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Charles City loses Regional Playoff Game to Northumberland – Final Score 22 to 24

Charles City County  22,  Northumberland  24

Varsity Playoff Football Game on November 11, 2011

Charles City Panthers versus Northumberland Indians Varsity Football Playoff

Charles City team captains Avery Jones, Terrance Banks, Dominique Williams & Jaelen Williams opening game against the Northumberland Indians

The Charles City Varsity Football team made the regional playoffs for the 3rd year in a row and were looking to advance after being eliminated the past two years in the first round.  The Panthers squared off against the Northumberland Indians in a thrilling game that came down to the wire.  The Panthers were down by two scores going into the 4th quarter and were back in front after scoring on two touchdown passes from Avery Jones late in the game.  One touchdown wen to Jaelen Cotman and then another a few minutes later to Dominique Williams.  Unfortunately, the Panthers weren’t able to hold onto a lead and Northumerbland battled back to take a two point lead with just over a minute to play.   The Panthers weren’t able to make another drive and the Indians beat the Panthers in a heartbreaking loss for Charles City County.

The game started with a drive by Northumberland that went deep into Charles City’s side of the field.  Northumberland was facing a fourth down when the Panther defense came up big and stopped the Indians in the red zone on fourth down.  The Panthers took over on downs and drove the ball down the field on a series of nice plays that started with an Avery Jones quarterback keeper up the middle.  The Panthers appeared to be in control until they reached the red zone and a blitz forced Jones to scramble which ultimately led to a penalty for an intentional grounding.  After this play it was fourth down and very long.  The Panthers were placed at about the 35 yard line and needed to get inside the 5 yard line for a first.  The next play resulted in a nice pass from Jones to Dominique Williams but were stopped just short of the first down marker.   The Indians would take over at the 6 yard line.  This drive would take the Indians down the field and into the second quarter when the Indians connected on a long touchdown pass.  The conversion failed, but Northumberland was up 6-0.

The Panthers would get the ball back and make a nice drive with a mix of runs and passes.  After a nice catch and run by Terrance Banks, the Panthers were again in the red zone.  A few moments later, Panther running back Tesean Greene would run the ball into the endzone to tie the game up 6-6, after the conversion attempt failed.

Northumberland would get the ball back, but the Panther defense stout and stopped the Indians on 4th down.  However, the Panthers were unable to do much on offense after a series of incompletions.  The Panthers were forced to punt and the Indians got the ball back deep in their own territory after a nice punt by Jones.  The Indians and Panthers both got the ball back but had unsucesfull drives before halftime.  The score was tied 6-6 going into intermission.

The Panthers got the ball first to start the second half.  The Panthers drove down to the 21 yard line when a pass into the endzone that was intended for Jovan Howard was tipped and picked off by the Indians.  The Indians got the ball back at the 20 after the interception touch back, but weren’t able to get anything going against the Panther defense.  Despite being deep in their own territory, the Indians decided to go for it on 4th down.  The Panthers stopped them again and got the ball back at about the same place that they last had the ball.  Two plays later, the Indians had the ball back after Jones fumbled the ball while being tackled by a group on Indian defenders.  After not getting much through the air, the Indians went to a series of running plays which eventually culminated in a touchdown run by Chad Elmore.  The panthers would stop the Indians’ conversion attempt.  The Indians led 12 to 6.

Charles City got the ball back were forced to punt after just 3 plays.  During the punt, an Indian defender ran past several Panthers and was able to get a clear block on Jones’ punt.  The Indians would regain possession at the 4 yard line.  Two plays later, the Indians ran to the left side and the running back went into the end zone untouched.  The Panther defense once again stopped the 2 point conversion, but the Indians were up 18 to 6 going into the 4th quarter.

The Panthers would come back with some determined play.  Just a few plays into their next drive, Avery Jones found Jaelen Cotman over the middle on a pass which resulted in a score.  Jones would run the conversion in to cut the lead to 4 with a score of 18 to 14.

The Indians were getting first downs and driving on their next possession.  It appeared that Charles City might have lost the momentum when Northumberland’s Chad Elmore ran to the left side.  Panther player Jovan Howard made a nice play to dislodge the ball and force the fumble.  Dominique Williams would recover the ball for the Panthers near midfield.  A few plays later, the Panthers were facing a second and long situation when Jones connected with Williams on a long pass.  Williams able to break away from the first tackle and ran towards the end zone when he was able to dive past a second defender and get a much needed touchdown.  Jones got the conversion on a nifty run and the Panthers were up for the first time in the game 22 to 18 with just 4:33 left to play.

The Indians got the ball back near midfield after a nice kickoff return.  With just 1:28 to play and time running, the Indians were faced with a 4th down with 3 yards to go for the first down at the 15 yard line.  The Indians ran a quarterback option to the left side and pitched it to the running back who was able to get the first down.  On the next play, the Indians punched it into the end zone with a run play up the middle.  The Indians failed the extra point kick, but were up 24 to 22.

The Panthers got the ball back for one last drive, but weren’t able to score.   Nortumberland won it’s first regional playoff game in 15 years.  The Indians move on to face Central Lunenburg who crushed Colonial Beach 63 to 24.

Charles City head coach Steward Greene was proud of his team’s accomplishments despite the loss.  This years team was a very young that only had only 4 seniors.   The majority of the teams starters are juniors and there are several sophomores and freshmen that have started games this year.  Junior quarterback Avery Jones played exceptionally well this year and led the team in passing and rushing.  Jones had 27 touchdowns in 11 games.  He had 17 touchdown passess, 10 touchdown rushes and numerous conversions points through the air and ground.  Jones had over 2,500 all purpose yards this year.  Junior defensive end Cruz Adkins led the team with 98 tackles and 2.5 sacks.  Junior defensive tackle Jaelen Williams was third on the team in tackles with 83 tackles and one sack.

This was the last football game for two of Charles City’s best athletes, duo receivers Terrance Banks and Dominique Williams who also both play defense.   Williams led the team in receiving, in fumble recoveries and was second in tackles.  Williams who is also a standout player in basketball and baseball, hauled in 52 catches for 847 yards and 9 touchdowns.  Williams also accounted for 5 two point conversion, 81 tackles, 4 fumble recoveries, 2 interceptions, 1.5 sacks.  Williams never fumbled  the ball this past year.   His team mate, Banks accounted for 641 receiving yards, led the team in kickoff returns and had 9 touchdowns.  Fellow seniors Eric Shields and Justin Brown also played well this year despite not playing previously.  Shields played defensive end and Justin Brown was the primary running back for the Panthers this past season.

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