Southampton falls in playoffs 28-6

Published 8:37 am Saturday, November 15, 2014

Coby Williams looks to cross the goal line on a short run. -- Murray Thompson | Tidewater News

Coby Williams looks to cross the goal line on a short run. — Murray Thompson | Tidewater News

The Southampton Indians got behind the Poquoson Islanders early after giving their foe good field position on the first two drives, which allowed the Islanders to jump ahead 14-0 in the first 6 minutes. Adjustments in the second half by the blitzing Indians limited Poquoson’s offense, but Southampton was not able to play consistent on offense and fell 28-6 in the VHSL Division 3A East playoffs.

“Poqouson is a good team,” Head Coach Willie Gillus said. “If you get behind on a good team like Poqouson, it’s tough to come back. In the second half, we made some adjustments and played better on defense. But the offense never could get back on track. Penalties killed us.”

The Indians started off with the ball, but a quick three-and-out forced a punt, which gave the Islanders good field position heading into the first drive. The Islanders’ Nathan Ward busted out a quick 25-yard run, which set up Ethan Bryce for a touchdown, bouncing two defenders off him as he crossed the goal line at the 9:34 mark.

After another quick series, another punt gave the Islanders good field position, and they again capitalized. This time on a 33-yard rush by Ward to the right side at the 6 minute mark in the first quarter. A Chris Coccimiglio kick made it 14-0.

A penalty before the first play on the next drive set the Indians up behind the sticks, and they were unable to get a first down. The punt set the Islanders up at Southampton’s 35 yard line, and again with short field position, Bryce was able to walk the ball in from the 6-yard line on a misdirection play to the left at the 2:01 mark. A Coccimiglio kick made the score 21-0 in the first.

The Indians started off on their own 35 yard line after the kick, and quickly got behind the sticks when Russell Ballance had to fall on a bad snap at the 36-yard line. A Coby Williams run up the middle made it 3rd down and 9. On the next run, however, Williams took the ball to the left side and took it 48 yards to the Poquoson 18. Three plays brought it to the 6-yard line, and Delonta Boone set it up at the 3-yard line. From there, Williams brought it in for the touchdown. Gillus decided to go for two at the 8:03 mark in the second quarter, but Jayquan Ryland was unable to gain any ground on a run.

On the next series, the Indians forced a 3-and-out. But Ballance was sacked twice in the Indians’ next series, setting the offense up for another 3rd and long. He was able to hit Darius Bell, who made a bobble catch that limited his ability to gain any forward momentum. He was brought down at the 41-yard line. Still behind the original line of scrimmage, the Indians punted away.

Poquoson was forced to punt it away again, and the half expired on Southampton’s drive with the score 21-6.

Getting the ball to start the half, the Islanders would start at their own 40. On the fourth play of the drive, Bryce hit the left side on a counter and found the sideline, making a couple of safetys miss in route to the endzone at the 10 minute mark of the third. After the Coccimiglio kick, the score was 28-6.

An Indian 3-and-out gave Poquoson the ball again, and they made a drive from their own 28-yard line to the Indians’ 22. However, Southampton stepped up and hit Bryce at the 20-yard line on a 4th down run, giving the Indians the ball with 1:13 left in the third quarter.

Ballance was sacked again to end the quarter, which brought up another fourth down and subsequent punt for Southampton.

A big run by Ward set the Islanders up at Southampton’s 21 yard line. Bryce gained to the 16. But on second down, Trevon Tynes hit Ward in the backfield at the 19. The Indians returned the favor, and sacked Trevor Dunagan twice. The first one was led by Daniel Agunzo, and the second was a solo sack by Cedric Parham. The Islanders again turned it over after getting to the redzone.

On defense, the Indians were again able to stop the Islanders the next time they threatened with around a minute to go in the game, partially thanks to a holding call bringing a Bryce touchdown back.

Williams and Ballance were able to put together another drive as the clock was running down, but time expired just as they crossed into Islanders territory.

“I want to thank the fans for their support this season and making the drive up,” Gillus said. “I’m proud of the team. We hit two goals this season. One, we wanted to play better each game, and I think we accomplished that. And two, were were able to be in the playoffs.

“We are going to hit the weight room over the winter and we’re going to work. We just have to build and get better.”

Despite several quick drives, Williams was able to get it going on a few. He rushed the ball 23 times for 146 yards.

“We would find a hole, but they switched up the defense on us a lot, so once we got in a rhythm, those holes would disappear,” Gillus said. “They got us in the backfield several times.”

The rest of the team got the ball 10 times and collectively only gained 6 total yards, which counts several negative plays. Ballance was 6-for-15 passing for 29 yards. He had no interceptions.

Poquoson rushed the ball 46 times for 301 yards. They did not attempt a pass.

The Indians finish the season 4-7. The Islanders, 9-2, move on to the next round.