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Hopewell Benefits from Taylor-Made Touchdowns
By JACOB VAUGHAN, Sports Editor
Sep 20, 2012, 11:31

Colonial Heights junior Kevin Loftus, who had a hand in 18 tackles in a 14-13 loss to Park View (South Hill) last Friday, celebrates with a teammate after a lengthy kickoff return (photo by David Breidenbach).


HOPEWELL — Two Taylors are in the process of stitching together an on-field relationship that bodes well for the Hopewell High School football team.

Quarterback Octavious Taylor and wide receiver Tabyus Taylor connected five times for 108 yards and two touchdowns in Hopewell’s 21-20 loss to visiting Lee-Davis last Friday.

Tabyus Taylor has six catches for 168 yards through two games, both of which are team highs. Hopewell coach Ricky Irby said he had been expecting a breakout game from Tabyus Taylor ever since the junior’s stellar preseason campaign.

“Tabyus is a great athlete. He made some amazing plays in scrimmages,” Irby said. “We have to find ways to get him the ball more often. He had five catches, but we have to get him 12 to 15 touches a game. He’s one of our playmakers.”

ROYALS STAY STINGY:

Former Ohio State University football coach Woody Hayes famously said, “There are three things that can happen when you pass the ball, and two of them ain’t good.”

The Prince George defense is hard at work proving Hayes’ point.

The Royals have conceded just two pass completions for 12 yards in two games this season. Their run defense has been marginally more generous, allowing 282 yards on 86 carries (3.28 yards per carry).

That defensive fortitude, coupled with a relentless running game, resulted in a 21-0 win over Thomas Jefferson on Friday. The victory gave the school its first 2-0 start since 2007, when the Royals opened the season with four wins on the trot.

“We are getting more guys to the football and playing with a little bit of an edge,” Prince George coach Bruce Carroll said on Friday. “We are taking pride in that.”

FINISHING KICK:

For the second time in as many weeks, the home faithful at Merner Field watched with bated breath as the visiting team mounted a fourth-quarter rally on Friday.

While Hopewell won its season opener by stopping a two-point conversion in the waning seconds, the Blue Devils were unable to replicate that feat against the Confederates.

Lee-Davis senior Chris Simpson scored with 1:37 remaining and Andrew Sergent converted the extra point to give the visitors their first lead and the game-deciding edge.

The Blue Devils started strong and led most of the game, but were thwarted in the end by four turnovers.

Irby, who spent this week stressing ball security, said he hopes the loss will impose upon his team the importance of putting opponents out of reach.                    
                                         
“We have to finish,” Irby said. “That’s been a big motto that we’ve talked about a lot. Now we just have to be resilient. We have to be able to bounce back because we have a tough Brunswick team coming up.”
 
DEFENSIVE MISCELLANY:

Colonial Heights junior Kevin Loftus racked up 18 tackles in a 14-13 loss to Park View on Friday. Senior Robert Dubberly blocked a field goal and added 10 tackles.

Six other Colonials defenders accrued six or more bring downs as the defensive unit rebounded from a season-opening loss to Thomas Jefferson.

Cedric Porter, Tabyus Taylor and Moses Tolbert all registered seven solo tackles for Hopewell on Friday. Tolbert also tallied his first sack and forced fumble of the year.

The Prince George linebacker duo of Kyle Poweroznik and Caleb Johnson paced the Royals for the second consecutive week with 10 and eight tackles, respectively. Senior Zach Sink also pitched in with seven.

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