FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
Photos and results from Petersburg Football’s game at Meadowbrook
CHESTERFIELD - Water flung about as soggy cleats dug into the muddy field and steady raincontinued tofall onthe gridiron belonging to a Meadowbrook Football team trying to end a different kind of drought.
The Monarchs came into Friday’s home game versus Petersburg hoping to end their eight-game slide.
But the Crimson Wave, after making waves on the enthusiastic slides across the slippery sidelines prior to kickoff, stormed the end zone in the second half to not only keep Meadowbrook in search of its first win of 2018, but also secure the first winning season for Petersburg Football since 2010 on the 22-0 shutout.
“As a team, we just had to step up and dig deep and just have the heart to finish out the game, get this W,” said Petersburg junior Brandon Harvell, who scored the first two touchdowns in the Crimson Wave’s victory.
“I feel like kind of overachieved with the numbers that we had, so I’m pretty proud of the win,” Petersburg Football head coach Mike Scott said after the cold and rainy game. “It was messy, but we got the victory...”
It was a bounceback win for Petersburg after taking back-to-back losses to Thomas Dale in a 28-24 nailbiter and to Dinwiddie on a final mark of 56-20.
“We had a rough time versus Dinwiddie last week and we were anxious to get back on the field,” Coach Scott said, “and I feel like today, we got back on track…”
Meziah Scott and Upton Bailey heated up the Crimson Wave’s offense in the third quarter as Scott, expertly utilizing the fake handoff in the cold rain, mixed in the short passes to his receivers with a sizeable run over the middle of the field, and Bailey barreled 30 yards forward to the 5-yard line.
Harvell muscled his way across the goal line for the touchdown, and Scott, slashing to his right on the QB keeper, splashed into the end zone on the spinning dive to add two more points.
Harvell tacked on another six - this time on defense, as he caught an interception and raced it down the right side and to the house for his second TD of the night.
“I just read the play and I knew the play was coming due to watching film,” Harvell said. “And I just used my IQ.”
Scott and Bailey stayed hot on the chilly night as they glided across the wet field on the fiery runs until Bailey, breaking free and dashing towards the edge, scored from 12 yards out.
“We couldn’t really throw the ball today like we wanted to, and with our offense, we’re a balanced team - we’re running, we’re passing,” Coach Scott said. “Tonight we had to go heavy with the run and I feel like Meziah ran the ball well, Upton ran the ball well, Brandon ran the ball well…”
And Rondayle Smith came in and also impressed Coach Scott with his efforts in the run game, as he added the final two points on a run to bookend Bailey’s touchdown.
“We’re still trying to add some more backs to our backfield and improve our running game a little bit because we rely on Meziah so much,” Coach Scott said. “We’ve just got to find a way to get other guys involved offensively.”
The two teams sloshed through a scoreless first half with the Crimson Wave turning the ball over on downs deep in Meadowbrook’s territory multiple times, and the Monarchs’ offense struggling to get out of their own red zone until their final drive of the half.
“The first half, we just left a lot of scores off the board,” Coach Scott said. “I feel like we didn’t have the heart and will to get it in [during] the first half. We kind of just didn’t understand that, no matter what, we need to get it in and it’s a mental thing. The second half, we came in at halftime, we talked about: we need to make a big play... when we get close to the end zone, we need to finish it.
“We did that a little bit more in the second half, but we still left a couple out there,” Scott said. “But it’s still back to work again.”
And Scott did feel that his team played better defensively on Friday as they pitched the shutout with several turnovers on downs plus the defensive touchdown scored by Harvell.
In the first half, Shawn Scott Jr. halted one of the Monarchs’ drives by intercepting a deep pass in front of the intended wide receiver, and Rashad Moore sacked the quarterback for a big loss on the Monarchs’ final try to force third and long before halftime. The Monarchs punted it away with four seconds left.
Meadowbrook converted two fourth downs on instances that saw the officials run the chains over to the ball for measurement. Paul Davis late in the fourth quarter broke loose on a monster run to push his Monarchs into the Crimson Wave’s territory, and he struck again to move the Monarchs to the red zone. But the Wave’s defenders chased down the ball carrier along the right edge and kept him out of the end zone to turn the ball back over to Petersburg with 40 seconds remaining.
Going into this coming Friday’s regular season finale, Coach Scott called his 6-3 Crimson Wave “heavy underdogs versus Matoaca,” who after starting the season 0-6 is looking to close out the season on four straight wins. He’s been watching the Warriors week after week, and their 3-6 record doesn’t reflect how good they are, he said.
“Matoaca’s a very good football team,” Coach Scott said, having added earlier: “We’re just gonna go out there, play as hard as we can and try to get ready for these playoffs hopefully.”
Nick Vandeloecht may be reached at nvandeloecht@ progress-index.com, 804-722-5151 or @ NickVanDelPI on Twitter.
Petersburg Football’s Brandon Harvell runs the ball in the Crimson Wave’s Friday night game at Meadowbrook.
Petersburg Football’s Upton Bailey runs the ball in the Crimson Wave’s Friday night game at Meadowbrook.