- Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 November 2012 15:09
- Published on Wednesday, 14 November 2012 15:09
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Last Friday, at King George High School Stadium, the Foxes took another step towards a Region I, Division 4 championship, as they defeated Grafton 33-28. Whether it was the final Clipper turnover (Jacob Baker interception) or an amazing vertical game courtesy of Corey Henderson, and De’Shon Brown, the Foxes collectively played with poise, and the heart of a champion. “We knew they (Grafton) were going to be a tough football team, and that is why we’ve come out to practice hard every day,” said Alon Clipper.
With the quarterfinal fictory, the Foxes will go on to play Smithfield High School in the semi-final game at Smithfield (second seed, 10-1, 9-1). The game will take place at Smithfield High School. Interestingly, while the Clippers will end their season with a losing record (4-7), they actually defeated Smithfield 20-7 on Oct. 7.
Cautiously optimistic, Foxes head coach Jeff Smith and his coaching staff realize they have the tough task of defeating a team that is coming off a 22-0 win over Tabb. “They already know that we have to go back to work next week to play against a team that has been the number one team in the southside (Bay Rivers) all season,” Smith said. “In the playoffs, you’re either won or you’re done—and you don’t want to end up losing your last game.”
Henderson culminated a 76-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown, at 6:27 in the first quarter to give the Foxes the opening lead (7-0). However, the Clippers responded with 77-yard touchdown from Evan Sperling to Jessie Santiago to tie the game at 7-7.
Later, at the start of the second quarter (10:38), the Clippers capitalized off an interception to take a 14-7 lead from a 24-yard touchdown pass to Santiago from Sperling. The interception halted a potential score from the Clipper’s five-yard line.
With 1:48 left to play in the first half, the Foxes methodically marched 74 yards down the throat of the Clipper defense to tie the game up at 14-14. Jordi Estes served as the Foxes’ go-to-ball carrier. He carried the ball five out of the seven plays it took score. The play that sparked the score was a fake punt by Raheem White, and a 34-yard reception by Clipper.
In the third quarter, Brown lifted the Fox fans from their seats with a 73-yard punt return to the Clipper one-yard line. Backup Fox quarterback Xavier James bolted in from one yard out to give the Foxes the lead. After a missed extra point, the Foxes lead 20-14.
In the fourth quarter, the Foxes scored on a Henderson to Brown 13-yard touchdown, and later scored with 6:20 left, with a 24-yard pass from Henderson to White.
Clippers wider receiver Bryan Mitchell caught a tipped pass that turned into a 34-yard touchdown to cut the Fox lead to 34-21 with less than five minutes remaining. After a successful onside kick, the Clippers culminated a 32-yard drive with a four-yard Dylan Bartells touchdown.
Instead or repeating another onside kick attempt, the Clippers decided to kick the ball deep, where their defense successful forced the Foxes to punt with 2:15 left in the game. However, the change of possession produced a Fox interception, courtesy of Jacob Baker. With less than 43 seconds remaining, the Foxes ran the clock out. “We had too many chances that we didn’t take advantage of, and that is nothing against King George,” Clipper head coach Jared Van Acker said. “They are a well-coached team, and they have a bright football future ahead of them.”