Warriors, Bulldogs see their 2022 football seasons end

Published 8:10 pm Tuesday, November 29, 2022

By Matthew Hatfiled

Contributing writer

Successful 2022 football campaigns came to an end on Thanksgiving weekend for both King’s Fork and Nansemond River High School, both of whom had championship aspirations after an overtime thriller against one another to close out the regular season earlier this month.

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In Nansemond River’s case, the second-seeded Warriors knew they were up against a tall task in the top-seeded Maury Commodores, a team that came in riding an eight-game winning streak with each victory by no fewer than 21 points.  While the margin of defeat wasn’t as wide as the 64-8 loss to the Commodores from 2019, a 27-point third quarter broke open the game and delivered Maury a 55-7 running clock victory that secured their fifth straight regional crown in the Region 5B Championship at Powhatan Field in Norfolk.

Meanwhile, second-seeded King’s Fork entered with plenty of confidence for its Region 4A Final at John B. Todd Stadium in Newport News against the top-seeded Warwick Raiders, who scored 54 fewer regular season points than the Bulldogs.  However, the Warwick defense that came in allowing just 7.5 points per game proved stingy and opportunistic in handing King’s Fork a frustrating 31-19 defeat.

Nansemond River’s defense held tough in the first half, giving up only one touchdown with the other score by the Commodores coming on a 56-yard interception return to make the score 14-0 at the half.

Nonetheless, Maury dominated statistically behind three rushing touchdowns from Duke commit and U.S. Army All-American running back Peyton Jones as they finished with 23 first downs compared to just four by the Warriors. At night’s end, Nansemond River managed only 92 total yards of offense, seven of which came on a touchdown run from junior quarterback Alkendric Overton. That scoring run by Overton came in the fourth quarter with the Warriors trailing 41-0.

King’s Fork – which placed six players on First Team All-Region 4A in sophomore running back JaVon Ford, senior wide receiver Kaletri Boyd, junior offensive lineman Jaydin Dildy, junior defensive lineman Cameron McDaniel, senior linebacker Latavion Wynn and senior defensive back Antione Gray – trailed 14-0 with 3:17 to go in the first quarter. A 27-yard TD run by Boyd brought them closer, but a fumble on the two-point try along with a seven-play scoring drive by Warwick in the second quarter had the Bulldogs behind 21-6 at the half.

There was no answer for Warwick sophomore running back/defensive back Messiah Delhomme, the Region 4A Defensive Player of the Year. Not only did Delhomme rush for 212 yards and a pair of scores, he intercepted a couple of King’s Fork passes, the final one coming with 3:18 to go in the game to halt the Bulldogs rally when they trailed by 12.

In defeat, senior QB Cameron Butler passed for 217 yards and a couple of touchdowns, one each to Boyd and sophomore Jahmel Mackey.

Denied a second consecutive regional title, King’s Fork’s season concludes at 10-3 overall, whereas Nansemond River finishes 8-4 overall as it was denied its first regional crown since 2017.

Both schools – Nansemond River and King’s Fork – will now turn their attention to the winter sports. In fact, the Warriors and Bulldogs square off on the basketball court as soon as Friday, Dec. 2 with a girls and boys double-header starting at 6 p.m. at KFHS.