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October 19, 2013
Dolphins Roll Again, Move to 7-0: On Friday night at Frank Webster Field in Virginia Beach, the Ocean Lakes Dolphins traveled to take on city rival First Colonial, and the Dolphins scored the game's final 31 points over a stretch of 25 minutes to cruise a 52-7 win.
It was the fourth time this year that Ocean Lakes has put up 50-plus points in a contest and marked the fifth running clock victory as they extended their regular season winning streak to 18. On the year, the top-ranked team in the state in Class 6A according to VirginiaPreps.com has outscored opponents 363-58.
With Virginia Tech Head Football Coach Frank Beamer and assistant Bryan Stinespring in attendance, the Dolphins showcased a bevy of next-level talents. Ocean Lakes piled up 572 yards of offense with 335 on the ground and 237 through the air while holding First Colonial to 131 total yards with just 26 coming in the second half.
"I know we did a great job executing the plays, but I'm not satisfied with the way I came out and passed the ball early on," stated Dolphins senior triggerman Churchie Harold, who accounted for six total touchdowns on the night.
Harold, the cousin of ex-Ocean Lakes star and current UVA defensive end Eli Harold, completed 16 of 25 passes for 237 yards and four touchdowns without an interception. In one stretch, he connected on seven straight passes, but also misfired on six of 11 pass attempts following that hot streak.
"I had a couple corrections to make, couple reads that I didn't make and check downs before and have to stay in the pocket a little more," he admitted.
Besides Harold, four different Dolphins scored touchdowns, and the defense got interceptions from junior free safety Jahque Alleyne and Joey Sapienza in the second half. First Colonial, which got on the board with a beautiful 36-yard touchdown pass late in the second quarter from Joey Brown to Bodie Sheehan, gained just nine yards on the ground the entire evening. No Patriots run went for more than seven yards.
Overall, Ocean Lakes Head Coach Chris Scott was pleased with his team's performance, but knows they are capable of playing even better and will have to be on top of their game come November and beyond to capture a state title.
"I was very happy. We've shown that we can be an explosive team. We've shown that at times we can stop ourselves on drives with penalties," remarked Scott afterwards.
"We've got to clean that up because the Oscar Smith's, Salem's, C.D. Hylton's and as we found out the L.C. Bird's out of the world, you can't make those penalties and win a Championship. We show a team with great explosiveness and great potential, but potential is everything that we haven't done. We've got to do it."
"Cam is my idle," Churchie revealed. "We put a package in, so I was glad we were able to utilize it."
Not known for his mobility, Harold showed off his athleticism with eight rushes for 72 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Given the success they had with it vs. the Patriots, the read option is something the Dolphins may incorporate in their offense even more moving forward.
"The first week in doing that, you want to make sure you don't put the ball on the ground, and we didn't put the ball on the ground doing that," Scott went on to say. "We told him that Cam Newton's done a good job in that style of offense, but his job is if it's cloudy, give it and let other guys make plays. I thought he did a good job of reading it and obviously getting the ball down the field."
Furthermore, Harold engineered an excellent drive before the half and showed excellent poise and composure in running the two-minute drill. He marched the Dolphins 53 yards in 39 seconds, leading to a 29-yard field goal from kicker Johan De Picker, a Belgium import.
Although Harold was without injured sophomore WR/DB Levonta Taylor, that didn't slow them down much as he completed seven passes of 20 yards or longer on the night.
Leading the way was senior Mike Alston, a possession target who has been offered by Hampton University. Alston snagged eight balls for 97 yards and a couple of touchdowns. With the defense concentrating on Simmons running it and the other receivers, it happened to be his night to shine.
"The coaches know my strengths, my teammates know my strengths and I know my strengths. If a team doubts any one of us, we try to show them that we can go deep from any of the four receiving spots," Alston remarked. "And then when a team tries to come in and stop our pass, we've got Brandon Simmons in the backfield that can run for 160+. If they stack the box, we've got four receivers that can light up the scoreboard at any time."
On the recruiting front, junior Top 100 recruit Jaason Lewis and speedy junior Quincy Watts have generated more attention, but Alston has remained dependable in crucial situations. So much so that he might qualify as the most underrated receiver in the state.
"Hands down," Scott believes. "He has the best ball skills of any receiver I've had since Justin Hunter (now with the NFL's Tennessee Titans). That catch in the back of the end zone, he got his foot down and made probably the catch of the year back there."
Lewis, a freak of nature that's physically imposing with well over a dozen scholarship offers on the able, had there receptions for 54 yards to go with three runs for 26 yards and a score. Watts chipped in four receptions for 76 yards and a score. Opponents truly have to sometimes pick their poison on who to try to take away or stop from getting off for a big night.
"With Quincy, it doesn't matter where you put the ball at," Harold noted. "The way he breaks out of his cuts, it's hard to defend him. We were over there joking around about Mike Alston that if we play Madden, his vertical and catching ability would be on 99 even though his speed would be only on like a 75 or 79."
"I really think those interior guys, especially with Nnadi, [are] really adjusting to having to play both ways. He's showing his endurance and did a great job last week. The boys are coming together as a unit," Scott state.d
Dunaway, who according to Scott has been their most consistent blocker all year, has made the move back to center and is directing the group.
Steverson may return for homecoming vs. Green Run. Two of their final three games are against Bayside and Kellam, each of whom currently sits under .500.
Coming up just short, yet so close, has motivated a Dolphins squad that returned many of the key components from their deep playoff run.
"We're never satisfied and always hungry. Teams are talking about how they want to chase Ocean Lakes, but the thing that they don't understand is that Ocean Lakes is chasing them, too," Alston pointed out. "We're out here to make history and do something that nobody else has done at this school, and that's win a State Championship."
Even though the Dolphins have 37 underclassmen on the roster compared to 23 seniors, Ocean Lakes knows that 2013 is a golden opportunity to accomplish its goal they were on touchdown away from achieving a year ago.
"It's been a mission since December 8th. Matter of fact, after the game last year (vs. Bird) I made a pact to the team. Any means necessary, we're going to get back to where we were," Harold revealed. "We've got to, and we've got a call that needs answering. That's what I say to the team every time we break it down - - answer the call."
Ocean Lakes 52: (7-0 Overall)
First Colonial 7: (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 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.