Football Notebook: Quarterback Injuries Plague District
By JACOB VAUGHAN, Sports Editor
Oct 17, 2012, 12:24
Colonial Heights’ Nicholas Keene (11) tackles Hopewell’s Jarvezz Brown-Taylor (2) on Friday at Merner Field (photo by Jacob Vaughan).
HOPEWELL – Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
A quarterback’s absence doubly so.
Hopewell quarterback Octavious Taylor left a Central District game against Colonial Heights with a calf injury last Friday. As a result, the Blue Devils’ high-octane offense came to a screeching halt on homecoming at Merner Field – at least for a while.
Hopewell turned the ball over on its next two possessions. The Blue Devils’ backup, Drake Scearce, also missed the game with a head injury, leaving wide receiver Reggie Butler and junior varsity starter Trent Scott to fill the void.
“They did well, but we certainly missed a beat,” said Hopewell coach Ricky Irby. “Those guys don’t get too many reps at that spot, and you’re going to miss something when [Octavious Taylor] is not in the game.”
The stand-ins found their form as the game wore on. Scott, who was used sparingly, hit wide receiver Tabyus Taylor for a 25-yard score with his first varsity pass.
“I told [offensive coordinator] Brock [Parker] he should pull him out and not let him throw another pass,” Irby said in jest. “He’d be 1-for-1 with a touchdown for his career. But we feel like he has a better command of the offense, that’s why we put him in.”
A proven playmaker with less experience under center, Butler took the majority of the snaps and rushed for 78 yards as Hopewell won 28-7. Irby equated the showing to a relief pitcher picking up a save in baseball.
“Reggie Butler can play anywhere on the field," Irby said. “We could probably put him at tackle if we had to. He’s just that type of kid, and he’d be willing to do it.”
Colonial Heights starter Brian Gwaltney also sustained an injury in the game, as did the Colonials’ second stringer, Isiah Deisma.
Prince George quarterback Kameron Smith suffered an injury in a 35-0 loss to Meadowbrook. The 5-11, 168-pound junior is questionable for Friday’s game against Thomas Dale.
If the measure of a unit is how it responds to adversity, the Prince George football team is of stronger fabric than its 2-4 record indicates.
The Royals’ 2-0 start was dampened by a rash of untimely injuries. Junior linebacker Kyle Poweroznik, senior lineman Zach Sink and junior wide receiver Joey Runion have all been among the ailing.
“They’re resilient and working hard every day doing what we ask them to do,” said Prince George coach Bruce Carroll. “We’ve had some setbacks with some injuries and some illnesses that caught us at a bad time, but the kids are fine.”
Carroll said the string of wayward results is not indicative of his team’s potential. Prince George will look to end a four-game skid and pick up its first district win of the season on Friday against Thomas Dale.
Doing so will mean containing running back D.J. Reid, who recently committed to play at Virginia Tech next year.
“He’s obviously a gifted back,” Carroll said of Reid. “I know he’s a big, strong kid and our kids are obviously well aware of him. We’ll line up and try to stop him. We feel like if we can contain him and make them do something else, it gives us an advantage.”
The Knights will be looking to end a two-game losing streak of their own, having lost at home to Hopewell and Dinwiddie in Weeks 5 and 6, respectively.
Hopewell at Matoaca
Thomas Dale at Prince George
Dinwiddie at Colonial Heights
Meadowbrook at Petersburg
CENTRAL DISTRICT STANDINGS
1) Meadowbrook 3-0 district (4-1 overall)
2) Hopewell 2-1 (4-2)
3) Dinwiddie 2-1 (3-3)
4) Matoaca 2-1 (3-3)
5) Petersburg 2-2 (2-4)
6) Prince George 0-3 (2-4)
7) Thomas Dale 2-2 (2-4)
8) Colonial Heights 0-3 (0-6)