Bulldogs hand defeat to Warriors

Published 12:27 am Saturday, September 15, 2012

DeShon Saunders attempts to hustle through a hole in the King's Fork defense during Friday night's game at Arrowhead Stadium.

In the first inter-city football game of the season, King’s Fork established itself as among the cream of the crop in Suffolk by defeating host Nansemond River 29-10.

King’s Fork goes 3-0 for the first time in school history with this victory, and Bulldogs coach Joe Jones gave his reaction to it.

“We’re happy for it,” he said. “So, I said, ‘You get to have a chance to do some firsts for King’s Fork,’ and I guess this was one of them.”

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The Bulldogs racked up 333 yards of total offense with the running game contributing 241 of them.

While Charles Clark is generally the name dropped when considering the King’s Fork ground game, it was freshman running back Deshaun Wethington that led in that category with eight carries for 114 yards and two touchdowns.

Wethington opened up the scoring with a 27-yard touchdown run, but the Warriors responded.

NR sophomore quarterback DeShon Saunders connected with junior tight end Marvin Branch for a 63-yard touchdown pass to knot the score at seven in the first quarter.

The Bulldogs defense was dominant, limiting NR to 182 yards of total offense, but Jones admits that the Branch reception was a lapse.

“They got us,” he said. “It was a great play call when they hit the tight end down the middle with an unbalanced line and snuck the tight end in there as a tackle, but he was eligible.”

The Warriors took their only lead of the game with 5:05 remaining in the second quarter when Kameron Burnor hit a 33-yard field goal to make it 10-7.

About 15 seconds later, Wethington rattled off a 65-yard touchdown run.

Warriors head coach Tracey Parker Sr. felt consistency is what his team needs to work on in light of this loss.

“We got to learn how to play at the same level week-in and week-out,” he said. “I think that’s the difference in the night. I don’t think we brought our A-game.”

Less than four minutes into the third quarter, Bulldogs junior quarterback Uriah Adams hit senior wideout Davon Grayson on a 27-yard fader in the end zone to make it 20-10.

The Warrior defense caused trouble for the Bulldogs for the remainder of the third period, intercepting Adams twice and limiting the visiting team to a single field goal in three possessions.

“We got to come out of there with a couple touchdowns,” Jones said.

NR junior defensive back Tyshaun Anthony picked off both Adams and Charles Clark during the course of the game, and senior defensive back Stevon Simms had an interception as well.

Though Wethington led the team in rushing yardage, Charles Clark was not silent, rushing nine times for 58 yards and catching two balls for 37 yards. He also put an exclamation point on the win when he intercepted Saunders and returned it 45 yards for a touchdown with 46 seconds remaining.

Grayson finished with three catches for 55 yards.

Nansemond River switched quarterbacks for this game in an attempt to respond to King’s Fork’s style of play.

“We felt like we could do some things with our other quarterback that we just weren’t able to do,” Parker said. “We didn’t execute as well as we should have.”

Saunders, more of a running quarterback, had the most success on the team in that area, picking up 67 yards on 13 carries. He only managed to complete three passes, though.

Warriors junior tailback Latrell Sandifer was severely limited to 33 yards rushing on 17 carries.

Next Friday, King’s Fork hosts Great Bridge and Nansemond River (1-2) heads to Oscar Smith.