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Post 8 scrappy, with solid offense, pitching

Defensive miscues prove costly, but team able to get over shortcomings





Dragons edge Colonial Heights with late TD / September 19, 2012
The Park View Dragons gutted out a dramatic win Friday night over Colonial Heights, 14-13, thanks to a string of big plays that wiped out a six-point deficit in the fourth quarter.

The Dragons improved to 3-1 with the victory over the Group AAA Colonials, who fell to 0-2. With the exception of a blowout win against Bluestone on Sept. 7, all of Park View’s games this season have been tightly-fought affairs.

The Dragons, playing on the road Friday, had a bumpy first half as they moved the ball effectively against the Colonials’ defense but failed to get on the scoreboard due to various mistakes.

The Dragons were handed a great opportunity to take an early lead when defensive back Nigel Stanley intercepted a pass in enemy territory on the Colonials’ first possession, but the offense was unable to convert, stalling on downs at the 18 after James Brown ripped off a 14-yard run to move the ball into the red zone.

It was more of the same in the first half as Park View let various opportunities fall by the wayside due to turnovers and other mistakes. On the plus side, the Dragon defense held up its end of the bargain, keeping Colonial Heights from scoring despite a big night by Colonials quarterback Brian Gwaltney. He had seven carries for 127 yards and completed 10 of 17 passes for 75 yards.

After drawing to a scoreless tie at halftime, the Dragons stepped up their attack in the second half. After falling behind 7-0 on an 84-yard touchdown run by Gwaltney, Park View answered with a big play of its own — a 50 yard dash by Brown through the Colonials’ defense all the way to the end zone. The extra point kick by Jacob Newton was good, making the score 7-7.

The game remained tied through the end of the third quarter, but almost three minutes into the fourth quarter Colonial Heights gained the upper hand on a 21-yard TD run. After the PAT attempt failed, Colonial Heights held onto a 14-13 lead with nine minutes left in the game.

Then Park View went to work — getting clutch plays from the Brown, Stanley and the tandem of quarterback Brent Cliborne and receiver Geo Feggins in what would prove to be the game-winning sequence. It began with the Dragons staked deep into Colonial Heights territory after a 65-yard kickoff return by Brown, who fielded the kick in the end zone and weaved his way all the way to the 35.

The offense took over from there, with Stanley reeling off a 17-yard run to give Park View a first down at the Colonial Heights 18. After a rushing play for minus yardage, Cliborne found Feggins for an open pass that covered 20 yards to the end zone and tied the game 13-13. Newton nailed the PAT kick, putting Park View out front, 14-13.

It was an advantage that the Dragons would refuse to relinquish, despite several opportunities by Colonial Heights to stage a comeback.

In addition to Brown, who scored the Dragons’ first touchdown and whose kickoff return set up the second Park View TD, Friday saw another big performance by running back Jason Baskerville, the team’s leading ground gainer. Baskerville churned out 129 yards on the ground against Colonial Heights, at times overpowering Colonial defenders who stood in his way.

The Friday contest marked another big test for the Dragons before they kick off Southside District action this Friday at home against Southampton, which ranks with Park View as one of the early favorites to contend for the league championship. So far in the season, Park View has gone 1-1 against Warhill and Jamestown of the Bay Rivers District, a traditional football hotbed, as well as taking victories against Colonial Heights and Bluestone. Game time Friday is 7 p.m.

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