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Football: Group A, Div. 2 Semifinal: Broaddus sets mark as Trojans advance
BY TAFT COGHILL JR.
THE FREE LANCE-STAR
Domenik Broaddus stood in the Essex High School field house smiling and holding the football tightly.
The Trojans sophomore quarterback had just passed for 413 yards and five touchdowns in Essex’s 40–9 victory over John Battle in the Group A, Division 2 state semifinals.
SATURDAY’S LOCAL STATE SEMIFINALS
Group AAA, Div. 5
Lake Taylor 23, North Stafford 21
Group AA, Div. 4
Briar Woods 45, Courtland 15
Group AA, Div. 3
James Monroe 37, Kettle Run 30 (3OT)
Group A, Div. 2
Esses 40, John Battle 9
FOR LINKS TO ALL OF THE GAME STORIES: CLICK HERE
Essex (14–0) will play Goochland (12–2) Saturday at Salem Stadium as it attempts to win its second state championship since 2009.
But for now Broaddus is savoring his Virginia High School League record for touchdown passes in a single season for all classifications.
He entered the John Battle game needing one touchdown pass to tie former Dinwiddie quarterback Adam Morgan, who threw 48 in 2008.
Broaddus now has 52 scoring passes this season. He tied the record on a 27-yard pass to DeAndre Baylor. He broke it with a 69-yard bomb to Dartanious Jones, who amassed 10 catches for 258 yards and four touchdowns.
Essex coach John Fulks handed Broaddus the record-breaking ball after the game. Broaddus said he’s going to sit it atop his dresser.
“It feels great. I never thought I could do this,” Broaddus said. “But I have a lot of good receivers.”
John Battle coach Steve Wright can certainly attest to that.
A loud throng of John Battle fans made the nearly six-hour trek from Bristol to see their Trojans (12–2) play.
John Battle supporters stood on the Essex field before the game and formed a path for their team to run through.
But it didn’t take long for them to realize John Battle couldn’t match up with Essex’s team speed.
Baylor turned a short pass from Broaddus into the first score of the game and Essex led 7–0 with 6:02 left in the first quarter.
“When we watched film on them we saw that they were kind of slow and we were a little faster,” Jones said. “So we just tried to run by them.”
After John Battle pulled within 7–3 on an Adam Jones 27-yard field goal, Dartanious Jones then scored on touchdown passes from Broaddus of 69 and 51 yards in the second quarter.
The Trojans were ahead 21–3 when defensive back Sterling Hammond intercepted a pass 12 seconds before halftime.
After a holding penalty pushed Essex back to its own 48 with four tenths of a second remaining, it appeared John Battle would head to halftime without further harm.
But Broaddus threw a 12-yard pass to Jones, who lateraled to Baylor. Baylor weaved through the John Battle defense 40 yards for a touchdown and a 27–3 lead at intermission.
“The flow was going to the right side and I knew the left side was going to be open,” Baylor said. “So I just took it to the end zone.”
The play deflated John Battle, who was already reeling.
“We had to be perfect,” Wright said. “And the few times we weren’t perfect they made us pay the price.”
The second half turned into a formality, especially after Broaddus hooked up for two more touchdown passes to Jones, from 25 and 17 yards.
After the game, Essex fans sent purple and gold balloons into the air. Essex junior defensive end Wesley Schools attempted to pick up a water cooler to dump on coaches, but was quickly reminded by an assistant coach that one more step needs to be completed before that type of celebration takes place.
“I looked at the preseason and said we had a very talented bunch,” Fulks said. “I thought if we could put it together, we had as much athleticism as anybody in the state. It was a guessing game in August whether it would all come together. But these kids have kept it together and we’ve got a good team right now.”
John Battle 3 0 0 6 — 9
Essex 7 20 6 7 — 40
Es-D. Baylor 27-yard pass from D. Broaddus (J. Compton kick)
JB-A. Jones 27-yard field goal
Es-D. Jones 69-yard pass from D. Broaddus (J. Compton kick)
Es-D. Jones 51-yard pass from D. Broaddus (J. Compton kick)
Es-D. Baylor 40-yard run (kick failed)
Es-D. Jones 25-yard pass from D. Broaddus (kick failed)
Es-D. Jones 17-yard pass from D. Broaddus (J. Compton kick)
JB-J. Matney 26-yard pass from L. Honaker (kick failed)
First downs16 21
Rushing yardage38-153 19-104
Passing yardage98 413
Rushing: Essex—Rahiem Rolling 13-85; DeAndre Baylor 0-40, TD; Leo Gaskins 1-(-1); Dominek Broaddus 5-(-20). John Battle—Brandon Balthis 22-85; Carter Harlow 8-28; Brent Tipton 2-24; John Stoots 3-13; Logan Honaker 1-3; Josh Matney 2-0.
Passing: Essex—Dominek Broaddus 18-25-1 413, 5TD. John Battle—Logan Honaker 9-15-1 98, TD; Brent Tipton 0-4-0 0.
Receiving: Essex—Dartanious Jones 10-258, 4TD; Keith Bundy 4-100; Alonzo Tompkins 1-15; DeAndre Baylor 2-41, TD; Rahiem Rolling 1-(-1). John Battle—Josh Matney 5-62, TD; Carter Harlow 3-33; John Stoots 1-31.
Taft Coghill Jr.: 540/374-5526