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Mistake-prone Dragons drop matchup with previously winless Colonial Heights, fall to 1-2

SoVaNow.com / September 12, 2018
Mistakes and penalties were the undoing of Park View as they fell to their non-conference rival Colonial Heights at the Colonials’ home field on Friday. The previously winless Colonials (1-2) sent error-prone Park View (1-2) home with a 23-14 loss.

The Colonials won the opening toss and elected to receive. Their first drive ended in touchdown thanks in large part to an encroachment penalty on the Dragons. Facing third and 1 on the PV 5, the Colonials drew the Dragons defense offsides and then scored on the next play. The extra point was good and with 6:06 remaining in the first quarter, the Colonials held a 7-0 lead.

Park View responded with a drive of its own for a TD. The Dragons started at their own 28-yard line and were marching downfield when they found themselves in a fourth and 7 situation on the Colonials’ 28-yard line. Dragon running back T.J. House took a handoff and ripped off a 20-yard gain to the eight yard line where the Dragons had first and goal. Three plays later, Dragon QB Joshua Jones punched it into the endzone for six points.

The point after kick by Adam Crabel was blocked and the Dragons trailed 7-6 with 1:20 left in the first quarter.

The next Colonial Heights drive stalled at the 49-yard line where the Colonials faced fourth and 10. Lining up in a shotgun formation, the Colonials QB dropped back and surprised the Dragons with a pooch punt that took an extraordinary roll for the Colonials and was downed at the PV 3-yard line. On the next play for the Dragons, Jones pitched the ball to the left to his running back, House, but a Colonial linebacker eluded the Dragon blockers and tackled House five yards deep for the safety. The big defensive play gave the Colonials a 9-6 lead with 9:09 left in the second quarter.

After the free kick from the PV 20 by the Dragon kicker Crabel and a generous return, the Colonials would start with excellent field position at the PV 37. They wasted no time and three plays later a Colonial running back beat a host of Dragon defenders for a 21-yard TD. The Colonials took a 15-6 lead after the PAT attempt failed.

Things got no better for Park View as the ensuing kickoff was bobbled by the Dragon return man and the Colonials recovered the loose ball. They started right back on offense at the PV 35-yard line. Despite this good field position and having momentum on their side, the Colonials would see ttheir drive stall and turned the ball over on downs to the Dragons at the PV 31-yard line.

Park View was unable to capitalize and both teams headed into the locker room at halftime with Colonial Heights in the lead, 15-6.

Park View took the Colonials kickoff to start the second and after a sustained drive aided by two Colonial Heights penalties, the Dragons clawed their way back with a quick touchdown to cut the deficit to 15-14.

Facing fourth and 1 at the PV 44, the Dragons lined up to go for it and QB Jones got the Colonials to jump offsides for a 5-yard penalty and a first down. Then facing a third-and-6 situation at the Colonials’ 16-yard line, Jones tried to hit his receiver over the middle and the Colonials defensive back, leading with his helmet, collided with the PV receiver and was called for a personal foul. The penalty brought the ball half the distance to the goal and gave the Dragons a first and goal on the 8 yard line with seven minutes left to play in the third quarter.

On the next play, Dragon running back Ra’Sean Coates took the handoff up the middle to score.

On their next drive, the Colonials took control of the clock and chewed up six-plus minutes when they found themselves facing fourth and 9 at the PV 10. Colonials QB Hunter Spence stepped into the pocket and hit his receiver for a touchdown, and the Colonials took a 23-14 lead after the two-point try was good.

After a surprising but unsuccessful on-sides kick by Colonial Heights, Park View was able to start out on the 50-yard line with good field position. The Dragons put forth a strong effort but their drive stalled on downs. Facing fourth and 7 at the Colonials 19, the PV ball carrier was called out of bounds just short of the first down marker in what was at best a controversial spot.

The Colonials would take over with nine and half minutes left in the game and continue in clock management mode, running the ball from a compact power formation for five first downs. After taking over seven minutes off the clock, the Colonials turned the ball over to Park View on the PV 23-yard line with 2:25 left in the game.

The Dragons were unable to find their rhythm and facing fourth and 27 at the PV 42, they turned the ball over to the Colonials who took a knee and ran the clock out to take the 23-14 victory.

Afterwards Dragons Head Coach Tony Whittingham Jr. said, “This was just a difficult loss. We had many opportunities and we didn’t maximize those chances that we had.

“Penalties, we’ve really got to work on that,” he continued. “We’re going to practice, talk about it, discipline, we’ve got to focus.”

Whittingham concluded, “The bye week [next week] will allow us to go back to the drawing board, back to the basics, we’ll probably take a day off to re-group and come back in two weeks and start district play.”

With the loss, the Dragons fell to 1-2 on the season. They will travel to Franklin High School on Sept. 21 to begin district play against the Broncos, who are 3-0 and have scored 40 points or more in all of their games this season.





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