New Kent routs Grafton on way to successful homecoming triumph
Homecoming 2018 for the New Kent Trojans was not a question on if they would win, but how they could grow before getting into the meat of their Bay Rivers District schedule. Friday night’s encounter with a Grafton Clippers team that had been outscored 112-13 through the course of four games allowed the hosts to gel and bond the team’s chemistry.
New Kent’s defense dominated the game, forcing four turnovers to destroy the Clippers 32-2 to the delight of the homecoming crowd.
The Trojans took control on their opening drive. A 35-yard pass from New Kent signal caller Brody Smith to Joey Campbell set up Evan Branch’s one-yard plunge to give the hosts a 7-0 lead four minutes into the contest. On the next drive and facing fourth and 18, Smith and Campbell connected again, with the latter making the reception in the end zone for the score and a 14-0 lead heading into the second quarter.
Branch continued the offensive antics for New Kent in the second quarter, scampering for 42 yards into Clipper territory. A short two-yard plunge later bestowed a 22-0 lead for the Trojans. After a fumble by Grafton’s Tariq Kidd was recovered by the Trojans’ Jacob Terry, the hosts pushed the ball down the field close enough for kicker Adam Caldwell to convert a 25-yard field goal and a 25-0 halftime advantage. Smith and Campbell combined one more time for a pitch and catch score from 17 yards out in the fourth quarter to put the final points on the board for the hosts.
After the game, New Kent head coach John Fulks kept things in perspective as the team begins the second half of the season.
“We have to execute and identify who we are,” he said. “We are having trouble driving the ball up the field at times.
“If we don’t get better at that, then it’s going to be a rough stretch going into the final five games of the season,” Fulks continued. “Grafton had a good scheme to stop our run game tonight, however they are a young team. They are not Lafayette, York, or Warhill so we are going to need to perform a lot better down the stretch to defeat those teams.”
New Kent (3-2) received 140 yards passing and two touchdowns from Smith, with Campbell being the recipient of 113 yards and both touchdowns. Branch rushed for 52 yards and two touchdowns and Dean Powell led the defense in tackles with nine.