King’s Fork falls to Warwick in Class 5 Region B semifinals

Published 1:42 am Saturday, November 18, 2023

For three quarters, the matchup between the King’s Fork Bulldog’s potent offense and the Warwick Raider’s stout defense that only allowed one touchdown all season.

A late Jean-Pierre Bile 30-yard field goal brought King’s Fork to within eight points, but a failed onside kick caged the Bulldogs, paving the way for a Raiders’ 42-13 victory and a spot in the region finals against undefeated Maury next Friday.

Messiah Delhomme led the Raiders downfield quickly, rushing for 54 yards on just three carries, setting up a 19-yard touchdown strike from Junior Rios to Keon Batts.

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After a few stifled drives, the vision and speed of Javon Ford helped the Bulldogs move into scoring position. Setting up from the Raiders’ 28-yard line on a 4th and 13, D’Andre Artis-Boone threads a needle between two Warwick defenders, hitting Zydar’eyus Wynn in the back of the end zone. The Bile extra point knotted the game at seven with 1:44 left in the first period.

Both defenses’ dug in and traded possessions. With just over seven minutes remaining in the half, Delhomme went airborne on a tackle and put the ball on the ground. With the Malachi Nixon recovery, King’s Fork set up around midfield but could not convert the turnover into points, going three and out.

The teams went into the locker room knotted at seven apiece at the half.

Scoring was at a premium until Warwick’s Cameron Glenn hit a hole and ran for a 52-yard score on just his second touch of the evening, and with 6:23 remaining in the third quarter, the Raiders went up 14-7.

Despite a solid 30-yard Ford rush to the outside, the Bulldogs stalled again, settling for a 26-yard Bile field goal to pull within four with 3:34 left in the third quarter.

Delhomme found the end zone again, this time from a yard out, moving the score to 21-10.

After pulling within eight points on the Bile field goal and the failed onside kick, you could feel the energy drain on the Bulldog sideline. The tenacity that brought them to an 11-0 record disappeared, and Warwick capitalized, finding the end zone three more times in under five minutes en route to a 42-13 victory and a date with unbeaten Maury in the region finals.