Even though the visiting Somerset Briar Jumpers picked up twice as many yards rushing the ball as Williamsburg did in total offense last Friday night, Yellow Jackets Head Coach Jerry Herron still found several positives to build on for next week.
Despite the fact that the team finished the game with five different offensive linemen than they began with, the Jackets were still able to drive the ball late in the game and score a touchdown.
“There is something to build on there,” Herron said. “We had some injuries. We had some kids who decided that they didn’t want to play anymore and departed on us. That’s just the way it is. It’s football.”
Somerset handed Williamsburg its first loss of the season Friday by a final score of 25-8.
The Briar Jumpers dominated the time of possession in the game, picking up 407 yards on the ground on 46 rushing plays, compared with 101 yards in the air.
By comparison, Williamsburg picked up 55 rushing yards on 17 carries, most of which came from senior quarterback Alec Poore. Williamsburg also picked up 137 yards in the air on 17 passing attempts with 11 completions.
Despite the discrepancy in offensive production, the Jackets held Somerset to only two field goals in the first half, which put them up 6-0.
After receiving the opening kick-off to start the third quarter, the Jumpers scored their first touchdown of the game on the first play from scrimmage with a 53-yard running play with 11:43 left in the third quarter. They missed the point after attempt, but now led the game 12-0.
The Jackets then gained some momentum with a series of plays, but turned the ball over on a Poore interception at the 9:49 mark in the third quarter.
Somerset picked up its second touchdown of the game with 3:08 left in the third quarter on a four-yard touchdown, run and completed the point after attempt for a 19-0 lead.
Williamsburg’s next drive ended at the 1:36 mark in the third quarter after a second Poore interception. This set up a touchdown drive by Somerset that ended with a two-yard touchdown run at the 11:40 mark in the fourth quarter. After a missed Somerset point after attempt, the Briar Jumpers led 25-0.
Williamsburg finally got its offense going on the following drive, which culminated in a 32-yard touchdown pass from Poore to Eli Mattingly with 6:08 left in the game. They successfully completed the two-point conversion, making the score 25-8. This was the last score by either team.
Herron said the one thing that really got his team Friday night was inexperience at certain positions.
“They did an exceptionally good job effort wise. We were a little unprepared for some of the things that we did scheme wise and skill wise because they haven’t played,” Herron said.
“We are really happy with how hard the kids worked and what they did for us. They are some really good kids, who work hard. They will get better. It just takes reps.”
Herron said one of the positives he plans to build on this week from the game is the fact that his defense was able to make some stops, noting the two first half drives that ended with field goals.
One positive offensively speaking is that the team handled the blitz well.
“We did get beat one on one some, but we handled some of the schemes they were throwing at us. We just continued to battle,” Herron said. “No matter how much adversity we faced, no matter how bad things got, we still continued to battle, and we were able to go down and get a score. We got a positive out of it. When you have effort, and you have kids willing to do whatever it takes, you are going to get better.”
This week, Williamsburg will hit the road travelling to their first road game of the season at Leslie County.
“They are a good football team. Coach (Eddie) Melton does a really good job. We expect a really solid football program over there from them. It is going to be another battle on a really long road trip,” Herron noted.
“The school is a little bigger than us, and they have a few more kids, so that affects us. We just have to handle the injuries and the depth and continue to get bodies in that are willing to play and give us effort.”
Photos and story by MARK WHITE
For more coverage of area high school football games, as well as previews and predictions on upcoming contests, pick up this week’s print edition of the News Journal!