Kicking Game, Kearney Lift Generals in Rout
By DAVID BREIDENBACH, Correspondent
Oct 22, 2012, 14:40
Dinwiddie junior Sadarius Williams (1) makes it to the corner on a sweep play as Colonial Heights’ Dontavia Shaw (2) and Quainshawn Owens (5) give chase (photo by David Breidenbach).
COLONIAL HEIGHTS – For Dinwiddie football coach Billy Mills, it’s simply a matter of philosophy.
After attending a football camp in Louisiana last spring, he and his defensive coach realized that they got little gain from standard kickoffs.
They plotted the results of long kicks and found the average return came to the 37-yard line. Not very good, when you think about it. Without a solid kicker who could put the ball in the end zone every time, Mills felt opting for onside kicks all the time would be a better deal for his team.
“Last spring me and coach [Dave] Davis went down to Arkansas and spent some time with coach Kelly,” Mills said. “Since ‘08, we haven’t had a kid who could kick it in the end zone consistently. Even if you kick it to the five, we found it would come out to the 37.
“We went to Villanova and their special teams people worked with us on it. We take a chance to get the ball back and give up what, a first down? We haven’t had that much success at it, but we’re getting better. And it’s something else they have to work on during the week.”
The tactic worked pretty well for Dinwiddie during a Central District game against Colonial Heights on Friday night. The onside kicks limited the Colonials to four first-half possessions — compared to eight for the Generals — as Dinwiddie cruised to a 66-20 victory.
Although Mills said the strategy hasn’t been very successful in terms of getting the ball back, Friday night was a different matter. The Generals rolled up 52 first-half points and the Colonials were held scoreless on their four drives.
The home team was further hampered by injuries to its top two quarterbacks. Sophomore starter Brian Gwaltney and second-stringer Isaiah Desima were both knocked out in a Week 6 loss to Hopewell.
Already out-manned by the perennial Group AAA Division 5 powerhouse, the Colonials hobbled into the contest. The results were not pretty.
Dinwiddie was held to a field goal on its first possession but went on to rack up seven unanswered touchdowns, each one followed by an onside kick.
With their backups in the game, the Generals continued to resort to the same kicking philosophy in the second half. On the night, they kicked two long balls when it appeared the Colonials had over-committed by bringing their players in close on the kickoff.
The Colonials managed to score three consolation touchdowns in the second half. Robert Dubberly broke the ice for Colonials Heights, sprinting in from 28 yards out on a quarterback keeper. Paul Baik, kicking in the place of the injured Kyle Gaskins, bounced the extra point in off the left upright.
Dinwiddie’s second stringers put a score up before the Colonials came back to score twice. DreQuan Ivery pulled in a pass in the left flat from Dubberly and then raced 57 yards down the sideline to close the gap to 45 points at 58-13.
Then Quainshawn Owens scored on a 27-yard run and Baik connected to push the Colonials to 58-20. But Dinwiddie had the last word, scoring the final points but missing a two-point conversion attempt.
For the Generals, quarterback Ronald Kearney was 14-of-18 for 232 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran in a score.
Sadarius Williams, Darius Johnson, Dakari Wilson, and Malik Scott also scored for the visitors. Mills said his team came into the game feeling confident after beating Thomas Dale one week earlier.
“We got a lot of confidence in our win last week,” Mills said. “We control our own destiny; if we win out we’re in [the playoffs].”
D — FG Lopez 32
D — S. Williams 29 run (Lopez kick)
D— Johnson 33 run (Lopez kick)
D — Poarch 19 pass from Kearney (Lopez kick)
D — Kearney 69 run (Lopez kick)
D— Harris 10 pass from Kearney (Lopez kick)
D— Poarch 10 pass from Kearney (Lopez kick)
D — Reed 13 pass from Kearney (Lopez kick)
CH— Dubberly 28 run (Baik kick)
D — Wilson 13 run (T. Williams pass from Scott)
CH — Ivery 57 pass from Dubberly (kick failed)
CH— Owens 27 run (Baik kick)
D — Scott 5 run (run failed)