The Gridiron Blog brings you the scores, stats and stories from Fredericksburg-area high school football.
Full report: Courtland/Eastern View
BY STEVE DeSHAZO
Facing Courtland under ideal conditions has been a challenge for Eastern View since it joined the Battlefield District as a full-time member in 2009.
Trying to beat the Cougars in a cold downpour last night only complicated things for the Cyclones.
Courtland’s wing–T running attack was much better suited for the weather, and the visiting Cougars proved it with a 14–0 Battlefield District victory, their fourth straight over the Cyclones.
“We’re used to this. Coach [J.C.] Hall says we’re mudders,” said senior lineman Jonathan Burton, who shone on both sides of the ball last night.
From his right tackle position, the 6-foot-6, 301-pound Burton helped open holes for for a quartet of running backs to gain 284 yards and score both of the Cougars’ touchdowns.
On defense, Burton made three tackles for loss and spearheaded a defense that held the Cyclones to minus-20 rushing yards.
And although Eastern View quarterback Simon Pendleton completed 16 of 26 pass attempts for 175 yards, he couldn’t get the Cyclones (5–4, 3–3) into the end zone.
“We tried to maintain a bend-but-not-break posture on defense,” Hall said. “Our defense played well, and the rain helped.”
The victory gives Courtland (6–3, 5–1) a chance to earn a first-round bye in the expanded six-team Region I, Division 4 playoffs with a win over Spotsylvania next Friday. The Cougars entered last night’s game tied with Chancellor for the No. 2 spot, trailing Grafton.
The Cyclones host King George Friday in a game between two teams battling for the fifth and sixth spots. The loser of that game could be in trouble if Jamestown upsets Bay Rivers District rival Warhill, which currently holds the fourth spot.
The Cougars set the tone early last night. After Chris Carpenter returned the game’s opening kickoff 47 yards, Courtland marched 39 yards in 11 plays, with backup fullback Joe Tyson plunging in for a 2-yard touchdown run.
That score held until late in the third quarter, when Brandon Mason dashed 16 yards around left end to make it 14–0.
For the night, Mason gained 111 yards on 14 carries. Halfback Darien Grant had 86 yards on 12 tries. And Kirk Wilson—who shredded the Cyclones for 265 yards and five TDs in two victories last year—gained 73 yards on 10 carries while spending most of the night as a decoy.
“We try to spread out the carries as equally as we can,” Hall said. “We like to be balanced.”
Last night, though, the Cougars trended heavily toward the run, putting their size advantage to good use.
The Cyclones didn’t have that luxury, although they came close to scoring on three occasions.
Late in the first half, they blocked a short field goal attempt by Courtland’s Alex Cimini. V.J. Ivory had a chance to recover it and score, but the ball bounced away.
In the fourth quarter, Ivory was called for offensive pass interference while catching an apparent 24-yard touchdown pass from Pendleton. On Eastern View’s next possession, Brandon Settle dove but couldn’t catch a fourth-down pass in the end zone after getting behind Courtland’s defense.
The loss didn’t seem to upset Cyclones coach Greg Hatfield.
“A couple of snaps got away from us, but I thought we handled things pretty well,” he said. “That was a good Battlefield District football game.
“That’s one of the first times we’ve held our own [with one of the league’s top teams]. If we play like that next week, we’ll be fine.”
Courtland 7 0 7 0 — 14
Eastern View 0 0 0 0 — 0
Ct-J. Tyson 2-yard run (A. Cimini kick)
Ct-B. Mason 16-yard run (A. Cimini kick)
First downs14 11
Rushing yardage46-281 22-20
Passing yardage29 175
Rushing: Eastern View—Nate Yates 9-21; V.J. Ivory 1-(-2); Simon Pendleton 10-
(-10); Moses Washington 1-(-12); Team Team 1-(-17). Courtland—Brandon Mason 14-111, TD; Darien Grant 12-86; Kirk Wilson 10-73; Joe Tyson 6-14, TD; Nick Zaluzney 4-(-3).
Passing: Eastern View—Simon Pendleton 16-26-0 175. Courtland—Nick Zaluzney 4-8-0 29.
Receiving: Eastern View—V.J. Ivory 8-102; Moses Washington 6-54; Brandon Settle 1-10. Courtland—Chris Carpenter 1-14; Jesse Belcastro 2-9; Darien Grant 1-6.
Steve DeShazo: 540/374-5443