The Gridiron Blog brings you the scores, stats and stories from Fredericksburg-area high school football.
GAME STORY (WITH VIDEO!): JM crushes Eastern View
James Monroe running back Ethan Preston, who had 10 carries for 184 yards and 4 TDs, talks about his team’s 61-6 win over Eastern View.
James Monroe coach Richard Serbay talks about the win.
JM marching band plays its fight song after the game.
BY ADAM HIMMELSBACH
After each football game, James Monroe’s coaches give a big black baseball bat to the player of the night. The following week, that player uses the bat to rip open the paper banner and lead the Yellow Jackets onto the field.
Last night, James Monroe running back Ethan Preston held that bat tightly after his team’s 61–6 win over Eastern View.
And he did plenty to deserve it, tallying 184 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 10 carries—in the first half.
But in reality, the bat could have gone to anyone.
It could have gone to A’Darius Brown, whose second touchdown of the game came on a dazzling 87-yard kickoff return.
Or it could have gone to any member of the defense, which stymied, stifled and suffocated Eastern View’s spread attack.
The Cyclones turned over the ball on their first four possessions and were dazed by James Monroe’s relentless pressure.
“In the 30 years I’ve been coaching, I’ve never seen us play a perfect half like we did,” James Monroe coach Rich Serbay said. “Especially a perfect first quarter.”
According to Virginia High School rules, the game is played with a running clock when a team is down by 35 points or more in the second half. Last night, James Monroe reached that mark with more than two minutes left in the opening quarter.
When the second half began, the Yellow Jackets led 54–6. The clock mercifully ran for the rest of the game, although the Yellow Jackets still had plenty of time to enjoy the moment.
“I’ve never seen anything like that first half,” Brown said. “We just came out ready and did everything our coaches told us to do.”
Preston’s instructions seem quite simple: run, run and run some more.
After Brown intercepted a Simon Pendleton pass on Eastern View’s first drive, Preston took a handoff on first down from the 49 and bullied into the end zone.
Eastern View lost a fumble on its next play, and James Monroe needed just four plays before DeMontaz Brown hit Kasine Conway for a 14-yard score.
JM’s She’Mar Ellis intercepted a Pendleton pass three plays later and returned it to the Eastern View 12. On first down, Preston scored another rushing touchdown.
“He’s absolutely one of the finest running backs I’ve ever seen,” Serbay said. “And right now, we’re playing like gangbusters up front.”
The ensuing kickoff was high and short and difficult to handle, and the Yellow Jackets pounced on it before the Cyclones could.
On first down from the 36, A’Darius Brown ran to the left for a touchdown. There was still 6:30 left in the opening quarter, and the score was 28–0.
Preston added an 80-yard score on JM’s next possession, and Eastern View was unable to recover.
“It was just an amazing start,” Preston said. “I was really tired on that long one. I almost collapsed in the end zone, but I enjoyed it.”
Serbay gave his defensive captains freedom to choose specific rushes based on Eastern View’s formations, and they called each one correctly last night.
“We were just working hard on defense,” linebacker Eric Nelson said. “Everybody had to execute as one.”
By the time the second half began, many of the JM starters who had been so dominant were replaced by backups.
And that, it turned out, was the best way to slow down Preston, A’Darius Brown and the others on this sticky September night.
Eastern View 0 6 0 0 — 6
James Monroe 35 19 7 0 — 61
JM-E. Preston 49-yard run (D. Dit kick)
JM-K. Conway 14-yard pass from D. Brown (D. Dit kick)
JM-E. Preston 12-yard run (D. Dit kick)
JM-A. Brown 36-yard run (D. Dit kick)
JM-E. Preston (D. Dit kick)
JM-R. Lawrence 4-yard run (D. Dit kick)
EV-M. Washington 55-yard pass from S. Pendleton (kick failed)
JM-D. Brown 87-yard kick return (kick failed)
JM-E. Preston 20-yard run (D. Dit kick failed)
JM-B. Davis 48-yard interception (J. Bumbrey kick)
Rushing:James Monroe—Ethan Preston 10-184, 4TD; A’darius Brown 1-36, TD; Robert Lawrence 6-24, TD; Julian Bumbrey 4-11; Tyrone Johnson 1-7; Daniel Armstead 1-5; Glenn Taylor 2-1; DeMontaz Brown 3-(-5). Eastern View—Simon Pendleton 11-54; Donte Christian 7-47; Neal Coffey 4-15; Moses Washington 2-12; Brandon Layher 1-7; Jeremiah Yates 2-(-1); V.J. Ivory 1-(-3).
Passing:James Monroe—DeMontaz Brown 3-4-0 72, TD; Julian Bumbrey 1-2-0 27. Eastern View—Simon Pendleton 11-22-3 114, TD; Brandon Layher 2-2-0 10.
Receiving:James Monroe—Kasine Conway 2-59, TD; Steven Bryant 1-27; A’darius Brown 1-13. Eastern View—Moses Washington 3-62, TD; V.J. Ivory 3-36; P.J. White 1-15; Jeremiah Yates 1-6; Quinton Williams 1-6; Brandon Settle 2-1; Shaquille Robinson 1-(-2).