Daily Press (Sunday)

Poquoson shuts down Smithfield

- By Marty O'Brien

POQUOSON — It was homecoming for Poquoson on Friday night, and the current crop of Islanders treated their alumni to the kind of blue-collar football they saw lots of back in the days of legendary coach Don Ward.

The Islanders controlled the clock out of their Wing-T offense while mostly stifling Smithfield with their bruising defense on the way to a 20-7 Bay Rivers District victory at Poquoson Middle School.

The Islanders (5-2) ran for 271 of their 327 total yards as Mason McGavran (115 yards rushing) and Baker Green (100 yards) totaled triple-digit yardage. The Packers (3-4) could manage just 144 total yards, most after falling behind by 20 points in the third quarter, and saw their comeback hopes stifled by a pair of intercepti­ons in the second half.

“It means a lot,” McGavran said of winning on homecoming in front of packed home stands and scores of others lining the end-zone fences. “It’s a lot of pressure, everybody expecting us to win and play hard.

“That’s what we came out to do tonight — keep it physical for four quarters of football.”

The Islanders displayed that blueprint almost to perfection in the first half. The defense — led up front by Cody Little, Carter Jones, Grady Insley, Allen Jensen and Nathan Quiroz — was on fire, limiting the Packers to a mere 15 yards on 11 plays.

Poquoson hogged the ball and ran more than twice as many plays (31) as the Packers in the first 24 minutes. After the defense forced the Packers into the first of five consecutiv­e punts after three downs, the offense mounted a 12-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that chewed up more than six minutes of the first quarter.

McGavran carried seven times for 32 yards, capping the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run. Islanders quarterbac­k Eli Tyndall, who nicely managed the offense in completing 3 of 5 passes for 56 yards in the first half, connected with Ryan Burke for a 19-yard gain on the drive.

The Islanders’ second-quarter TD drive, of eight plays for 67 yards and nearly five minutes, was similar to its first. McGavran ran for 33 yards by spinning out of one tackle and breaking a couple of others. Track sprinter extraordin­aire Green jetted up the middle for 37 yards and a score to give the Islanders a 13-0 lead with 4:12 left in the first half.

“I want to thank our offensive line because we can’t do it without them,” Green said of Burke, Jones, Insley, Jensen, Taylor Hollingswo­rth and Christian Leonard.

The group was on point in the third-quarter touchdown drive that included a 29-yard run by Grady Little. Green had a 29-yard run and capped the six-play, 82-yard march with a 1-yard TD run.

The Packers moved the ball better in the second half and finished a 14-play drive with Triston Pretlow’s 28-yard TD pass to Merlin Lance early in the fourth quarter. But Green and Cam Stowers intercepte­d Pretlow, while Kinye Martin was held to 74 yards on 16 carries — leaving him 19 short of 1,000 for the year — as Poquoson maintained control.

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