Cavaliers hang on to beat West Point

Special to the Review

King William’s Jamir Johnson proved to be a Venus fly trap Friday evening — his sticky hands intercepting a final West Point pass ensuring a Cavalier victory over the pesky Pointers.

With 11 seconds left in game, the Cavaliers were driving when Johnson stepped in front of a LoPear Burrell pass and returned it 92 yards for a touchdown to seal the game 39-26 for King William.

It was high drama in the decades-old rivalry between the teams.

“We are so disappointed, but you have to learn that the game is 48 minutes long,” West Point Coach L.C. Briggs said. “We fumbled the ball twice in the third quarter — that stopped drives, and obviously the final pick just killed us. They are a very good team, and you can’t make that many mistakes and expect to win against a good team.”

The Cavaliers jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter, scoring three touchdowns, including a two passing scores from Lance Alfonso and a Marc Gresham 18-yard run. The Pointers stuck around, scoring twice including a 73-yard run from Lawrence Porter and a 84-yard kickoff return from Tykil Shaw.

“I thought we had a great game plan and the players executed it, our offensive line enabled us to run and throw all night” Cavaliers coach Dylan DeHart said.

The third quarter belonged to the Cavaliers, as Marc Gresham hit Eric Johnson for a touchdown pass; Chris Southern, Sincere Weeden and Scotty Smith recovered fumbles and when Lance Alfonso hit Eric Johnson for a touchdown pass, they were up 33-14 heading into the final quarter.

“Mistakes cost us tonight,” Briggs said. “We need to regroup, play next week at Charles City, then get ready for the playoffs. I know it is very disappointing especially for the seniors but the season isn’t over.”

Jared Lawson’s touchdown run ignited the Pointers offense, then his interception started another Pointers drive that ended when Lopear Burrell landed in the end zone, closing the gap to seven with 2:51 left in the game.

The Pointers defense held the Cavaliers on four downs, and they took over with 1:09 left in the game.

Then Jamir Johnson stepped in front of that final West Point pass for a pick-six. Game over.

“This was a big win especially the way the season started; it gave us the Tidewater District Title and propelled us into the playoffs. We lost our first five games and this team didn’t quit, they continued to fight hard and stay on course. I couldn’t be prouder of a group of players,” said DeHart.

Copyright © 2017, The Virginia Gazette
55°