Charles City 22-6 victory ends season on high note
Taking advantage of three straight Chincoteague first half fumbles, Charles City’s Panthers turned a pair of the turnovers into touchdowns to take the lead for good on the way to a 22-6 victory.
Last Friday’s football season finale win placed a positive note on an otherwise dismal season as the host Panthers finished the campaign at 2-8.
“This was a much-needed win and carries something to build on for next season,” said Charles City head coach Steward Greene.
“The highlight of the game was our inexperienced young men coming together as a team,” he said.
“Next year, if the kids keep their grades up and with the experience they learned, we will be a much better team,” he said, adding his squad loses just five seniors to graduation.
Greene watched his team fight back from an early deficit after Chincoteague took the opening kickoff and marched 72 yards in just five plays to take a 6-0 lead.
Charles City was unable to net a first down on its initial two possessions, and Chincoteague was driving late in the first quarter. The Ponies had moved from their own six-yard line to the Panther 32, but the hosts’ fortunes began to change.
The Ponies were stopped on a fourth down and seven play. Charles City drove the other way, reaching the Chincoteague 36 before running out of downs, but the Ponies fumbled the ball back on the next play with Jonathan Abbott recovering for the hosts.
Charles City stalled again, resorting to Billy Emory’s 37-yard field goal try that fell short.
But moments later the Ponies fumbled again, this time at their own 24-yard line, and the hosts took advantage.
Kenneth Miles’ recovery set up a five-play drive climaxed by Antonio Tabb’s one-yard touchdown plunge over the right side to knot the game at 6-6 with 5:43 left in the first half.
And the Ponies weren’t done fumbling around. They coughed up the ball on their first play from scrimmage following Charles City’s kickoff. The Panthers’ Kevin Wallace pounced on the loose ball at the Pony 28-yard line.
After being backed to the 35 by a two-yard loss and a false start call, the hosts bounced back on Wallace’s leaping grab of a Trevor Jones aerial for first and goal at the Pony four-yard line.
Three plays netted just four yards to the two, but on fourth down, Jones hooked up with tight end Randall Hopkins for the touchdown. Tabb’s conversion run opened a 14-6 lead with 3:02 left in the half.
Chincoteague helped Charles City’s cause in the third quarter as the visitors botched a lateral from their own eight yard line and fell on the ball in the end zone for a Panther safety, upping the lead to 16-6.
Tabb scored his second touchdown of the night on a 26-yard fourth quarter run to put the contest out of reach.