Tyran Hunt with Daniel Agunzo and Gavin Thompson helping out.
The punt, however, hit off of a Southampton player and Poquoson got the ball at the 23. Dunagan got them to the 10 yard line, and a quick Southampton offsides penalty brought the Islanders to the 5.
The first score came two plays later when Ethan Bryce punched it in from two yards out. With 4:03 left to go in the first, the score was 7-0 after the extra point succeeded.
On the next drive, quarterback Russell Ballance connected with Jameson Long for a 10 yard completion, but then Long proceeded to drop two passes, and a chop block from Williams put the Indians on third down with 15 to go at the Poquoson 45. In an obvious pass situation, Matthew Blaser picked Ballance off.
Hunt started the next series off great for Southampton, sacking Dunagan for a 4-yard loss. A quick pass play put the Islanders on 3rd down with 3 to go, but then the Indians jumped offsides giving them the first down.
The quarter ended on a Dunagan scramble, as he picked up 8 yards to get a first down. Two plays into the second quarter helped the Indians, as a block in the back negated what would have been a 30 yard run.
But they didn’t capitalize, as 3 plays later, Chuck Hess punched it in from 1 yard out. Williams blocked the extra point attempt, and the Islanders went up 13-0 with 10:11 in the second.
After the Islander defense forced a 3-and-out, they scored on a 5-play drive, with Kyle Poultney punching it in from 1 yard out. Poquoson failed on the two point conversion and went up 19-0 with 5:49 in the second.
Southampton would get its first score of the season on the next series. Ballance started out the drive completing a 15-yard pass to Rakuan Briggs.
Two plays later, a Southampton penalty made it 3rd and long, but Ballance found Long for a 17 yard pass.
After five more plays, Williams would take it in from 3 yards out and Ballance would kick the extra point, making it 19-7 with 2:40 in the half.
Southampton would later threaten in the second quarter, but time ran out when Randolph Jones was tackled after an 18-yard run, putting them on the Islanders’ 25 yard line.
On the third series of the second half, Poquoson scored with 1:18 left in the third, as Nathan Ward punched it in from 1 yard out. The two-point conversion was good, making the score 27-7.
After another Southampton 3-and-out, the Islanders scored again on a 9 play drive that ended with Bryce running in from 14-yards out. The kick failed and Poquoson went up 33-7.
On the next Southampton drive, the receivers started catching the passes that they were dropping. Starting off in Poquoson territory, Ballance connected first with Long and then with Williams for 28 yards. The 5-play drive ended in a quarterback keeper as Ballance got in from 5 yards out. A penalty negated a successful two-point conversion, and the second attempt from 8 yards out failed.
That put the score at 33-13 with 5:46, and that’s where it stayed, as Poquoson would milk the clock for 3 minutes before punting it in a 1 first down short 5-play running drive.
Ballance picked up 31 more yards on his way to a 124-yard passing night, but ultimately, Southampton would turn the ball over on downs with three seconds left and the Islanders took a knee to earn the victory.
“We are just going to continue to work,” Gillus said. “We saw a lot of bright spots out there in moving the ball up and down the field with the passing game. Defensively, we just played too high the entire game. We will just go back and work on playing lower and being a better defensive team. And a better offensive team and score more points.”
The Indians, now 0-1, will face Smithfield on the road on Sept. 5.