Warriors win defensive battle, 12-0

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 4, 2002

Dearnta Thomas threw two touchdown passes as the Bennetts Creek midget Pop Warner league team shut out the visiting Dale City Cowboys 12-0 Saturday at John Yeates Middle School. The win capped off a 9-0 season for the Warrior midgets, who will play a bowl game on Nov. 9 at Nansemond River High School.

After the teams combined for only two first downs in the first quarter, the Warriors took the ball at midfield. Dijon Elliott charged to the 46, and Thomas hit Brandon Newsome for a 10-yard gain. Elliott churned out five more yards, but the Cowboy defense batted down Thomas’ next two passes.

Facing a fourth-and-five, the Warriors appeared ready to punt. But Newsome bolted down the left sideline, and Thomas landed a pass right over his right shoulder for the game’s first score. Khristopher Kennedy broke through the block the extra point, leaving the score at 6-0.

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Omoniyi Bakare and Zachary Simmons picked up a pair of first downs as the Cowboys raced to their own 39. But the Warriors held, and time ran out on the half.

The cold weather made it difficult for the teams to hold the ball in the seconds half, as they combined for six fumbles and two interceptions. Elliott returned the opening kickoff to the Warrior 31 and rushed to the 42, but the Cowboys knocked the ball from Thomas’ hands, and Craig Strong snapped it up. Two plays later, however, Demetrius Graham stole the ball back for the Warriors.

Elliott and Quindel Nicolas rushed five times for 32 yards to reach the Cowboy 19, but an onslaught of Dale City defenders wretched the ball from Charles Gamble at the 16, and Steven Martinez recovered for the Cowboys.

Graham stole the ball back again, giving the Warriors a first down at the 11. But Bennetts Creek could only maneuver eight yards over the next four plays, giving the ball back to Dale City.

A false start penalty and a five-yard dash by Rondell Kelley gave Dale City a first down at the 13, but the fumble bug bit the Cowboys again. Tony Keiling hit Strong with a strike at the Cowboy 24, but Charles Sanders spun the ball away from Strong, picked it up, and raced to the Warrior five.

Then the Warriors had more bad luck, as Martinez grabbed a dropped handoff on the first play. But the Bennetts Creek defense held again, and the Cowboys punted to their own 17. On second down, Thomas hit Timothy Babb in the end zone, doubling the Warriors’ lead with five minutes left.

They nearly scored again after getting the ball back at midfield. Elliott, Nicolas, and Jamar White ran to the 32, and Thomas hit Newsome at the six. After a delay of game penalty knocked the Warriors back to the 11, Thomas snuck through on a quarterback sneak and reached the one. But time ran out, and the Warriors had to be content with their 12-0 win.