JAMES CITY — It's probably not often that you'll see a back run for 311 yards and finish on the short end of a one-sided score. That's exactly what happened to Warhill star Devonte Dedmon in his team's 49-27 loss to Poquoson in their Bay Rivers District football game Thursday at Wanner Stadium.
Dedmon ran for touchdowns of 67, 64 and 60 yards, in addition to throwing a touchdown pass, and it was nearly enough for the Lions (1-4, 1-3 district) to stop the Islanders (3-2, 2-2). That's because Poquoson racked up 489 yards, 427 of them on the ground, and added a punt return for a TD.
The Islanders were led by their dynamic rushing tandem of Grayson Boyce and Austin Turner. Boyce ran for 162 yards and two touchdowns, while Turner ran for 116 yards and two TDs, in addition to catching a touchdown pass.
The victory solidified the Islanders' position as a contender to make the 3A East Region playoffs. Warhill enters the second half of the season well out of the playoff hunt, and, even with the speedy and elusive Dedmon, must improve its special teams and defense significantly to earn a third consecutive playoff berth.
The first half began as an offensive slugfest, with three touchdowns on the first five plays from scrimmage. But Poquoson was soon doing most of the slugging and surged to a 35-14 halftime lead.
Dedmon, who ran for 211 yards in the Lions' 32-14 win over the Islanders a year ago, almost matched that total with 208 yards in the first half. He dodged or broke several tackles en route to a 67-yard touchdown run that gave the Lions a 7-0 lead on the game's second play.
Poquoson needed just one play to retaliate, as Johnny Pryce ran 59 yards on a reverse for a touchdown. Cole Walker turned a poor punt snap into a two-point run and the Islanders led 8-7.
That lead lasted all of two plays, with Dedmon again avoiding numerous tackle attempts on a 64-yard jaunt to the end zone that put Warhill ahead 14-8 just 73 seconds after the opening kickoff. Poquoson slowed the tempo from light speed to warp speed in responding with a six-play touchdown drive.
A 21-yard run by Turner and Trey Hicks' 38-yard completion to Boyce set up Nathan Ward's 2-yard run that pushed Poquoson back ahead at 15-14. The Islanders controlled the first half from there.
After holding the Lions to a three-and-out, the Islanders drove 62 yards on seven plays for a score. Boyce, 6-foot-3, 245 pounds of power, dragged several Warhill defenders the better part of his 16-yard run. Turner broke up the middle and dove the goal line with a Lion at his ankles for a 17-yard touchdown that made it 22-14 after one quarter.
Warhill continues to be dogged by punt-team problems as Poquoson's Matt Blaser returned a kick 85 yards to increase the lead to 29-14 early in the second quarter. Dedmon made another nice run, good for 52 yards, but the scoring chance was squandered when he dropped the ball at the Poquoson 25.
Poquoson finished the half with a seven-play 57-yard touchdown drive. Hicks 22-yard pass to a wide open Turner over the middle gave the Islanders their 21-point halftime lead.
Boyce and Dedmon, two of the district's at least four D-I prospects, continued to shine carrying the ball in the second half, with Dedmon carrying 60 yards for a TD and Boyce 42 for a score. But Poquoson's lead was never threatened.
O'Brien can be reached by phone at 757-247-4963