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August 24, 2013
Amidst showers all night long, the Norview Pilots made the coaching debut of Dealton Cotton a rousing success in the rain as the Norfolk host pounded the visiting Huguenot Falcons, 41-0 on Friday night. It marked their first season-opening victory since 2006.
Cotton, who previously served as an assistant coach at Old Dominion University, coached with Huguenot's Kevin Allen when the two were at Maury. He's hoping to build the Pilots into a contender like his Maury teams were, and despite a few occasional mistakes here and there, the first showing offered plenty of reason for them to be optimistic about the future.
"I'm very proud of the kids. Everybody has been putting in work to get this thing in the right direction," remarked Cotton afterwards.
"I was happy to see guys were where they were supposed to be most of the time. We still have a lot of young kids and even with the win we still have a lot of things to correct, which is encouraging. We've just got to continue to work and get better."
To begin the Cotton era, the Pilots also broke out new uniforms. Several underclassmen were able to get theirs dirty, in particular sophomore tailback Devon Watford and freshman RB/LB Kevin Marks.
Making his first varsity start, Watford rolled up 182 yards rushing on 13 carries with a pair of touchdowns, including a 54-yard burst that gave Norview a 12-point cushion before the end of the first quarter. By half-time, he had already piled up 122 yards on the ground on just eight attempts.
Marks, who looks the part already of an FBS-level prospect, scored on a four-yard touchdown run in the second quarter that gave Norview a 20-0 lead. His play wasn't limited to the offensive side of the ball either. He was in on five tackles defensively, made a pass breakup and recovered a fumble.
Junior quarterback E.J. Faison had a hand in three touchdowns, the first coming on a pass to Deion Watford. Faison rushed for a pair of scores as well, plus found senior Jalen Blow for a successful two-point conversion in the third quarter that brought on the running clock.
As a team, Norview rushed for 247 yards on 27 carries. Faison mixed in a reasonably efficient passing game with 110 yards on 7-of-13. Meanwhile, Huguenot finished with minus 35 yards of offense and had only three first downs, two of which came after half-time, two on penalties.
In addition to some of the 357 yards of offense, the Pilots got key plays from their defense and special teams as they were able to able to create four turnovers, including an interception from sophomore defensive back Tyrique Jenkins, and got a 50-yard punt return from sophomore Elijah Blue.
Norview's next tilt comes at Hickory on August 29th. The Hawks have beaten the Pilots four straight times.
Matthew Hatfield has covered football and basketball since 2004 for VirginiaPreps.com, part of the Rivals.com Network. Check out Hatfield's Twitter page for more sports related updates, and you can also read his work in the Suffolk News Herald. To contact Matthew, please e-mail email@example.com, and don't forget to listen to him every Saturday at 10AM on ESPN Radio 94.1, plus watch him on the Cox 11 Sports Report.