Din­wid­die takes down Salem

Gen­er­als top Spar­tans in 27-20 slugfest

The Progress-Index Weekend - - FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS - By John Adam Mul­ti­me­dia Ed­i­tor John Adam may be reached at jadam@ progress-in­dex.com or 804-722-5172.

DIN­WID­DIE — On a night when the com­mu­nity was hon­or­ing Ke’Asia Ad­kins - the Din­wid­die High School stu­dent who was killed back in June -the Din­wid­die Gen­er­als per­formed ad­mirably and came up with sev­eral clutch plays to take down cross-state ri­val Salem 27-20.

“She was a real pos­i­tive per­son,” said de­fen­sive back Robert Bar­low, who was friends with Ad­kins. “She brought the light to ev­ery­body’s day.”

Fit­tingly, Bar­low made a cru­cial in­ter­cep­tion with un­der a minute left to seal the vic­tory for Din­wid­die.

“Af­ter I caught the ball, I ran over to the side­line, and she’s the first thing I thought about,” he said.

Bar­low’s in­ter­cep­tion capped a slugfest that saw two of the best teams in the state go toe-to-toe.

“They were re­silient,” Din­wid­die head coach Billy Mills II said of his team. “We made a lot of mis­takes, but I told them just to lock in and stay in it, and we made plays when we needed to.”

Af­ter re­cov­er­ing an on­side kick, Salem opened the scor­ing in the first quar­ter, with wide re­ceiver Chan­dler Sut­phin haul­ing in a 23-yard pass from quar­ter­back Jack Glad­den.

But Cirdale Luc­cess an­swered im­me­di­ately for the Gen­er­als, tak­ing the en­su­ing kick­off 78 yards to the house to make it 7-7.

The Gen­er­als would score twice more in the first half on touch­down runs by K’ymon Pope and Luc­cess to take a 21-7 lead.

The Spar­tans would an­swer back be­fore half­time, get­ting to 13-21 on a touch­down run by run­ning back Isa­iah Persinger.

In the third quar­ter the Spar­tans turned the ball over four times, with two in­ter­cep­tions and two fum­bles, but the Gen­er­als were un­able to cap­i­tal­ize.

Din­wid­die looked to put the game away early in the fourth quar­ter, as Cedric Drum­goole hauled in a pass from Pope to put the Gen­er­als up 27-13, but the Spar­tan­scame back to make it a one-pos­ses­sion game at 27-20.

The Din­wid­die de­fense, how­ever, twice came up with big stops in the last five min­utes to deny the Spar­tans a chance to tie the game -the sec­ond one be­ing Bar­low’s in­ter­cep­tion.

“I had a feel­ing they were go­ing to come over to [Chase Fer­ris], who is their best re­ceiver,” Bar­low said. “We’ve been watch­ing film all week, and he ran a fade [route], and I saw the quar­ter­back let it go, and I just went up and got it.”

Bar­low’s in­ter­cep­tion al­lowed the Gen­er­als to end the game in the vic­tory for­ma­tion, at 27-20.

For the Gen­er­als, Luc­cess led the way on of­fense, rush­ing 7 times for 43 yards and a touch­down in ad­di­tion to his kick re­turn touch­down. Pope added 107 yards and a TDthrough the air on 5-for-14 pass­ing.

On de­fense, Des­mond Green led the team with six tack­les; Dy­lan Moore and Jor­dan Bracey chipped in 4.5 tack­les apiece.

The Spar­tans were led by Persinger, who rushed 30 times for 169 yards and a touch­down.

Din­wid­die en­ters a bye week but will re­turn to the field on Sept. 21 to take on Prince Ge­orge.

“This is some great film to watch,” Mills said. “There were a bunch of young kids out there. We started three fresh­men and at least a few sopho­mores. So they’ll learn how to play in the big games, and learn not to make the lit­tle mis­takes that they made.”

Salem re­turns to the field next week to take on Roanoke at home.

Be­gin­ning with the 2016 state cham­pi­onship game, Salem and Din­wid­die have now met on the grid­iron in three straight sea­sons, with the Gen­er­als hold­ing the2-1 edge in those matchups.

“It’s been a great three­game series,” Mills said. “It’s un­for­tu­nate they won the one that counted (the 2016 state cham­pi­onship), but we’ll take this one.”

Stu­dents in the stands, as well as some of the Din­wid­die coaches, were wear­ing yel­low T-shirts with Ad­kins' face on it.

“To­day, the yel­low was for Ke’Asia,” Bar­low said. “We wore yel­low shoe laces for her, and I had her name on my wrist­bands. It was...a re­ally tough loss for the com­mu­nity, and a tough loss for me. I was close to her.”

[JOHN ADAM/PROGRESSINDEX.COM]

Din­wid­die de­fend­ers An­to­nio Tucker (#17), Wil­liam Sim­mons (#63), and Des­mond Green (#3) wrap up Salem run­ning back Isa­iah Persinger in the Gen­er­als’ 27-20 vic­tory over the Spar­tans on Fri­day.

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