New Kent drops fifth straight in football
For New Kent’s injury-riddled Trojans, last Friday night’s storyline matched that of previous weeks on the football field. The hosts found it difficult to stop Grafton’s Clippers as well as mount an offense of their own.
Grafton rolled to 24-6 halftime lead and built a 38-6 advantage after the break before surrendering a pair of late touchdowns. And for the fifth consecutive week, New Kent fell to a Bay Rivers District foe, this time by a 38-20 count.
New Kent’s last victory came on Sept. 20 at Warhill. Friday’s outcome dropped the Trojans to 1-7 in the district and 2-7 overall. They close out their season this Saturday at Jamestown.
“It’s been a rough couple of weeks,” Trojan head coach Dan Rounds said afterward. “But we did find some positives to hopefully build on as a team.
“In the beginning, we had a real hard time stopping them, but we did accomplish some things in spurts,” he said. “We have a lot of injuries and a lot of new people playing in spots.”
The Trojans fumbled the ball away on their first series, affording the Clippers an easy touchdown opportunity. Touchdown runs by Brad Cibrin and Nick Person enabled the visitors to open a 14-0 first quarter lead. The Clippers rushed for 257 yards in the first half alone.
“But then we were able to stop them two or three times in the red zone before the half,” Rounds said. “We definitely made some gains as a team.”
Offensively though, New Kent totaled just 12 yards before intermission and had minus-12 yards on the ground. The lone bright spot was Justin Williams’ 96-yard kickoff return for New Kent’s six points.
Grafton took the second half kickoff and marched 69 yards in 10 plays to up the advantage to 31-6 on Cibrin’s 5-yard run. Person’s 70-yard dash deep into Trojan territory set up the Clippers’ final TD, C.J. Barbour’s 3-yard plunge on the first play of the fourth quarter.
New Kent responded with its first sustained drive of the night. The big play featured an assist from Clipper defender Ryan Johansen who appeared to have an easy interception on a Kirk Pomfrey pass. But Johansen deflected the ball into the arms of Trojan receiver Dominique Hilliard who scampered to the Clipper 22 yard line as the play covered 45 yards.
Facing fourth and 10 after a five-yard loss and two incompletions, Pomfrey found Cory Dunn open over the middle for 19 yards and a first down at the Clipper eight. From there, Williams swept the left side for the TD and Paul Kearney added the conversion run to close the gap to 38-14.
With just over two minutes left in the game, Pomfrey scooped up a Grafton fumble at the Clipper 38 yard line and sprinted into the end zone to account for the final margin.