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Foxes overcome Drifters in long-standing rivalry

The long-standing cross-town rivalry between King George (1-1) and Colonial Beach (0-1) does not begin to tell the story of Friday night’s varsity football game. The 34-30 Fox victory over the Drifters may be the start of something the Foxes haven’t felt since the last time they won the Battlefield District title.
Ultimately, every school will experience a lull in its sports programs; however, the Foxes are long overdue for a winning season. After rallying back from a 22-7 third quarter deficit against their arch rival, Colonial Beach, Fox football at Hunter-Lomax field, aka the Foxes Den, has now taken on a life of its own.

“I’ve always been one to be positive and lift the players up,” Fox varsity football head coach Jeff Smith said after his team’s heroic fourth quarter rally. “If the kids see us (coaches) sweat, then they’re going to sweat. At half time I told them not to quit — coach Smith will not quit on you, so don’t quit on him, most of all, don’t quit on yourselves.”
The pre-game atmosphere was nothing short of electric. The stadium was nearly packed to capacity, with a parking lot overflowing with cars and trucks.
It took Chris Bell less than eight seconds to run 79 yards to give the Foxes the first lead of the game. After a successful extra point, the Foxes nearly capitalized on another potential scoring drive, when the Drifters fumbled the kickoff. The Beach got a break after an illegal procedure penalty forced the Foxes to re-kick.
Later at the start of the second quarter, at 11:22, the crowd exploded when Bell intercepted a Drifter pass, giving the Foxes the ball at mid-field. The momentum continued to swing, as the Drifters defense shut the Foxes offense down, forcing a punt. It took the Drifters less than four and a half minutes to march 71 yards for the go-ahead score. Drifter running back, Travis Cundiff capped the drive off with a 15-yard touchdown. Cundiff would later finish the game with 18 carries for 165 yards.
Limping from a leg injury, basketball star-turned-football standout Dylan Farinet took his team on a 79-scoring drive, which culminated with J. Sanford pass reception. After a two-point conversion, the Drifters led, 14-7.
At the start of the third quarter, the Drifters silenced the crowd with a 75-yard scoring drive, courtesy of eight rushes by Aaron Dickerson and 5-yard Timmy Jackson touchdown reception.
On the ensuing possession, Fox quarterback Chris Thompson scored on a two-yard touchdown, cutting the Drifters lead to 10 (22-13)
The Foxes continued their fight against the clock, as they capitalized on a short Drifter punt, and scored on a two-yard touchdown by DJ Lewis. A 38-yard reception by CJ Calloway to the Drifters two-yard line, set up the score, which cut the Drifter lead to two points (22-20).
The turning point in the game came with eight minutes and six seconds left to play. Fox linebacker, David Jerson intercepted a pass from Farinet, and ran it back for a 53-yard touchdown.
Farinet wasted no time giving the Drifters the lead back, when he connected with Randy Ruczuynski on 25-yard reception, giving the Drifters the ball on the Fox two-yard line. Moments later, the Drifters regained the lead (30-20) Cundiff scored from two yards out.
With a little over two minutes to play, the Foxes quickly replied with a Lewis 26-yard touchdown, giving them the victory (34-30).
On Friday, the Drifters host Manassas Park for their first home game of the season, while the Foxes travel to play former state champion Goochland (2-0).

Leonard M. Banks
Sports Editor

 

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