Late York rally denies New Kent bid for first victory
Twice in the second half, New Kent’s host Trojans owned two touchdown leads, the last coming with just over nine minutes left in the game. But the seemingly comfortable advantage evaporated as the clock wound down.
York’s Falcons tied the contest with 1:25 to go on quarterback Alex Johnston’s 21-yard hookup with wide receiver Anthony Honey. Then the reliable toe of place-kicker Johnnie Howell booted the game-winning conversion for a 35-34 York win.
Saturday night’s bitter outcome denied New Kent’s quest for its first football win, dropping the Trojans to 0-3 in Bay Rivers District and 0-4 overall. The hosts dominated from the line of scrimmage, running for 344 yards to York’s 175 with two backs eclipsing 100 yards — Storm Parker (168) and Cody Simmons (150).
But the Falcons (2-1, 2-2) won where it counted — on the scoreboard — thanks to Howell’s 5-for-5 in extra point kicks. New Kent ran for a pair of two-point conversions, but one extra point try was blocked, another sailed wide, and a two-point run came up short.
“We made strides, and we’re proud of how our guys played,” said Trojan head coach Dan Rounds. “We outplayed them, but we didn’t make plays that show up on the scoreboard.
“It’s a tough one to lose,” he added. “We’re going to be hurting from this one for a while.”
New Kent emerged from a seesaw first half battle with a 20-14 halftime edge behind Parker touchdown runs of 9, 44, and 4 yards. Then early in the third quarter, Simmons broke loose on an 82-yard dash, pulling away from defenders to up the Trojans’ advantage to 26-14.
York closed the gap on Jake Norman’s 13-yard run. Minutes into the fourth quarter, however, Trojan quarterback Koree Reed avoided the York pass rush on fourth and 11 from the Falcon 15 yard line and found running back Devin Fakner open over the middle. Fakner hauled in the pass, broke a tackling attempt at the five, and danced into the end zone. Reed then tossed a swing pass to Parker out of the backfield for the conversion and a 34-21 lead with 9:27 to go.
But York needed just three minutes and six plays to reach the Trojan one from where Johnston’s sneak cut into the deficit. Then the Falcon defense forced a Trojan punt, stopping Parker on a third down and one play from the New Kent 29. An eight-play, 53-yard march ended in the deciding points.
“If we had made that first down, I think it would have been a different ball game,” Rounds said. “But that and the extra points we missed cost us.”