Dolphins Dominate, Reach Region Final

background:yellow;mso-highlight:yellow'>Dolphins Beat Bruins, Reach ER D-6
line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>The Eastern Region
Division 6 semifinals did not get off to a wonderful start for the undefeated
Ocean Lakes Dolphins on Friday night at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex.
style=> Western Branch won the coin toss, electing to
defer, and the Bruins caught the Dolphins by surprise when they recovered an
onside kick and then scored on the first play from scrimmage to lead 6-0.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>In fact, Ocean Lakes trailed 13-7 at the end of the
first quarter with the fourth-seeded Bruins thinking upset at that point.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>After that, the top-seeded Dolphins seized the
opportunity, absolutely grabbing it by the throat as they scored 34 unanswered
points over the next 33 minutes on their way to a 47-20 rout that will have
them playing the day after Thanksgiving for the Eastern Region Division 6
Championship. The Dolphins push their record to 12-0 overall.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"We told these guys when it gets to this time of the
year you're playing against a good football team.
style=> How are we going to answer?
style=> Are we going to make it a match?
style=> Are we going to fold?
style=> I knew these guys wouldn't, but I said hey,
you don't tell me, you show me," Ocean Lakes Head Football Coach
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Chris Scott remarked afterwards.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"They showed their coaches and they showed each
other. They're brothers."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Leading the way for Ocean Lakes on offense was junior
signal caller Walter '
class=SpellE>Churchie' Harold and senior wide receiver
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Andre Dessenberg,
a Delaware commit and First Team All-Beach District selection.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Harold, making his second start after a torn ACL put
starting quarterback and UVA commit Corwin
'Turtle' Cutler on the shelf for the rest of the year, was in a groove all
night long. Churchie
connected on 10 of 14 passes for 219 yards and four touchdowns with no

style='font-size:10.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'> hauled
in five passes for 133 yards and three touchdowns, all coming in the first half
as the Dolphins erupted to take a 27-13 lead into the locker room at
half-time. He wasn't finished there
either. Dessenberg
sealed the game with an interception return for a touchdown as time expired.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Only one football and there's got to be only one guy
throwing it and on guy catching it or one guy carrying it, but what a great
team. I love the leadership coming from
the quarterback position and from our wide receiver position," Scott commented.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"I'm happy for them, but I'm happy for our guys on the
team. They really stayed back-to-back
all night and played what we've asked for, Dolphin football."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>When the Western Branch defense decided to blitz and
try to get after an inexperienced quarterback, Dessenberg
made them pay over the top.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Every week, we prepare as if Turtle does go down and
we have the backup or the next guy ready to play.
style=> We practice to face adversity, and every day
that's how we do it," Dessenberg stated.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"I felt that if they feel they can play us man, we're
going to line up and see what they can do in man."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Tailback Brandon
Simmons rushed for 125 yards on 17 carries, capping an eight-play, 90-yard
scoring drive late in the fourth quarter with a touchdown.

Approaching Record Status:
class=SpellE>Dessenberg now sits one touchdown reception away from 22
for the season, tying the Beach District single-season record set by ex-
class=SpellE>Landstown standout Damon McDaniel back in 2005, the move
switching from quarterback to wide receiver two years ago has paid off nicely.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>When Dessenberg began playing
football at the High School level, he had no idea he would go on to play the
receiver position. Once he started
practicing there, he gradually progressed to where he's putting up stats
rivaled by no one else at his position in the region.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"It came out of nowhere.
style=> My freshman year, I played quarterback.
style=> Lafonte [
class=SpellE>Thourogood] played quarterback another year.
style=> Justin Hunter and everybody left, we had a
spot on the field and I just wanted to play early," Dessenberg

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"I basically took that spot and realized that if I can
do this, I can do anything. That's what
I chose."

now has 70 catches for over 1000 yards on the season as well.
style=> He is four touchdown receptions away from
tying the single-season VHSL record, something that will be well within his
grasp if the Dolphins advance to the State Semis.
style=> But even if they don't, he's proven to have
unbelievable games with 5TD's receiving against Kellam
in the regular season finale earlier this month.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>His contributions to the Beach District Champions are
so valuable that you can't put a price tag on it, says Coach Scott.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"He's meant everything.
I think he's been one of those guys that people have said, 'Is he?
style=> What can he be?
style=> What can he do?'
style=> [People] kind of had him as one of those
question marks and he's answered that all year long," the Dolphins Head Coach

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Most importantly, he's been so vital for us to give us
a deep threat. He's put up some pretty
good numbers, unparalleled to a lot of receivers coming out of this area.
style=> Whether it's blocking, making touchdown
receptions, he's done it all year."

mso-highlight:yellow'>Bruins RB Closes Brilliant Career:
style=> While it wasn't the kind of finish he had
hoped for, Western Branch running back and Southeastern District Offensive
Player of the Year Josh
class=SpellE>Marriner concluded a brilliant senior season and career
with the Bruins on Friday night.

style='font-size:10.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'> entered
having gone over 150 yards on the ground nine times this season.
style=> On the first play from scrimmage, he busted a
44-yard run for a touchdown, but was held to 40 yards on his next 25 carries.
style=> He finished up with 84 yards on 26 attempts,
gaining just six yards on 11 attempts in the second half.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Western Branch had a season-low 198 yards of offense,
and against the top-ranked scoring defense in the region that features a pair
of dominating defensive tackles in junior Derrick
Nnadi, who had 12 tackles and four behind the
line of scrimmage, and senior
normal'>Demetri McGill (Maryland
commit), it made for tough sledding.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"They've got capable players, we over-scraped early on
and they got two decent runs on us, but from there 56 and 65 (McGill and
class=SpellE>Nnadi) that's in the middle of that defense, they're going
to take that personal," Scott pointed out.
"They dug in their heels and decided to play football."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Committed to play his College Football at UCONN,
class=SpellE>Marriner ends his season with sensational statistics of
2255 yards and 26 touchdowns, tops in the region in both categories, which
should make him a lock to be All-Eastern Region First Team and a very viable
candidate to be chosen All-State.

