Double overtime thriller: King’s Fork outlasts Nansemond River

Published 5:02 pm Friday, September 22, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Thursday night at ‘The Kennel’ was a dogfight between two undefeated, crosstown rivals. Nansemond River and King’s Fork met under the lights for the first time as ranked and undefeated teams. 

The game, which was to be played Friday, was moved to Thursday due to anticipated inclement weather lived up to the hype. The game went into double overtime before King’s Fork stopped the Warriors, and freshman kicker Jean Pierre Bilé nailed an 18-yard field to seal the 24-21 victory.

The Bilé name is synonymous with Bulldog kicking, as King’s Fork coach Anthony Joffrion pointed out after the game.

Email newsletter signup

“Every kid that I’ve had as a kicker has been a Bilé, and he’s the last one. And he’s only in ninth grade,” Joffrion said. “And he’s very special.”

The opening quarter flew past with neither team finding pay dirt, setting the stage for what proved to be a defensive battle for the ages. 

With 9:28 remaining in the first half, the Bulldogs powered down the field, culminating in a 2-yard Javon Ford touchdown run. 

After trading possessions and time winding down in the half, Nansemond River’ Melvin Brown found his way through the stout King’s Fork defensive line for a 56-yard touchdown run, knotting the score at seven headed into the locker room at halftime. 

The third stanza ended much as the first, with neither team finding the end zone. The Warriors began the final period of regulation, putting together a nice drive that ended with a 28-yard Alkendric Overton throw and catch to TaiVon Douglas in the end zone — giving the Warriors a 14-7 lead. 

Although the momentum seemingly shifted the Warrior’s way, with under three minutes to play, Ford came in clutch again with a 12-yard touchdown scamper that helped send the game into overtime.

The opening possession of the first overtime period went to the Bulldogs, and again, Ford punched in a 6-yard touchdown run and his third touchdown of the night.

Nansemond River was not done. The Overton to Douglas connection paid off once again, this time on a critical fourth down, sending the game into a second overtime period. 

Fittingly, this defensive struggle came down a critical fourth down sack for the Bulldogs, setting up the offense in a position to kick the game-winning field goal. And Bilé hammered the kick through the uprights.