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King George Foxes rally to defeat James Monroe

Foxes from the past to the current team are smiling from ear to ear. The last time the Foxes defeated James Monroe was in 2001. Eddie Haynes was their head coach, and George Major was his defensive coordinator.


Life has changed since that unforgettable era of 2001, and now both coaches are assistants under longtime Yellow Jacket head coach Rich Serbay.

Last year, in a downpour, James Monroe overcame a 13-point Fox deficit to grind out a 21-13 win.

On Monday night, at Maury Stadium, in Fredericksburg, Jeff Smith (former assistant under Haynes) witnessed his team break the 12-year James Monroe (3-3) drought/curse to defeat James Monroe, 21-16. The loss was bittersweet for the Yellow Jackets, because it occurred on their homecoming night.

“Just before we left the locker room, just before the start of the second half, I told the kids, It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish,” Smith said. “We kept going, and our kids never gave up. With 10 minutes to go, when Corey (Henderson) fumbled, nobody hung their heads, but we stopped them, got the ball back, and it worked.”

In the first quarter, the Yellow Jackets threatened to score on their first possession. After a 54-yard kickoff return from Isaac Evans, the Yellow Jackets settled for a 23-yard field goal. The quarter ended in a defensive stalemate, as both teams struggled offensively.

However, in the second quarter, with 5:37 left in the half, David Dit connected on his second field goal (31 yards), giving the Yellow Jackets a 6-0 lead.

The Foxes responded on their ensuing possession with 58-yard touchdown run from Antonio “Kentucky” Johnson. After the point-after, the Foxes led, 7-6.

With 1:29 left in the half, the lead was restored to the Yellow Jackets, on a Dit 41-yard field goal. It was the longest field goal in area football this season.

In the third quarter, Yellow Jacket quarterback, Jay Scroggins completed a 25-yard touchdown to Jarmal Bevels.

Facing a nine point deficit, the Foxes battled back with a Corey Henderson two-yard touchdown, cutting the Yellow Jacket lead to 16-14.

At the start of the fourth quarter, James Monroe recovered a Fox fumble deep in their red zone, on their three-yard line. On the following 10 plays, the Yellow Jackets escaped being pinned in. After two first downs, they eventually punted.

With 3:13 left in the game, the Foxes marched 69 yards into Yellow Jacket territory for the win. The drive was capped off with a Markiece Johnson 11-yard touchdown, with 12 seconds left in the game.

The game ended with an interception from Fox cornerback, Antwan Brown. On Friday, the Foxes (6-1) celebrate their homecoming game against Spotsylvania (2-4).

 

Leonard Banks
Sports editor

 

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