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Foxes defense, special teams clip Eagles

The line to get into “The Pit” to witness the last time the Washington & Lee Eagles would play the King George Foxes in the notorious stadium was longer than a football field and five wide.  This game is a game everyone marks down on the calendar once the schedule comes out, mainly because it’s the first game, but more importantly it is King George vs. Washington & Lee. 
The game, which seemed competitive for the first quarter, quickly changed into a game of miscues for Washington & Lee and a game of opportunities to take advantage of for King George.  Midway through the second quarter, return man Bryan Burrell couldn’t control the punt and fumbled it where a pack of Foxes were waiting.  After a scramble that seemed to

last for minutes, King George’s De’Shon Brown came out of the pile in the end zone for a Foxes Touchdown.  A few minutes later a botched snap between Eagles quarterback Burrell and his center ended up in the hands of King Georges D.J. Lewis where he ran it in for a score. 
King George’s defensive line dominated Washington & Lee’s all night.  The Eagles couldn’t run block or pass block, they couldn’t keep up with the defensive front.  The lack of execution is one thing that was obvious to W&L’s coach Malcolm Lewis.
“We looked lost,” Lewis said. “Sure, our defense didn’t give up a score, but overall as a team, we just weren’t ready, we weren’t tough, our lack of poise stood out, we just are not very good football team right now.”
He added “King George out played us, they are going to continue to get better every year, the youth program they have right now is really carrying over to the varsity level where Coach Smith is helping them reach their full potential.”
Going into halftime King George was leading 13-0, and neither coaches were pleased with their offense.  For the Foxes, however, their defense and special teams continued to pick up where they left off.  Early in the third quarter W&L’s punt attempt by Matt Trau was blocked and returned for a 20-yard touchdown yet again by the Foxes D.J. Lewis. A series later the Eagles offense finally got going and got on board with a 32-yard pass from senior QB Burrell to junior wide receiver Otho Gaskins.  
The Eagles, who looked fired up and finally ready to play football, forgot to do one thing on the ensuing kick off, find and tackle Wayne Wyatt who had a 77-yard touchdown.  This seemed to take the last breath out of the Eagles.  The Eagles again turned the ball over on offense but their defense continued to hold off the Foxes Offense.  The Foxes offense and defense had many costly penalties, 16 total for 150 yards.  Washington & Lee inserted junior QB Josh Phones to see if he could move the ball for W&L, the result however on his first snap was a safety.  Late in the fourth quarter Burrell had a 1-yard run for a touch down to put the score at 28-12. 
The Foxes’ defense forced six fumbles and held W&L’s offense to 99 total yards.  It’s obvious King George’s coach Jeff Smith has brought a new vibe to King George Football.
“It’s not because of me, it’s because of the kids, the new mentality that they have, they understand what it takes, they feel like they can win, the players play and the coaches coach,” Smith said. “Our offense struggled, guys played well and we had some miscues, we didn’t execute properly at times but we will get that fixed.”
He added: “It’s bittersweet knowing this is the last time we will play W&L here at the Pit, it’s always tough to play them anywhere though.” 
King George plays another Single A opponent in Colonial Beach High School next Friday and Washington & Lee will be home to take on Manassas Park.

Cole Vanover
The Journal

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