Benchmark games highlight Week 4 action
Though it has just one win this year — that over 0-3 Stephen Decatur — Wicomico High’s football season seems to have a brighter outlook than last year.
In 2015, the Class 2A Indians went 2-8, those wins coming against 1As Snow Hill and Washington, who combined to go 1-19 (that lone win was Washington beating Snow Hill in Week 4).
This week, Wi-Hi gets a chance to show if it’s able to stake a claim as a truly resurgent team.
With North Caroline coming to town, and stinging from perhaps the most bizarre way a team has lost a football game in recent memory, it’ll take a strong performance from the Indians.
That North Caroline defeat? Yeah, it came in abrupt, stunning fashion, as a chip-shot field goal was blocked on fourth-and-goal at the Kent Island 1-yard line. Braden Doyle, in absolutely the right place and at the right time, grabbed it, dashing 89 yards for the touchdown that put his team ahead 21-14 in the final minute.
For those who asked, yes, I agree with Bulldog head coach James McCormick’s decision to kick, instead of trying to force it in on fourth down. Yeah, you’re only a foot or so away, and it’s really tempting. But, truthfully, I’d have tried the field goal, too. A short-count quarterback sneak might have gotten the job done, but the Bulldogs had just been stopped three times deep in the Kent Island red zone.
But, honestly, if you can’t at least attempt an 18-yard field goal, the shortest one possible, you’ve got serious problems on special teams.
The Buccaneers, who trailed 14-7 in the third quarter, improved to 3-0, avenged an early-season 2015 loss to North Caroline as well. Now, they’re on the road again, this time taking on Decatur, Friday at 6 p.m.
The Bulldogs will take out their frustrations on Wicomico, which runs the
triple-option with aplomb, 30 minutes later in Salisbur y.
Odds are I’ll be at one of the two games down south, so look for me. I’m the tall, wide, goofy-looking guy with a clipboard, who keeps losing his Dollar Tree sunglasses. I’m out three pair so far this fall (hence, my reliance on inexpensive shades).
While the premiere Class 2A game is in Salisbury, there’s a big 1A game 40 minutes away.
Kent County looks to break its 24-game losing skid against arch-nemesis Cambridge-South Dorchester in what should be the best small-school game of the week in the Bayside Conference.
The Vikings dodged a serious bullet
in last year’s Week 4 contest, which was homecoming at Kent County. Down nine going into the fourth quarter, C-SD somehow pulled out an overtime win to keep the streak alive, and then knocked the Trojans out of the playoffs seven weeks later.
So, the hunger is there for Kent County, but will the results be? We’ll find out.
Easton, now 2-1 (the team won just twice in all of 2015), hosts James M. Bennett. The Warriors lost this game last year on Stephen Oscar’s last-minute field goal. The loser of Friday’s game will probably not make the playoffs this year.
Parkside visits Colonel Richardson in what could be a very interesting contest; can the Colonels, whose offense went crazy in Week 2 but died at Kent County last week, find the end zone on their own this
week? If so, the Rams may be in for a bit of trouble.
Queen Anne’s County visits Sussex Central, Del., in a game the Lions won last year thanks to, according to Donny Graef, his team’s ability to take advantage of Central turnovers. The gnomes in my basement got this one wrong last year, picking Central only to see the Lions win by multiple scores.
Finally, Washington takes on Snow Hill. The Eagles forfeited last week’s game at Arcadia, Va., due to insufficient numbers. Coach Tim Richo said over the weekend he expects to dress 1819 players, a couple more than the program listed in Week 2’s loss to Colonel.
I hope the Eagles keep the program going; it’s hard to keep morale up, but to be honest, yes, I’ve seen worse teams. The 1989 Colonel Richardson squad, which scored a single touchdown all year (in Week 10 against the Bulldogs), and maybe the 2003 Parkside team
(Colonel’s only victory that year), which went 0-10 and scored just 46 points all season, come to mind.
Welcome to Week 4 of Bayside football. There will be games in Caroline, Dorchester, Talbot, Wicomico, and Worcester counties, so stop on by for a dog and a night of fun. The weather should be good, with temperatures around 80 but the humidity a bit lower than what we’ve had of late.
Friday’s Games Game of the Week Kent County (2-1) at Cambridge-SD (2-1) Is No. 25 upon the Trojans, or can they finally turn the tide of history? (Radio: WCEM-AM 1240 and 94.3 WINX-FM; pregame 6:45 p.m.) — Vikings, 28-20. N. Caroline (2-1) at Wicomico (1-2) As Wi-Hi builds its endurance, the team will improve. Those playing the Indians early in the season, as C-SD coach Jake Coleman said, are luckier than their lateseason opponents. — Bulldogs, 35-14. Kent Island (3-0) at Decatur (0-3) In many previous years this would be a marquee matchup, but when two of the best players get recruited away from a struggling team, it’s no longer the case. — Bucs, 44-7. J.M. Bennett (2-1) at Easton (2-1) Bennett made the playoffs last season, in no small part due to a win in this Week 4 game. Can they repeat? — Warriors, 28-27. Parkside (2-1) at Colonel (1-2) Parkside might not be the premiere team in the South Bayside (we’ll know for sure once they play Bennett in November), but it’ll be just enough for this week. — Rams, 35-16. Queen Anne’s (3-0) at Sussex Central (1-1) Watching Mike D’Angelo put on a passing clinic, with 261 yards and four scores on just six throws last week, makes me wonder if someone has cloned 2011 alumnus Tyler German, who was also an amazing passer and play caller. — Lions, 28-26. Washington (0-3) at Snow Hill (0-3) With the visitors up to near full strength and with their starting passer back, they’re primed to get what will probably not be their only win this year (they were 1-9 in 2015). — Jaguars, 42-20. Last Week: 6-1. Season To Date: 17-4 (.810). Career to Date: 804-170 (.825). Follow me on Twitter: @Davetalkssports.