Isle of Wight Academy defeats Hargrave Military 48-36

Published 11:14 am Thursday, October 18, 2018

by James J. Lidington

Isle of Wight Academy’s Ryan Boyce passed for 217 yards, including a touchdown, and ran for another in the Chargers’ 48-36 win over Hargrave Military Academy here on Friday night.

The IWA ground attack was led by Colby Williams with 79 yards rushing and two touchdowns.

Unlike recent games versus Broadwater and Blessed Sacrament-Huguenot, the Chargers opened with the ground game, riding six consecutive rushes before back-to-back pass plays from Boyce to Cameron Riblet, including a 17-yard scoring strike.

IWA and the Tigers exchanged a series of possessions until Isle of Wight kicked off a 12-play, 65-yard drive buoyed by a fumble recovered by wideout Jesse Hopkins. Four plays later, Williams scored from three yards away. Tre Powell’s PAT made the score 14-0 with 7:27 left before halftime.

Hargrave’s Nathan Kania got his team on the board, connecting with receiver Brian Williams on a 65-yard pass play, Kania’s first of five TD passes on the day. The junior from Danville, Virginia, passed for 347 yards in the game.

Not to be outdone, Boyce connected with Odin Bristol for a 51-yard touchdown on IWA’s next drive, accounting for all but 9 of the yards in the team’s five-play offensive series.

After Kania hit Justin Campbell with a 58-yard touchdown pass on Hargrave’s next drive, IWA got the ball back with fewer than 3:00 left before halftime. A balanced series of passes to Hunter Edwards and rushes by Williams ended with a 3-yard scoring plunge by the senior running back with :03 left. Powell’s PAT made the score 28-12 going to the locker room.

The Tigers cut the lead to 10 points, 28-18, when they took the opening kickoff of the second half and sprinted 62 yards in eight plays, ending with a 54-yard pass from Kania to senior running back Wade Thomas.

Thomas played a defensive role in the Chargers’ next drive, which bogged down near midfield after beginning at the Hargrave 39.

A penalty put IWA in a second-and-long situation and Boyce appeared to have found Hopkins streaking up the right sideline, only to have Thomas tip the ball away at the last moment. On third down, however, Boyce hit Powell, in at receiver and defended by Thomas, on a 36-yard pass play. On fourth-and-2, Boyce ran for the first down to the Tigers’ 3. A play later, Boyce ran it in for the score. Powell’s PAT made it 35-18.

A sizable return gave Hargrave their best field position of the game, first-and-10 at the IWA 36. Kania took a sack on first down and launched an errant pass on second down. Thomas then was tackled for a loss, setting up a crucial fourth-and-15 situation at the IWA 25. Kania dropped back to pass and was intercepted by Bristol.

Williams also had a 72-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter.

Boyce also led the IWA defense in tackles with 5, along with teammate Alex Stidham.

The game closed a month of road contests which saw the Chargers travel more than 14 hours and cover 735 miles. IWA bested Blessed Sacrament-Huguenot 48-0 Sept. 21 and Broadwater Academy 48-0 on Oct. 6.

The win boosted IWA’s record to 5-2. The team moved up one spot to fourth place in the Oct. 9 Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association Division II standings. The top four teams quality for a two-week state playoff.

IWA has two games remaining: This Friday versus Christchurch (currently 1-3) and Oct. 26 against Fuqua (1-4.) Both games are at 7 p.m. on IWA’s William M. Hooper Field.

JAMES J. LIDINGTON is a teacher at Isle of Wight Academy. He can be reached at 357-3866.