football

D-6 Championship Review

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If
you are a somewhat loyal reader of this site, then earlier today you
probably saw
href="http://virginiapreps.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1305333">Tom
Garrett's article about the Division Five championship
game in which he detailed the new format that we are using
for covering
the state championship games at the AAA level.
For those of you
who may have skipped that fine piece of literature, note that we are
forgoing the traditional game recap format that we would normally use
in lieu of the
href="http://virginiapreps.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1305256">live
game blog that Matthew Hatfield provided yesterday
which essentially provides game recap information. As such, I
will transcribe thoughts that Tom Garrett and I shared with each other
in watching the Division Six championship contest featuring a pair of
13-1 teams with Oscar Smith out of the Eastern Region meeting
Centreville out of the Northern Region.
As
we prepare for the kickoff of the contest, Tom has noted that
he believes that Centreville is going to have some defensive matchup
problems in this game leading to the Oscar Smith offense being able to
move the ball. With that, he sees them winning by a couple of
touchdowns. Given what I have seen from the Tigers through
the
playoffs, I tend to agree as they have scored at least four touchdowns
in the first half of every playoff game to their run here. It will be
key for the Wildcats to frustrate them early and
often.
Oscar Smith will receive the opening kick so our theory will be tested
right out of the gate.
The
opening snap of the game for Oscar Smith goes through the back of the
end zone for a safety leading to a 2-0 Centreville lead just five
seconds into the game. Moral of this story? Tom and
I are
idiots. Tom feels that has not been proven conclusively at
this
point.
Centreville returns the safety kick to the Oscar Smith
38-yard line and has about as good of a start as a team can get in the
championship contest.
First decision of the game for Coach Chris
Haddock as the 'Cats go for it on fourth-and-two from the Smith 30.
Linebacker Trey Billups stuffs the run and the Tigers defense
proves up to the task early in this one. Is that the first
shift
of momentum?
As Jaylian Williamson rolls right out of the pocket
and completes a pass to move the chains on a third-and-ten, it coems to
my mind that his ability to use his feet to extend plays has been
greatly undervalued over the course of the season. He has
made
several big things happen through the postseason by keeping plays
alive. He's no dual-threat runner but he is nimble enough to
be
very, very dangerous and his receivers do a great job of running to
open space.
Possible storyline to keep an eye on --
Centreville defensive end Ken Ekanem twists an ankle or knee and is
taken out of the contest to be looked at on the sidelines. On
the
very next play, Oscar Smith throws a 26-yard pass to the Wildats 4-yard
line. J.C. Coleman scores on the very next play giving the
Tigers
a 7-2 lead on their first "true" possession and possibly serving notice
that their offense is going to have a big day. Tom and I may
not
be idiots, just yet. [Ekanem never returned to the contest
and appeared at the postgame press conference with a stabilizing brace
on his knee]
Centreville
immediately moves into Smith
territory but fumbled the ball away on a muffed handoff. Smith
wasted no time taking advantage as Williamson hit Zack Jones on a
49-yard pass that was lengthened by a facemask penalty on the Wildcats
putting the ball on the Centeville 10-yard line. Two plays
later,
Williamson finds Melvin Vaughn in the front corner of the end zone
pushing the Oscar Smith lead to 13-3 (missed extra point) just over
nine minutes into the contest.
One of the top receivers in the state through the postseason, Jones is
the younger brother of Smith assistant coach Joe Jones and University
of Virginia running back Perry who is watching the contest from the
sidelines.
The question remains -- can the
Centreville defense overcome what we perceive to be matchup problems?
Thus far, the answer is no.
Oscar Smith runs back-to-back
reverses on a punt return and the first down play and though the punt
return paid off with a 40-plus yard return, the first down play was
stuffed and felt a little bit cutesy. However, just one play
later, Williamson found a wide out Vaughn for a first down at the
Centreville 33-yard line so it's tough to criticize playcalling that is
working 5 out of 6 calls.
End of the first quarter -- Oscar Smith 13, Centreville 2
Here's
the real problem for Centreville -- as pointed out previously, even
when they do get pressure on
Williamson, he scrambles out of it and makes plays down the field.
