Sunday, November 25, 2007

Drifters reach state semis

Drifters reach state semis
November 25, 2007 12:36 am


DENDRON--The number of doubters who question the skill of the Colonial Beach football team continues to shrink with each new victory and trophy it achieves.

And who knows? In two weeks' time there might not be any left, if the Drifters capture their first-ever state championship.

The Tidewater District champions relied on a balanced attack and some crucial big plays from their unheralded defense to defeat the Surry County Cougars 21-12 in the Region A Division 1 title game.

The Drifters put their 10-game winning streak on the line next Saturday when they travel to Region B winner Buffalo Gap in a Group A state semifinal game.

"Words can't even explain it," senior Zach Peltola replied when asked to describe his emotions during the postgame celebration. "We had our backs to the wall so many times and we constantly fought back.

"We never let our guard down. We kept fighting and fighting. We never gave up. We showed our heart here today."

The two-way lineman helped preserve the Drifters' 13-12 lead when the Cougars went for a two-point conversion with 8:45 left in the contest.

Region A offensive player of the year Geoffrey Warren lost his footing after getting the handoff, and Peltola made sure he didn't regain his balance, tackling the 5-foot-11 senior in the backfield.

Warren finished with a pair of touchdowns and 97 rushing yards, but the production paled in comparison with his nearly 1,500 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns through the Cougars' first 11 games.

Junior Chad Inscoe sealed the victory with his interception in the right flat with 2:44 remaining.

Four plays later, quarterback Brent Steffey scored his second touchdown from eight yards out and Terry Bushrod completed a halfback option pass to Tristen Carey in the left corner of the end zone for two points, virtually assuring the win with 1:16 left on the scoreboard clock.

"I was nervous at the beginning, but once we actually started hitting, I was OK," Inscoe said. "We kept our heads up and played stronger defense after each fumble."

The Drifters suffered six turnovers in total (four fumbles on running plays, a pass interception and a muffed punt) and still managed to keep the Cougars' offense pretty much in check despite the absence of star linebacker Deshawn Viers, who suffered an ankle sprain in last week's semifinal victory over Franklin.

"Defense was the key," Bushrod ventured. "Our linebackers and defensive line busted up their 0-line the whole day. We had to win this one for Deshawn."

With Bushrod and Brandon Foster (a game-high 110 yards) breaking decent runs to the outside, Colonial Beach managed to get good inside production from both Steffey and Timmy Wilson.

Terrell Turner turned in a solid effort filling in for Viers at offensive guard and Steven Taylor made several key tackles for losses, forcing Surry County into a number of third-and-long calls.

"We saw game films," Steffey said, concerning the Cougars' heavy reliance on the pass. "Their quarterback [Montel White] is tall and he likes to throw deep. We prepared for the deep ball."

Peltola likened the Drifters' offensive leader to Green Bay quarterback Brett Farve due to his ability to bounce back from hard hits and keep fighting no matter what the score is.

Although Steffey was clocked a couple of times and Carey was walking with a noticeable limp afterward, Drifters coach Jeremy Jack was not overly concerned with the physical pounding his team endured.

"In a game like today, everybody is going to limping, sore, bruised and beat-up, but that is football," he said. "The kids played a great game today."

Colonial Beach

Surry County

First Quarter

CB--B. Steffey 8-yard run (T. Carey kick).

SU--G. Warren 6-yard run (run failed).

Second Quarter

CB--T. Bushrod 7-yard run (kick failed).

Fourth Quarter

SU--G. Warren 21-yard run (run failed).

CB--B. Steffey 8-yard run (T. Carey pass from T. Bushrod).



First downs20

Rushing yardage65-336

Passing yardage5




Penalties-yards 1-10


Rushing: Colonial Beach--Brandon Foster Jr. 26-110; Terry Bushrod 16-108, TD; Brent Steffey 17-84, 2TDs; Tim Wilson 4-31; Travis Cundiff 2-3. Surry County--Geoffrey Warren 18-97, 2TDs; Craig Evans 2-9; Marquis Warren 1-(-7); Montel White 3-(-14).
Passing: Colonial Beach--Brent Steffey 1-4-1 5; Brandon Foster Jr. 0-1-0 0. Surry County--Montel White 8-27-2 72.

Receiving: Colonial Beach--Josh Clark 1-5. Surry County--Vincent Batten Jr. 3-34; Demitric Brown 2-28; Geoffrey Warren 1-10; Travis Howell 2-0.

Kurt Nicoll: 540/374-5441


The Free Lance-Star
Fredericksburg, Virginia

No comments: