Sherando forced to stray from game plan

By Tommy Keeler Jr.

LYNCHBURG — Sherando had a game plan coming into its Class 4A state football final with Dinwiddie on Saturday. The good news for the Warriors was the game plan worked. The bad news was they weren’t able to use it enough.

Sherando wanted to keep the game close and run the ball, and early, in the eventual 56-14 loss, it worked perfectly.

“Our game plan coming in was we thought we could be a physical, downhill [running team] and do some good play action with them,” Sherando coach Bill Hall said. “And I think that proved out pretty accurate.”

The Warriors were able to take a 7-0 lead, and it appeared the Sherando offense would get the ball back after forcing a fourth down late in the first quarter. Dinwiddie’s Ja’Quan Poarch pulled off a fake punt, and the Generals turned the momentum completely around.

Sherando turned the ball over on two of its next three possessions, both deep in Warriors’ territory and quickly the Generals had a 28-7 lead and the game plan changed for Sherando.

“If you keep the game tight I think we showed that we were very successful running the ball,” Hall said. “It kind of got us off our game plan when they got the lead like that.”

Hall said the wet, rainy conditions also slowed down their passing game.

Sherando quarterback Reid Entsminger threw for 88 yards on 8 for 19 passing, but most of the passing came with the Warriors playing from behind.

Hall said the Warriors wanted to be more effective on first and second downs, and not face third-and-longs, which they did throughout the game.

“They put a lot of people deep,” Hall said of Dinwiddie. “It was one of those things where you have to stay ahead of the chains, and we knew that going into it. So, obviously, if you get behind the chains all of a sudden you’re playing into their hands in terms of what they’re doing coverage-wise and what we can do attack-wise.”

Sherando ran for 228 yards on 43 carries, including 136 yards from George Aston on 18 carries with a touchdown.

They just weren’t able to run the ball enough and on their terms.

“Running the ball was working really good, but all of a sudden, just like that, they were up 21-7, 28-7,” Aston said. “And even though the running game’s working like it is, there’s just not enough time in the game left because if we’re running the ball the clock’s also running down. And there’s just not enough time to come back that much. So we have to pass the ball.”

Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com Follow on Twitter @tkeelernvd