Halfway point is upon the Bayside
Friday night, as my cell phone slowly lost its charge at Wicomico County Stadium’s press box, an epic was unfolding in Cambridge.
Watching as the percentages ticked down and my cohort, Dustin Holt, tweeted updates, Cambridge South Dorchester High’s football team dodged yet another bullet against a fellow Class 1A regional contender.
Kent County, missing its starting quarterback, nevertheless opened a 14-0 lead in the Vikings’ back yard.
Then the momentum shifted. A touchdown. An onside kick. Another touchdown.
Then, Kyle Daubert, who sat to my left, spotting for the game announcer, Babe Wilson, cried out, “Oh, wow.” “What?” He showed me his cell phone, and a text message from his girlfriend, C-SD trainer Jess Booze. “20-14 us,” it read.
As I rushed to a Royal Farms to buy a car adapter for my phone, C-SD had dug itself out of yet another hole, and eventually frustrated the Trojans once more with a 42-20 victory capped by a Koby Jones 100-yard interception return for a score.
Hearing it unfold on two radio stations, honestly, though the gnomes in my basement and I agreed we thought C-SD would win, it was still a stunner the way it developed.
C-SD trailed by two scores in last year’s Week 4 meeting, too, and pulled that one out.
For players like Marcquan Green, a four-year starter who stood in as quarterback in the absence of junior Tyson Johnson, it has to be frustrating. Green has yet to beat the Vikings, despite six tries, and three very close calls.
But there’s a realistic possibility he’ll get one more try in the playoffs. The Vikings and Trojans have met there twice before during Green’s high school career.
But to get there, the Trojans (2-2) need to rebound and win this week. The trouble is, Saturday’s homecoming opponent is Easton (3-1).
The Warriors, 2-8 last year, managed to nip the Trojans in a game punctuated by a controversial call on a Kent County two-point conversion in the game’s final moments.
If the Trojans get Johnson back this week, that’ll be a big plus. This is a game they cannot afford to lose. Easton can’t either, but in order for the Warriors to make the playoffs, realistically, they have to beat either Kent Island or Queen Anne’s as well, so the climb only gets steeper.
This week marks the season’s halfway point. For the Bayside, there have been some surprises and disappointments.
A slight surprise is Kent Island’s
4-0 start. If we went by the gnomes’ predictions, the Bucs would be 2-2 right now. Queen Anne’s (3-1) lost to a solid Sussex Central, Del. team that did to the Lions what was done to it in last year’s meeting: capitalize on turnovers. After three lost fumbles and three turnovers on downs — plus a safety — the end result was a 29-14 win for the Golden Knights.
Queen Anne’s looks to rebound Saturday at Parkside, which is also 3-1. That one should be good.
A surprise on the field, if not in the standings, is the turnaround at Wicomico. Though they’re 1-3, the Indians are simply better than last year, hands down. Morale is higher, the kids play more like a team, and they’re dangerous — moreso as the season progresses, many have said. But this week, Kent Island hosts the Indians, so we’ll see what they can do to the team who beat the team that just beat Wi-Hi 33-6 on Friday.
C-SD, for its part, is making the two-hour drive south to Onancock, Va., to take on Nandua. Nandua lost to James M. Bennett in Week 3, though the 43-29 final wasn’t as close as it looks, the Warriors scoring a couple of late-game touchdowns against the Clipper backups.
Bennett (2-2) which remains a formidable lot, hosts winless Snow Hill, while the other — also 0-4 — Worcester County team, Stephen Decatur, hosts North Caroline on Friday night as well.
Colonel Richardson, looking to avenge a road loss from a rare Wednesday night game in Week 5 last year, at Arcadia, Va., hosts the Firebirds on Saturday. Fans at last year’s meeting got to see a rocket launch from Wallops Island during play; this time, though, the spectacle will be confined entirely to the gridiron.
Welcome to the midway point of the regular season.
Friday’s Games Cambridge-SD (3-1) at Nandua, Va. (4-1) I go with the visitors here; I think C-SD has a bit more in the arsenal than the Warriors. (Radio: WCEM-AM 1240, pregame 6:45 p.m.)
— Vikings, 35-20.
N. Caroline (3-1) at Decatur (0-4) The Seahawks might not win before Week 10, when they play Snow Hill. This could be the team’s worst year ever. — Bulldogs, 42-6. Hancock (0-4) at Washington (1-3) The Jaguars are flush with confidence after a rout of Snow Hill. Will another winless team fall to Washington? The gnomes say... — Panthers, 28-20. Wicomico (1-3) at Kent Island (4-0) The Bucs’ offense finally got out of dry dock last week. Expect smooth sailing in this one for the home team. (Radio: 94.3 WINXFM, pregame 6:45 p.m.) — Buccaneers, 45-8.
Snow Hill (0-4) at J.M. Bennett (2-2) It’s rough to see what was the best county in football several years ago sport a combined 0-10 record between two teams at this year’s halfway point. — Clippers, 35-0.
Saturday’s Games Game of the Week Easton (3-1) at Kent County (2-2) The gnomes were up all night Friday arguing, and finally flipped a coin; heads for home, tails for the guests. It was tails. They argued, changed to besttwo-out-of-three, and flipped it twice more. Heads, and... tails again. — Easton, 28-26.
Queen Anne’s (3-1) at Parkside (3-1) Despite a rough offensive outing on Friday at Sussex Central, the Lions are still strong defensively — and Week 4 is now history. — Lions, 35-20. Arcadia, Va. (2-3) at Col. Richardson (1-3) Colonel’s homecoming had better be a good one, or whatever thoughts it might have had of the playoffs are pretty much shot. — Colonels, 28-24. Last Week: 6-1. Season To Date: 23-5 (.821). Career To Date: 810-171 (.825).
Follow me on Twitter: @Davetalkssports.