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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Big plays spark Eagles’ victory

Clutch catches by Jamal Brown and Daniel Ezeagwu and a gutty effort by quarterback Damon Daniel lifted the Colonial Forge Eagles to a season-opening 27–20 victory over Highland Springs last night.

Despite dominating play in the first half, the Eagles found themselves leading by only a 9–8 margin after the Springers’ Corbin Cash hauled in a 12-yard TD pass from D.J. Johnson in the right corner of the end zone.

Thirty-nine seconds were left and the Eagles had the ball at their own 35, but they weren’t satisfied with a one-point advantage.

On first down, Daniel fired the ball downfield in the direction of Brown. Defender Tyquan Rowley was positioned for the interception, but Brown got a hand on the ball and both players landed on the ground battling for the ball.

The officials ruled a completion, moving the Eagles 40 yards closer to paydirt. Three players later, Ezeagwu made an outstanding catch leaping over a defender in the right corner of the end zone for a 10-yard completion.

“We just stay focused,” Daniel said afterward. “The coaching staff encourages us to keep our head in the game, and don’t give up.”

Another quick scoring strike occur in the third quarter when Highland Springs punter Ryan Buzzard bobbled the ball and was tackled by the Eagles’ Andrew Jean-Charles at his own 13. Four plays later, Remone Miller took Daniel’s pitch around right end for a 2-yard score, boosting Colonial Forge’s lead to 24–8.

Altogether, the Eagles amassed 332 yards of total offense. And they started nine of their possessions at their own 48 or better.

Although briefly leaving the game after suffering a cramp in his leg in the third quarter, Daniel led the Eagles, rushing for 111 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries. He also passed for over 100 yards, including his one TD throw.

“It was the first game of the season and we make those mistakes, but my teammates played well,” the senior said. “We had a lot of guys coming in and out for us. And they got the job done like they were supposed to do.”

About the hit that knocked him out of the game, Daniel said: “It felt weird for a second, but then it came back.”

His counterpart, D.J. Johnson, struggled in the first half when the Springers managed only six first downs, but broke loose in the second half.

“He can make you frustrated because you got him but you don’t have him,” Eagles coach Bill Brown said. “And he’s got good receivers running all over the field. He’s a big-play kid.”

Brown expects another tough test next week when the Eagles travel to Briar Woods.

Highland Springs  0     8     0    12   —   20 
Colonial Forge  0  17  10    0   —  27

 

Second Quarter

CF-Nolan Smith 27-yard field goal

CF-Damon Daniel 5-yard run (kick failed)

HS-Corbin Cash 12-yard pass from D.J. Johnson (Marcus Taylor run)

CF-Daniel Ezeagwu 10-yard pass from Daniel (Justin Brown pass from Daniel)

Third Quarter

CF-Remone Miller 2-yard run (Nolan Smith kick)

CF-Nolan Smith 25-yard field goal

Fourth Quarter

HS-Felton Davis 8-yard pass from Johnson (run failed)

HS-Greg Dortch 3-yard pass from Johnson (kick failed)

TEAMSTATISTICS

  HS CF
First downs 14 22
Rushing yardage 23-59  53-217
Passing yardage      238 115
Passes 14-30-0  9-16-1
Punts-Avg 4-35.7 1-38.0
Fumbles-lost 1-0  3-2
Penalties-yards 13-99  5-50

INDIVIDUALSTATISTICS

Rushing: Highland—D.J. Johnson 8–24,; Marcus Taylor 7–31; Alex WIlson 7-15; Ryan Buzzard 1-(minus-1). Colonial Forge-Damon Daniel 26-111, 1 TD; Remone Miller 18-80, 1 TD; Daniel Ezeagwu 4-14; Justin Brown 4-19; Joel Miller 1-(minus-7).

Passing: Highland-D.J. Johnson 14-30-0 238, 3 TDs. Colonial Forge-Damon Daniel 9-16-1 115, 1TD.

Receiving: Highland-Felton Davis 4-102, 1TD; Corbin Cash 3-77, 1TD; Greg Dortch 3-19, 1TD, Alex Wilson 2-24, Marcus Taylor 2-16. Colonial Forge-Daniel Ezeagwu 5-56, 1TD; Remone Miller 2-19; Jamal Brown 1-40; Gary Jennings 1-0.

Kurt Nicoll: 540/374-5440

sports@freelancestar.com

 

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