Bulldogs’ scrimmage in the books

Published 11:22 pm Tuesday, August 14, 2018

By Matthew Hatfield


King’s Fork High School’s football team is inching closer to the start of the 2018 campaign and completed its first preseason scrimmage against Cox High School on Friday night in Virginia Beach.

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Unofficially, the Bulldogs won the controlled matchup by a count of 20-7, displaying plenty of positives as they look to build off last year’s school-record 11 victories and first-ever Southeastern District title.

“Cox is a good program with some really talented skill players, and I thought our kids did a good job of responding,” said King’s Fork third-year coach Scottie Littles. “With your first scrimmage, everything’s not going to go smoothly. Offensively, we made some big plays, scored touchdowns. Defensively, we gelled as a unit, more than we had in practice. I’m excited about the direction it’s going.

“Our receiving core dropped more balls than I would’ve liked, but that will come with timing,” Littles continued. “With the rain and the mud lately, it’s been hard for us to get our timing. The offensive line played extremely well. That was the big highlight of the night. We always know the offensive side of the ball up front takes more time than the defensive side, so I’m very pleased.”

Senior receiver Bobby Boone found the end zone twice, one on a run play and the other on a 54-yard touchdown pass from Marc Dyer, one of two contenders for the starting quarterback job. Dyer and sophomore Leonta Johnson are vying to replace Justin German behind center.

“Marc is starting to solidify himself. He’s making plays with his feet, including that touchdown to Bobby, making the right reads and checks, and is a gamer a lot like Justin German. Watching him in live action, he actually has more zip on that ball than Justin, and Justin was pretty good,” said Littles.

Another bright spot was the running of junior Leo Wethington, kin to former Bulldogs standout Deshaun Wethington. With Southeastern District Offensive Player of the Year Darran Butts having moved on to Hampton University, breaking in a new running back would ordinarily be a question mark, but Wethington showed his promise on a 50-yard scoring burst.

“Leo was another spotlight and probably would’ve had 100 (yards) on the night. He’s a 5-10, 195-pound running back who’s a bruiser just like his cousin Deshaun (Wethington),” said Littles.

The lone touchdown for Cox came on an interception return in the fourth-quarter portion of the exhibition. Their defensive line, headlined by All-State returnee tackles Treyshaun Mitchell and Jay’ree Hardy, provided constant pressure throughout, yet they’ve only scratched the surface of their potential, Littles believes.

“As good as that d-line played, I think they can play better. It’s not that we weren’t physical, but as big as we are in the front seven, I would like to see us be a little more physical,” he said.

“The back end matched the front and we only gave up one deep ball, which was because of technique, and we had a goal-line stand. We’re still missing Garrett Williams, so when he comes back from injury, that’ll be an addition to that defense.”

Two of the names that shined brightest were senior defensive end Korey Foster and junior linebacker Elijah Askew.

“Elijah is a 6-2, 245-pound linebacker who can move [and] plays tight end for us as well. Not a lot of people know about him since he was a backup for us last year, but this year, it’s his show. He made some plays on both sides of the ball. He fits the bill and is a big-time recruit,” Littles remarked.

Foster proved to be very disruptive, recording three tackles for loss and two sacks.

“With all the big names up front with Jay’ree, Treyshaun and even Jordan Chambliss playing the other end, Korey is the swagger on that line. He’s the bus driver for the energy,” said Littles. “He gets after it and has the best get-off on the team. Trying to replace Sam Dunn’s production at that weakside end, Korey showed that even though he’s not as long as Sam, he can definitely be as just as productive.”

The Bulldogs open the season at home on Aug. 24 against Wilson High School of Portsmouth.