“We saw a lot of things tonight that we need to work on,” said coach Jerry Herron Friday night after his Williamsburg Yellow Jackets were defeated by the visiting Bobcats of Oliver Springs, TN, 41-22, to wrap up the 2011 regular season.
Rainy weather during the hours leading up to kickoff left the field at Rose-Stanfill Stadium a sloppy mess, and those conditions were not ideal for the Yellow Jackets (7-3). Williamsburg likes to utilize the passing abilities of quarterback Dalton Sizemore, who has a talented cast of receivers at his disposal, but playing with a soaking wet football can make that game plan difficult to execute.
Instead, Sizemore showed that he is not only a threat when passing, but that he can do serious damage by running the ball as well. He ended the night with over 100 yards rushing.
After Williamsburg recovered a fumble on the Oliver Springs four-yard line, Sizemore took the ball in himself for the first score of the night with 10:06 remaining in the opening quarter. He then ran for the successful two-point conversion, making the score 8-0.
It didn’t take the Bobcats (6-4) long to respond. Their next drive ended with a ten-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Garrett Miller to wide receiver John Simms. The conversion attempt failed, and with 8:34 on the clock Williamsburg remained in the lead, 8-6.
Miller was able to sneak one in from two yards out at the 2:01 mark, and he connected with Simms again, this time for the successful two-point conversion, putting Oliver Springs ahead, 14-8.
The Jackets drove all the way down to their opponent’s ten-yard line, but on the third play of the second quarter Dalton Sizemore had a pass intercepted. The Bobcats cashed in on the turnover by handing the ball off to Jordan Romero, who took it 90 yards to the house for a 20-8 lead.
Again, the Jackets drove down the field only to turn the ball over, this time on downs, at the Bobcat 25-yard line. The very next play was a repeat of the previous score as Romero raced 75 yards to the end zone. Miller hooked up with wide receiver Shawn Childress for two, extending the score to 28-8 with 6:18 before intermission.
Williamsburg was knocking on the door when they drove inside the Bobcat ten-yard line, but they just couldn’t find their way into the end zone. After another turnover on downs the Yellow Jacket defense held strong, preventing any more scores and giving their offense possession of the ball going into the fourth quarter.
Two plays into the fourth Skyler Griffith ran seven yards, giving the Jackets their second touchdown of the night. Sizemore found freshman receiver Michael Rose in the end zone for the two-point conversion, cutting the Oliver Springs lead to 28-16 with 11:43 remaining in the game.
The Bobcats scored on the second play of their next possession when Romero broke free one more time and sped 70 yards for the touchdown. The PAT failed, but the visitors had a 34-16 lead.
Dalton Sizemore was picked off again on the first play of the ensuing drive, and ten plays later the Bobcats added to their lead when Miller rushed for his second touchdown of the night, this one from eight yards out. Austin Rice’s extra point attempt was good, making it 41-16 in favor of Oliver Springs with 6:34 remaining.
The Yellow Jackets battled back, and with 1:52 remaining junior receiver Michael Purdie hauled in a tipped pass from Sizemore and took it 43 yards for a touchdown. A failed conversion made the score 41-22, a 19-point victory for Oliver Springs.
“We played a really good football team tonight,” Herron said in his post-game interview. “Our kids saw what it’s going to take to play at a high level.”
Herron added that he hopes the loss Friday night will inspire his team to be better moving into the first round of the state championship playoffs next week. “I want to change the culture around here,” he commented. “A division title is a great accomplishment, but we want more than that. We want to play for a regional championship.”
When asked about playing Jenkins next week, coach Herron said, “They’re going to come down here hungry for a win. They’re not going to lay down.”
Kickoff for the round one game against the Cavaliers is set for 7:30 at Rose-Stanfill Stadium in Williamsburg.
Oliver Springs 14 14 0 13 – 41
Williamsburg 8 0 0 14 – 22
W – Dalton Sizemore 4 run (Sizemore run)
OS – John Simms 10 pass from Garrett Miller (conversion failed)
OS – Miller 2 run (Simms pass from Miller)
OS – Jordan Romero 90 run (extra point failed)
OS – Romero 75 run (Shawn Childress pass from Miller)
W – Skyler Griffith 7 run (Michael Rose pass from Sizemore)
OS – Romero 70 run (conversion failed)
W – Michael Purdie 43 pass from Sizemore (conversion failed)