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Bulldogs stun Dragons, casting doubt on Park View’s postseason prospects

South Boston News
Nicholas Moody (21) looks for running room against Brunswick Friday night at PVHS. (Steve Hinzman photo) / October 23, 2019
Brunswick came to Park View Friday night sporting a 2-4 record and desperately needing a victory to improve their chances of making the Class 2 football postseason. Playing against the Class 3 Dragons, Brunswick put together a solid performance to go home with a convincing 31-14 win.

Park View (3-4, 1-3 Tri-Rivers District) have now dropped three straight and are in danger of missing the playoffs. Park View’s next two games are on the road and as Dragon head coach Tony Whittingham Jr. said earlier this season, “There are no easy games in this district.”

The Bulldogs won the toss Friday and elected to receive, and the opening kickoff set the tone for the game. Senior kick returner Chadwick Cleaton eluded the first Dragon tackler, then found a seam and sprinted 82 yards for a touchdown. The PAT failed and the Bulldogs had a 6-0 lead just 13 seconds into the game.

The Dragons’ first drive stalled at the Brunswick 40-yard line, and the Bulldogs took over on downs. The highlight of the opening Park View drive was a 19-yard scamper by junior Nicholas Moody.

The Bulldogs were able to drive all the way to the PV 25-yard line aided, in part, by a facemask penalty on the Dragons. Brunswick also covered a lot of ground on a 23-yard pass from sophomore QB Troy Duncan to senior running back John Hicks. But the Bulldogs couldn’t finish the drive and the Dragons took over at their own 26-yard line.

After gaining positive yardage on six consecutive plays, the Dragons found themselves facing fourth and 5 on the Bulldog 45-yard line. The swarming Brunswick defense crushed their chances of gaining the first down and the Bulldogs took over in good field position as the first quarter ended.

The Bulldogs took advantage of the opportunity and with a 34-yard strike from Duncan to Hicks, they were in business at the PV 15-yard line. Three plays later, facing second and 11 at the PV 15, after a holding call, senior Bulldog RB Rodney Gillus found a hole in the Dragon defensive line and made his way into the endzone for the second Brunswick TD with two minutes gone in the second. The PAT was good and Brunswick took a 13-0 lead.

The ensuing Dragon drive started at the PV 45. The Dragons were soon in a third and 10 situation at the Bulldog 39 when junior QB Josh Boyd called his own number and gained nine yards. When he was hit by a Bulldog defender four yards out of bounds, the resulting penalty put PV at the Bulldog 15.

Freshman back Tomar Logan promptly broke free for a TD only to see the play called back on a holding penalty. But Logan took the next handoff for a touchdown run that counted with 6:01 left in the second quarter. Dragon placekicker Adam Crabel drilled the PAT and Park View cut the lead to 13-7.

The ensuing Bulldog drive ate up the remainder of the first half, and ended with a touchdown as the Bulldog QB hit a wide-open C. Cleaton for the score. The drive put the Bulldogs ahead, 19-7, at intermission.

The second half opened with a series of errors by both teams. Park View, in possession first, fumbled the ball away on the kickoff return and it appeared the Bulldogs were in position to add to their lead. They wasted no time and went to the air on the second play, only to see Dragon defensive back Keondre Barksdale intercept a wobbly pass.

The Dragons couldn’t capitalize and the Bulldogs took over on downs at the PV 45-yard line. The Bulldogs were soon forced to punt the ball away to Park View.

Park View started the next drive at their own 20-yard line. After a pair of positive plays, followed by a sack and false start penalty, the Dragons were facing second and 22 back on their own 20 when Boyd hit receiver Dontavious Wilson for a fingertip catch and an 80-yard TD reception. The PAT kick by Crabel was good and the Dragons trailed 19-14 with 3:35 left to play in the third.

After a good run back on the next kickoff, the Bulldogs started with excellent field position at the PV 47. Duncan completed a pass for 25 yards but it was called back for an illegal shift in the offensive backfield. Undeterred, Duncan went to the air again, this time for a 44-yard completion to the PV one-yard line. Two plays later Duncan bulled his way into the endzone on a QB keeper and the ‘Dogs took a 25-14 lead with 1:18 left in the third.

The two teams traded punches for much of the fourth period with the Bulldogs getting the better end of the deal. Park View drove to the Brunswick 29 and fumbled the ball away. The Bulldogs didn’t waste the opportunity and a few plays later, on second and goal from the PV 5, running back J. Hicks found a hole in the Dragon defense and punched it in for the score. The two-point conversion failed and with 3:51 left on the clock the Bulldogs led 31-14.

The Dragons started the last drive with good field position at the Brunswick 40 and drove to the 15 before Bulldog defensive back Desmond Wynn intercepted a pass to spoil any chance that Park View had. The game ended with a 31-14 Bulldog victory.

Afterwards, Whittingham lauded his players’ effort. “These kids played hard, we’ve got to work on execution.” The coach added, “They’re young, we’ve got them in the right position but they’ve got to make the plays. We’ll continue to work on those things in practice and see where we are next week.”

The Dragons will travel to Dendron on Friday to face Surry. The following week will be another road trip to Southampton on Nov. 1 before returning to Dragon Stadium on Nov. 8 for Senior Night against Windsor, the last regular season game of the year.

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