Colonels keep mak­ing push for play­off spot

Run­ning game solid in vic­tory over the Tro­jans

Times-Record - - SPORTS - By AY­MAN ALAM aalam@star­dem.com

WORTON — The Colonels are po­si­tion­ing them­selves for a se­cond straight post­sea­son berth.

Colonel Richard­son High’s foot­ball team dis­posed of fel­low Class 1A school Kent County on Fri­day in a 24-13 fi­nal, keep­ing a hold on the third po­si­tion in the East Re­gion stand­ings. The Colonels (3-3) still have a chance to vault into the se­cond spot in the 1A East, but a third seed, and a date with No. 2 Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester (42) is the most likely event con­sid­er­ing re­cent trends.

The Colonels’ next three games: at Vir­ginia schools Nan­dua and Northamp­ton, and a home date with Wash­ing­ton, are against small pro­grams that Colonel de­feated by a com­bined 131-6 in 2017.

Th­ese are three “very winnable games”, ac­cord­ing to Colonels head coach Dan Mangum. “I never prom­ise wins, but they’re schools that are sim­i­lar in size,” Mangum said. “We have to go out there and ex­e­cute and do the things to win, but we’re look­ing pretty good at this point.

“This was a huge hur­dle tonight,” Mangum added. “Kent County has been play­ing much bet­ter than what they did last sea­son. Their de­fense is stout, they do some re­ally good things of­fen­sively. They made it a tight game at one point, and our kids re­sponded.”

Against Kent County (2-4), which lost its se­cond straight and is fad­ing in the 1A East play­off race, the Colonels ben­e­fited from a stout run­ning game from Jor­dan Gabriel, the se­nior star­ring in his team’s dou­ble-wing of­fense to the tune of 129 yards on 16 car­ries, in­clud­ing touch­downs of 1 and 5 yards. Ju­nior Mason Lam­bert (9 rushes, 68 yards) and se­nior Tyler Stan­ley (12-50, 15-yard TD in the first half) also ran well, part of a 225-yard ground game from Colonel.

The Colonels also con­verted two-point­ers on their three scores — runs by Eli Stull and Stan­ley (twice) — ac­count­ing for the point-af­ter touch­down scor­ing. Kent some­how out­gained Colonel 274-234 on of­fense on a sim­i­lar num­bers of plays (45-44, Colonels) in a los­ing ef­fort, and re­ceived 116 yards pass­ing from sopho­more quar­ter­back Thomas Golds­bor­ough.

“First thing we need to look at are the mis­takes, the penal­ties,” Kent head coach David Boyle said. “The kids are great, re­spond well to ev­ery­thing, but the lit­tle mis­takes that take place, and some of the calls were rough.”

Gabriel moved the pile for a 1-yard TD on the game’s open­ing drive, which started on Colonel’s 35. Stan­ley made it 16-0, Colonels, mid­way through the se­cond quar­ter, tak­ing a hand­off to the right side on the 15-yard jaunt on fourth down.

“They’re men­tally tough, they’re phys­i­cally tough,” Mangum said. “We’re 3-3 at this point, we could eas­ily be 4-2, we lost a tough one to Cam­bridge. We dress 19 play­ers, and they un­der­stand it’s iron­man foot­ball.

“Ei­ther go out, deal with it, and you play hard all night, and the chips fall where they do, or, you tuck and run,” Mangum added. “This group de­cided we’re go­ing to fol­low last year’s group’s lead, and we’re go­ing to play hard, and we’re go­ing to get wins.”

Kent an­swered on the next pos­ses­sion, cap­ping a 67-yard drive with a 3-yard Kolby Wal­ters score, the ju­nior full­back bulling his way through the line on first down, part of a team-lead­ing 49-yard rush­ing out­put. The Tro­jans pulled closer at the 6-minute, 20-se­cond mark of

the third, se­nior Corey Robin­son rum­bling down the road side­line on a 25-yard carry, lay­ing a vi­cious stiff arm on Colonel ju­nior Jackie Ze­bron along the way.

Ze­bron was again sent to the ground on the next play from scrim­mage, Colonel’s quar­ter­back tak­ing a shot be­low the knee on a run play, and stay­ing down for sev­eral min­utes; he was even­tu­ally helped off the field by team­mates.

The Colonels fin­ished that drive and capped the scor­ing with a 5-yard Gabriel TD run, who gained 36 yards on the play that ended Ze­bron’s night.

Kent’s fi­nal drive, which started with 3:25 left to play and the team down 24-13, was at Colonel’s 9, when Golds­bor­ough notched a yard on a fourth-down sneak. Golds­bor­ough sparked the drive with passes of 23 yards to Robin­son, 12 to fresh­man tight end Colin Futty and 9 to se­nior Tre Wright.

The pass­ing game was hum­ming late, giv­ing Boyle a point to pon­der th­ese com­ing weeks. The of­fense, how­ever, com­mit­ted more than a few costly penal­ties that took it out of scor­ing chances.

Golds­bor­ough got in some trou­ble on se­cond down and goal to go.

Flushed out of the pocket and rolling right, Golds­bor­ough threw a pass in­com­plete to Wright. A ques­tion­able hold­ing penalty was called deep be­hind the line of scrim­mage, push­ing Kent to Colonel’s 44 with goal to go. Golds­bor­ough ran for 12, passed to Futty for 7 and hit Wright for 18, leav­ing Kent 7 short of the TD af­ter the turnover on downs.

“Thomas, he’s a sopho­more, and we showed a ton of po­ten­tial tonight,” Boyle said. “Ob­vi­ously, he’s got to be a big­ger part of what we’re do­ing, what our phi­los­o­phy is.

“It’s a process, though,” Boyle added. “You can’t just throw him in there.”

Colonel backup QB, se­nior Lorenzo Turner, took a pair of kneel­downs to end the game.

“With 19 kids, you have to play al­most per­fect foot­ball,” Mangum said. “You have to elim­i­nate the penal­ties, and the turnovers. I think we have elim­i­nated the turnover bug, now the penal­ties, the stupid penal­ties are start­ing to creep in, and that’s some­thing we have to fix.”

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