style='background:yellow;mso-highlight:yellow'> Answers the Call:
line-height:115%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif"'>With Cutler out, the
Dolphins not only counted on Harold to keep them going, but leaned on him to
make plays with his arm and he didn't disappoint.
style=> He's now 2-0 in the playoffs and has five
touchdowns compared to only one pick this postseason, performing at the level
of not your ordinary backup, and rather a reliable replacement.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"Coach Scott always said just be ready and always play
as if you are the starter. You never
know what will happen and you're always one play away," Harold said.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"It was a team effort and I just came in there and did
what my team needed me to do. Having my
teammates, coaches, the fans, my family and everyone else behind me, I had a
lot of motiving to get me going."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Cutler, the Beach District Offensive Player of the Year
who threw for 2232 yards and 31 touchdowns on the season before his injury, offered
him some advice as well.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"He always tells me to stay calm, stay poised and don't
force anything. Take what the defense
gives you," Churchie revealed.

also has lofty expectations to live up to within his own family.
style=> His uncle is last year's Beach District
Defensive Player of the Year Eli Harold, a freshman defensive end at the University
of Virginia. Also related is James
Madison's Sage Harold.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>The goal for Churchie
certainly in the short-term is to win a Championship with the Dolphins, and
long-term have a chance to play at the next level to keep the family tradition

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"They all laid a nice path out for me, so all I've got
to do is follow on that path and keep working," he said.

mso-highlight:yellow'>The Numbers Game:
In honor of the injured Cutler, who watched the game from a
wheelchair on the sideline alongside his father, Carson, Dolphins sophomore
receiver Jaason
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'> Lewis traded in his jersey number 10
and wore #3, Corwin's number, instead.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Lewis, one of the state's top prospects from the Class
of 2015, hauled in three passes for 50 yards and a touchdown to go with three
rushes for 21 yards, including a 16-yard reverse.
style=> That brings his totals to seven touchdowns on
the campaign, six of them receiving.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Sticking with numbers, Harold was hoping to get the #1
that Eli wore a season ago and keep it in the family.
style=> Dessenberg got it
instead and he was stuck #2, though he's not settling for second best.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"I was supposed to get #1, but Andre took it from me,"
class=SpellE>Churchie went on to tell.
"After that, I was just like, it's okay, I'm going
to make a name for myself. But I'm not
playing for second, I'm playing for first."

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Playing for first in the region in D-6 the Dolphins
will be on Friday night at 7:30 PM at the Sportsplex
as they try to move on to the State Playoffs.

mso-highlight:yellow'>Championship Matchup Set:
style=> It'll be a re-match of the 2008 Eastern
Region Division 6 Championship when Ocean Lakes puts its undefeated record on
the line against the defending State Champion Oscar Smith Tigers in a battle at
the Sportsplex.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Oscar Smith won the last meeting, 28-21, denying the
Dolphins their chance of winning the school's first region title.
style=> The Tigers have won four regional crowns
since 2007 and are seeking their third state title in five seasons.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"It's big. We
are the underdogs. Each game we go into
against a big team, we're predicted the ones not to do it, so we basically just
want to come out and show everybody that the Dolphins, we're not backing down
from anybody," Dessenberg said.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>Scott, a former Ocean Lakes player who led them to
their last Eastern Region Championship game appearance, knows that this will be
the biggest game in the program's history.

"Verdana","sans-serif"'>"If you see our fan support and our school support, I
think it's been great and electrifying for the school," Scott noted.
style=> "I think it's been something we've been
clawing back to inch by inch over the last three to four years, and these young
men have done a great job of putting ourselves in a great predicament to have a
great football game next week."

Postgame Audio with
Ocean Lakes Coach Chris Scott
Postgame Audio with
Ocean Lakes' Andre Dessenberg


Lakes 47:
style=> (Dolphins 12-0 overall)
Churchie Harold - - 10-14 for 219Yds. 4-0TD/Int.
Andre Dessenberg - - 5Rec. 133Yds. 3TD's; 40-Yd. INT
Jaason Lewis - - 3Rec. 50Yds. TD;
3Car. 21Yds.
Brandon Simmons - - 17Car. 125Yds. TD
Jordan Bobo - - 8Car. 61Yds.
Mike Dunston - - 5Car. 43Yds. TD
Derrick Nnadi - - 12 Tackles, 4TFL
Jahvoni Simmons - - 8 Tackles, 3TFL, Sack
Treavonne Brandon - - 6 Tackles, TFL

Branch 20:
style=> (Bruins 9-3 overall)
Josh Marriner - - 26Car. 84Yds. 2TD's (11Car. 0Yds.
2nd Half)
C.J. Thomas - - 4-12 for 76Yds. 0-1TD/Int. ratio
T.J. Boothe - - 2Rec. 65Yds.
Terence Ricks - - 5Car. 29Yds; 4 Tackles, Sack
Ronnie Gardner - - 3Car. 10Yds. TD
Cornelius Smith - - 5 Tackles, TFL, PBU
Daquan Pittman - - 5 Tackles, TFL



115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";text-decoration:none;text-underline:
none'>Matthew Hatfield
style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"'>
has covered Eastern Region Football & Basketball since 2004 for
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Network. Check out
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and you can also read his work in the
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To contact Matthew, please e-mail
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