Trojans start strong, then collapse in opener at KW
New Kent’s football season opener at King William started on a high note. The visiting Trojans marched downfield on the game’s first series to take a 7-0 lead. The defense then forced a punt, enabling the offense to mount a second drive into Cavalier territory.
But on a fourth down and inches play from the Cavalier 33 yard line, the Trojans failed to convert. From there, the hosts took command, reeling off 33 unanswered points on the way to a 33-13 victory.
The sudden turnaround in the Sept. 10 contest left the Trojan coaching staff scratching their heads and searching for reasons for the sudden demise.
“I wish I knew,” said head coach Dan Rounds. “There were just a handful of plays where we made critical mistakes. The defense did some of that and we did that on offense, too. There were little things like missed blocks and missed assignments that cost us. [King William] adjusted a little bit, but we did not adapt.”
New Kent’s running attack pounded the Cavaliers on the game-opening series. Running back Storm Parker’s 24-yard gallop around the right side capped a six-play, 60-yard march to create the early margin.
On King William’s first possession, defenders Devontae Fitzgerald, T.J. Mason, and Garrett Metheny blew through the Cav offensive line to sack quarterback Lewis Redman for a five-yard loss on a third and nine situation, forcing a punt. Seven plays later, a 20-yard pickup on a Koree Reed to Parker second down screen pass overcame a Trojan holding penalty and placed the visitors at the Cavalier 35 yard line.
But fullback Casey Lewis came up inches short on third and two from the Cav 35. And a fourth down sneak by Tanner Luck, now at quarterback, got stuffed for a one-yard loss.
Helped by a Trojan pass interference call, the Cavaliers marched to the New Kent 31 from where Redman hooked up with tight end Hunter Faulkner in the end zone. Faulkner out-leaped a Trojan defender for the game-tying score.
New Kent failed to net a first down on its next six possessions. King William, meanwhile, got a pair of touchdown runs from Dee Temple. In between, Jayvon Temple scooped up a Trojan fumble for another score.
The visitors ended their first down drought on the final play of the third period, but that drive quickly ended on an interception. Moments later, Redman threw his second TD pass to up the Cav advantage to 33-7.
Fitzgerald’s 47-yard kickoff return plus Cavalier face mask and pass interference violations set up New Kent’s final TD, a Parker three-yard run with under five minutes left in the game.
Afterward, Rounds said in order to bounce back from the loss, his team must look ahead on a week-by-week basis.
“First of all, we’ve got to have a short memory,” he said. “We told the kids this is just our first contest. We showed some good things and things we’ve got to improve on. We’ve just got to continue to improve and be ready.”