Western Tidewater football teams prepare for upcoming week

Published 10:58 am Friday, September 26, 2014

FRANKLIN–Franklin High School, Southampton High School and Isle of Wight Academy look forward to returning home after being on the road, while Southampton Academy and Windsor High School will take to the road for big divisional football matchups.


The Broncos of Franklin are coming off their first win of the season at Charles City, and the Division 1A program will come home to face Division 3A Park View in a VHSL football game.

Head Coach Darren Parker is looking forward to this match, as it’ll also be the first TriRivers District test of the season.

“We had great support while we were away, and I’d like to thank the fans for traveling,” he said. “But now we are home, and we are looking for a big group of Bronco fans out cheering for us Friday night. We’ve just got to execute.”

Parker said a big part of practice this week has been defense.

“We have had a great week of practice,” he said. “We worked on defense this week because defense is key. Offense wins games, but defense wins championships.”

The 1-2 Dragons, Parker said, like to run out of multiple sets, including the spread. On defense, they are very aggressive and like to blitz linebackers.

“These are things we have seen before,” Parker said. “We just have to concentrate on making sure that we are getting better. We have to make sure that we execute in all four phases of the game, offense, defense, special teams and as coaches. And as always, God is great.”

Kickoff is at 7 p.m. in Franklin.


While at first blush, you might look at the 0-3 Division 2A Brunswick High School Bulldogs’ record and assume that the 2-1 Division 2A Windsor Dukes are going to get the win. But Head Coach Charles Parrish said not so fast.

“They’ve got athletes everywhere,” he said. “There are a lot of returning players from their state championship runner-up team from last year. They are a very good football team, and we’re going to have to go up there and play them.

“We are going to have to go up there and give it our best effort, and play hard every play. That’s what we’ve been saying all year, compete every game, compete every play.”

The Bulldogs are a balanced team, Parrish said. They like to run the spread, but they can run it or throw it as needed. On defense, they’ve got some good skill guys and the linemen are very good.

After a pretty good week of practice, Parrish said they are going to do what they normally do to go out and get the win.

“We are not going to change anything,” he said. “We’re going to try to control the ball up front, take care of maintaining possession, and just try to score. We’re going to look to tackle and play defense well. But it’s going to be a tough football game, that’s for sure.”

Kickoff is at 7 p.m. in Lawrenceville.


The 0-3 Division 3A Southampton Indians look to play the 2-1 Division 1A Sussex Central High School Tigers in what Head Coach Willie Gillus says will be one of the toughest VHSL football games for the Indians so far this season.

“The keys for success are: Number 1, control the line of scrimmage, both offensively and defensively, play very good special teams and limit their big play offense. They want to strike with the long run. “And number 2, we have to make them do things that they don’t want to do. They want to run. So we have to force them to throw it.”

Gillus said the Tigers are a very fast and physical team.

“We are looking for a very spirited contest,” he said of what would be the teams first TriRivers District match of the year. “It is very important for teams to get off to a good start in district play. We’re going to have to have minimal turnovers, and play solid defense and very tough special teams.”

As far as minimizing turnovers and sustaining drives, Gillus said they have been continuing to work on consistency drills. Having key penalties and turnovers when they get something going has been a problem this year, and that adds the problem of keeping the defense on the field for too long.

“We’ve been working on some ball control things to help us to keep the defense from having to play so many plays,” he said. “It’s been a point of emphasis ever since we started here. We are trying to just build on it each and every week.”

Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Southampton.


The VISAA Division 4 Chargers (3-1) of Isle of Wight Academy look to their second Virginia Commonwealth Conference football match this week against the Falcons (4-0) of Fuqua Academy. Head Coach Dale Chapman said it’s going to be tough.

“Looking at the scores against the common opponents, they are kind of similar,” he said. “I would expect the team that comes out, makes the fewest mistakes, and plays with the momentum and emotion, will control this game.”

He said that’s what he’s emphasized during this wet week of practice.

“We have to set the tone, put all three phases of the game together, and play good, sound, football,” he said. “This is going to be our first big test since playing Atlantic Shores in the first game of the year when our younger guys were still getting acclimated.”

Each team is 2-0 in conference play, having each defeated Kenston Forest and Brunswick.

Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Isle of Wight.


The banged up 3-1 Raiders of Southampton Academy will travel to Hobgood, North Carolina, to face the 2-2 Raiders of Hobgood Academy.

Head Coach Dale Marks said this is going to be a tough NCISAA Colonial Carolina 8-man game.

“They are tough at home,” he said. “And they have got a kid who was the offnesive player of the year in our conference, Greg Mullins.”

In his senior year, Mullins has played in 3 games, averaging 234.7 yards each contest and has 12 touchdowns, which is an average of 4 per game. Needless to say, in the 8-man game where any play can become a big play, he’s dangerous.

Marks said they also have other kids around him who can be dangerous too.

“They don’t do anything tricky,” he said. “They don’t throw the ball a lot, but when you have a back like Mullins, you don’t want to throw it a lot. Just get people in front of him and he will do his thing.”

Marks said the Hobgood defense does give up a lot of points, and SA has scored 172 points on the conference’s other Raider team in the last two meetings. He’s expecting a shoot out.

“We’ve just got to try and get some stops, and hopefully move the ball when we have it,” Marks said. “We’re hoping for good weather because we are thinking about throwing the ball some more this week.

“Last week we kind of got smacked. But it was a good ball game — real competitive. We’ll hopefully have another one this week.”

Kickoff is at 7:30 in Hobgood, North Carolina.