Latest Team Rankings
Free Text Alerts
|ShopMobileRadio RSSRivals.com Yahoo! Sports|
|College Teams||High Schools|
October 13, 2013
Stallions Clamp Down Late to Move to 4-2: Saturday marked Homecoming at Bayside High School in Virginia Beach, but by game's end, it wasn't the host Marlins celebrating. Instead, it was the visiting Green Run Stallions, who erased a nine-point deficit with less than 13 minutes to play to notch their first victory over Bayside since 2008 with a 21-16 win.
For first-year Green Run Head Football Coach Jeff McGowan, the win was extra satisfying.
"I tell these kids you don't get personal. Coming back home, I'm a Marlin and love Bayside, but I'm a Stallion right now," he commented afterwards.
"This past week, we had to deal with some things about grades and accountability. With it raining and everything, we didn't practice much this week, but we took care of some things in the classroom. I tell the guys it's more than football, it's about life. I want them prepared, they came together and you saw that today."
After allowing 217 total yards to Bayside in the first half with 91 of them coming on the ground by Marlins junior halfback Daryl Sills, the Green Run defense tightened the screws defensively in the second half. They gave up only 111 yards in the final two quarters with just 22 of those yards coming through the air.
"We had been asking for it the last three or four weeks," Green Run's Austin Lynch, a Kempsville transfer, said of the defense rising up. "We finally got it out of them today. We came in here to crash their party."
Junior Javon Griffin, making the switch from defensive tackle to linebacker this season, recorded 10 total tackles. Jacques Pitts chipped in nine stops with Breyland Cyphers contributing eight tackles, Malik Watson making seven (six solo hits) and Andrew Daniel in on three plays behind the line of scrimmage.
"It's been frustrating because we're playing with a lot of young guys. The two long runs they busted in the first half were missed tackles. It's not scheme. It's just wrapping up, securing the tackle and not wanting someone else to do it," McGowan said.
"Get hungry and then we started having guys get to the football in the second half. You take your lumps early and then young guys are starting to step up. I feel this was our first team victory. We didn't have to rely on just offense."
By beating the Marlins, Green Run has now improved its record to 4-2 overall heading into their Homecoming matchup with Kempsville, another school McGowan has ties to since he used to be the Head Coach there. They've also doubled their win total from last year.
"I tell them we'll never go 2-8 again. That's a mentality we can't have," McGowan stated. "We just have to do the little things and stay focused."
On the day, Green Run was outgained 328-296 by Bayside, including a commanding 234-30 on the ground. However, McGowan is only concerned about the win/loss column, and they're in good shape in the Class 5 playoff picture right now, where they'd be the #2 seed if the postseason started today.
"As a younger coach, I was worried about stats. I'm enjoying the wins right now. I'm going to take a W any day," remarked McGowan. "The kids are starting to believe, and coming off that off week is kind of rough to get them motivated."
Waters beat the Tallwood defense over the top on a go route that night, and he did the same thing again to Bayside on October 12th when he broke past a Marlins defender for a 73-yard touchdown to put the Stallions ahead, 21-16.
"It was the same play," noted Lynch. "I threw it to him, and he went up, got it and put it in the end zone."
The catch was Waters' only of the game, but a huge momentum shifter Bayside never really recovered from, and he sealed the victory with an interception around midfield with 1:27 left in the contest.
"I hadn't really touched the ball all game, so I asked Coach to get me the ball, and was able to get it on that deep route that I love so much," Waters went on to say.
Against a Bayside secondary that features UVA commit Quin Blanding and Class of 2015 prospect Jamez Brickhouse, the Stallions knew they were facing two of the state's best defensive backs.
"I like stepping up to the challenge, and feel like if I can do that against guy like Quin, who's a five-star, and Jamez, it's good for the team," Waters added. "We know the offense has been scoring a lot of points, but today it was about the defense stepping up."
When the second half rolled around, Lynch was able to settle down and completed his final four passes, two of which went for touchdowns of 45 and 73 yards. On the year, he's passed for 16TD's to really ignite a Green Run passing attack that ranked only 30th out of 39 schools in the Eastern Region in 2012 in that category.
"That kid's got great poise," McGowan said of Lynch. "He stepped up and he's low-key. He doesn't get too bothered by anything."
Lynch finished with 266 yards through the air and 3TD's on 10 of 21.
Nonetheless, Scott's presence was still felt as he had two touchdown-saving tackles on defense, showing his chase down from behind speed. Above all else, having him on the field has helped further the development of Lynch, who's seeing plenty of opportunities to fire down field with three and four receiver sets where defenses have to pick their poison.
"Ant is incredible out of the backfield running and receiving. He's probably leading our team in receiving right now, and I know that he's got to be in the Top 5 in all-purpose yards in the state," Lynch pointed out.
"Without him back there as a dual-threat, I know I wouldn't have near as much as I have going on for me because they'd be worried about me and not him, and they'd be coming for me."
More times than not, the move paid dividends. Blanding ran for a career-high 112 yards on 13 carries with a pair of touchdowns, including a 42-yard dash that extended Bayside's lead to 16-7 late in the third quarter. In the second half, he ran six times for 71 yards.
"We needed defensive stops and Quin was running all over the place," admitted McGowan. "Whatever reason they stopped doing the Wildcat, I don't know because I would've kept doing it the whole game, but I'm glad."
The Marlins had a negative five-yard punt in the first half and turned to Blanding in the second half in the special teams department. He delivered with punts of 67, 50 and 45 yards. To go with his rushing exploits, Blanding caught two balls for 21 yards and registered five tackles on defense, four being solo stops. That gives him 82 total tackles on the year.
Run Stallions 21: (4-2 Overall)
Marlins 16: (3-4 Overall)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, and don't forget to listen to him on High School Sports Talk from 10AM to Noon on ESPN Radio 94.1 plus watch him on the Cox 11 Sports Report.