Royals Crashed by Crimson Wave
By Blake Belden, Staff Writer
Sep 30, 2013, 08:04
Blake Belden/Hopewell News/News-Patriot
PRINCE GEORGE — As the football sailed out of Prince George quarterback BJ Knight’s hands towards the end zone in the fourth quarter, the crowd held their breath in anticipation. A reception would have culminated the team’s second half comeback efforts against the Petersburg Crimson Wave and opened the door for an overtime showdown.
Petersburg (2-2) cut this opportunity short with an interception, closing the night with a 28-20 victory over Prince George (3-1), their first defeat of the year.
Down by two possessions with the clock winding down in the fourth quarter, the Prince George Royals knew they would have to step up their game against Petersburg to continue their undefeated stampede through the 2013 season.
It was second down and eight, and it looked as if quarterback BJ Knight was going to get sacked, but through a seemingly physics-defying series of maneuvers, he scrambled and dodged his way back and forth for a 35-yard run giving his team and crowd a surge of confident energy.
Shortly after, Royals running back Isaiah Mason produced a commanding rush with a display of beastlike speed and force for a 17-yard touchdown run, bringing the point margin down to eight. Petersburg was now up 28-20.
But despite a dominant onside punt recovery, a relentless Petersburg defense forced two interceptions in a row to silence the Royals’ comeback push.
It was a hard fought battle, offensively and defensively, by both sides, a match that had Petersburg head coach Josh Wallace sweating on the sidelines until the very end.
“It’s big for our program to beat a higher division team, class team and especially one that was undefeated. You know, [Prince George is] a good team and I give them credit for what they’ve done. It was a great ballgame. I was clenching my fists a couple times on the sideline, but the thing I liked most about [the game] was our team responded to things. They fought through adversity and played as a team, and they didn’t quit and they kept going,” Wallace said.
Wallace championed the defensive efforts of his team as the most critical factor in earning the win.
“I think the biggest strength in our game tonight was our defense, and we did a pretty good job of hitting them in the backfield. They busted out some big runs on us. That’s going to happen against a team like them when they power for the ball and they keep doing it, keep doing it. They’re bound to bust some big runs, but we did a good job of stuffing them up front and penetrating in the backfield,” Wallace said.
The Crimson Wave defensive efforts were strengthened by an emancipated offense on Friday, coming off of a shutout 34-0 loss to James Monroe and scoring twice the total points allowed by the Royals so far previously in the season. Prince George returned after forcing a 42-0 shutout against John Marshall.Petersburg finished the night with a total 362 offensive yards, in comparison to Prince George’s 272 yards.
Crimson Wave quarterback Levi Jones threw three touchdowns on 211 passing yards, in addition to accumulating 24 rushing yards. Gemonta Jackson also had a blowout performance for Petersburg, scoring three touchdowns, two receptions and one run, for a grand total of 149 yards.
The Royals’ defense, supported by strong performances from Blake Bryant, Kyle Powroznick and Michael Benjamin among others, forced three interceptions and a number of big sacks and tackles, however a shaky offensive line overshadowed these efforts as BJ Knight kept scrambling to stay
Petersburg will face off against Dinwiddie this Friday and Prince George will have an opportunity to redeem themselves at Thomas Dale.