A
screen pass to Zack Jones to the exact spot from where the
Centreville blitz originated leads to another touchdown and a
21-2
Tigers lead (two-point conversion to Melvin Vaughn) and there is still
34 minutes to play in this game. Tom went to grab some food
and I
may not be too far behind unless Centreville rallies in a hurry.
Huge
play coming up! Fourth and goal for Centreville at the Oscar
Smith four-yard line and the 'Cats throw the ball leading to a pass
interference on Oscar Smith meaning
first down for the 'Cats on the Tigers' 2-yard line. Three
plays
later, a slant pass touchdown to Chase Walter with the extra point
makes the score 21-9 with 3:53 left in the half.
This may mean new life for Centreville but their defense will have to
make it stand up.
A fumbled kickoff by Oscar Smith recovered by Centreville on the
Tigers' 34-yard line suddenly makes things much more interesting.
For
the second week in a row, defensive lineman Brandon Riddick has pulled
a rabbit out of a hat for the Tigers. Against Battlefield in
the
state semis, he picked off a pass and returned it for a score. Now, he
snuffs a Centreville drive by stepping in front of a
pass
and returning it into Wildcats' territory.
Centreville pressure
has caused problems for the Tigers offense recording a sack, snuffing a
screen pass, and forcing a scrambling Williamson to throw the ball up
for
grabs to an offensive linemen which has led to a fourth-and-forty-three
yard situation with the Tigers punting from their own 20 with 52
seconds to play in the half. Zack Jones' punt travels just
past
the first down marker putting the Wildcats on their own 35-yard line.
Sack by Smith. Centreville lets the clock run out.
Halftime -- Oscar Smith 21, Centreville 9.
Opening
possession of the second half, Josh Townsend intercepts a Mitch Ferrick
pass and returns it 43 yards for a touchdown and, after the missed PAT,
the score is now Oscar Smith 27, Centreville 9. That may be
the death knell for the Northern Region champions.
It's difficult
to see Centreville making this game a contest now though I truly feel
that it might be too early to write off a 13-1 progam like the
Wildcats. Nevertheless, the mountain that they have to climb
has
grown significantly after that play.
On fourth-and eighteen,
Oscar Smith fakes a punt and converts the first down as Zack hits Jeff
Woods in
the flats who shakes one Wildcats defender in the open field to get
past the down marker. Two plays later, Coleman scores on a
nine-yard
run with pushes the score to 34-9 with 4:32 to go in the third quarter.
The good news for fans at this game is that there may be
plenty
of room on I-64 tonight as the crowd is starting to thin.
Centreville
is not ready to go home yet, however, piecing together a scoring drive
that with the missed PAT makes the score Oscar Smith 34, Centreville 15
with 1:12 left in the third quarter. It will take a minor
miracle
but the 'Cats are still fighting.
End of the third quarter -- Oscar Smith 34, Centreville 15.
Tigers open the fourth quarter with a punt. Centreville ball
on their own 30-yard line.
Fourth-and-one
at midfield, Centreville converts. Too little, too late or
beginning a the most dramatic comeback in recent memory?
Rhakeem
Stallings puts an end to any comeback notions with a sack and strip
which is scooped up by Brandon Flowers and returned to the Centreville
15-yard line. With 8:12 to play in the contest, the Tigers
are
once again threatening.
J.C. Coleman scores his third touchdown of the day for Oscar Smith
which makes the count 40-15 with 7:54 left in the contest.
How many Centreville drives have started from their own 40 or closer in
this game? Eight! The headlines about this game will focus on
the Smith offense but the Tigers defense deserves a lot of credit for
this win as well. The average start for the Wildcats in this
contest was their own 44-yard line yet they scored only three times.
Interception
by Melvin Vaughn to snuff another Centreville drive. That's
five
turnovers in this contest for the Northern Region champions matching
the total from South County in the first game.
Freshman
Dashawn McCleese scores on a 54-yard run with 1:49 to play to make it
47-15. Anyone looking forward to defensing him for the next
three
years? Anyone?
Connor Coward concludes the scoring for the night with a 13-yard run
with 27 seconds left in the contest.
Final Score : Oscar Smith 47, Centreville 21.
Your 2011 Division Six state champions -- the 14-1 Oscar Smith Tigers!
Postgame
video -- opening comments from both coaches
Full
post-game audio from the Centreville Wildcats
Full
post-game audio from the Oscar Smith Tigers
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