Who ya gonna call?Published 1:25am Saturday, November 23, 2013
Bulldogs bust up No. 1 Phantoms
King’s Fork High School’s football team ultimately gave Phoebus High School too many walls to overcome on Friday night at Joseph S. Darling Memorial Stadium.
The No. 1 Phantoms’ main weapon, senior running back Marshawn Williams, found daylight early and then ran into the wall of Bulldogs defense, ultimately knocking him out of the game in the fourth quarter.
Phoebus managed to cover ground without him and tied the game up 14-14 with 2:18 to go. Then, a big kickoff return set up a drive that went to the Phoebus 20-yard line when King’s Fork brought on senior kicker Austin Wall for a 37-yard field goal.
He made it, but the Bulldogs were called for a false start, negating the kick and pushing the No. 9 Bulldogs back five yards as the home crowd roared.
It turned out history could wait a play. Rather than crumbling, Wall launched another great kick.
“I think the second one was straighter than the first one,” King’s Fork head coach Joe Jones said.
Time expired as the ball sailed through the uprights, and the Bulldogs clinched a 17-14 Group 4A South Region playoff victory, wading deeper than ever before into the post-season.
“We’ve said the last three or four years the ship’s going in the right direction,” Jones said. Now, “every game’s a history-maker.”
It was an exciting night for many Bulldogs players because of what they have been through to get to this point.
“I remember getting blown out 70-0,” senior quarterback Uriah Adams said after the game. “We just started from the bottom.”
Marshawn Williams scored less than three minutes into the game on Friday via an 81-yard run, making it look like it could be a long night for the Bulldogs.
But with seven seconds left in the first half, Adams connected with sophomore feature back Deshaun Wethington for a 44-yard touchdown pass to tie the game.
The defense forced and recovered two fumbles in the first half, and in the second half they began to seriously limit Williams’ yardage.
“We knew we had to tackle him, gang tackle him,” Jones said.
Williams was knocked out of the game during the third quarter, leading to a turnover on downs. The same sequence of events happened again in the fourth quarter, except that time Williams left for good.
King’s Fork took over at the Phoebus 43-yard line. A couple of plays later, junior slotback Trelen Cox took the ball on a pitch 32 yards to the 9-yard line. Wethington ran it in on the next play to give the Bulldogs their first lead of the game.
Even without Williams, the Phantoms found a way to gain yards in large chunks, but the Bulldogs defense came up with another fumble, recovering it at their own 3-yard line.
The offense could not capitalize, and the Phantoms marched back down to tie the game up on a 7-yard run.
King’s Fork was undaunted.
“We just felt like we had them on their heels, even then,” Jones said.
Cox returned the following kickoff to the Bulldogs’ 45-yard line. A couple of plays later, Wethington took a pass for what appeared to be first down yardage, and a holding call on Phoebus advanced the ball to the Phoebus 30.
Jones said they knew if they could get the ball inside the 25, “We’ve got a shot.”
A Wethington run got it to the 20. The false start pushed it to the 25, but Wall had ice water in his veins.
After acknowledging the team’s former low estate, Adams added the latest chapter. “We just beat the No. 1 team,” he said.
The Bulldogs will now face Heritage High School next Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Todd Stadium in Newport News.