Hargrave shuts down Massanutten
WOODSTOCK – Hargrave Military Academy football coach Ben Paris said his Tigers’ goal is to pick up three turnovers a game without giving the ball away once.
On an overcast Saturday homecoming afternoon at Massanutten Military Academy, first-year coach Pete Stone and his young Colonels learned that lesson the hard way.
Massanutten (0-6 overall, 0-2 conference) fumbled the ball away five times and threw an interception as Hargrave (2-3, 1-1) earned a 53-0 clock-shortened, conference victory.
In most high school football, when one team has a 35-point lead the clock turns except for specific situations. The clock was running throughout the second half.
Even so, the new coach and his youngsters were positive afterward.
“We have a great team and great coaches. I told them I thought we played much better today than we did last week (in a defeat at the hands of Northern Virginia HomeSchool),” said senior Nick Volpicello, who led the Colonels in rushing (32 yards) and made two sacks on defense.
The boarding cadet from Long Island, New York, played football elsewhere, but the team leader said up to 15 percent of the team roster has never watched football — much less played it – until this season
“We have young men on this team who have played six games, and they’ve only seen football anywhere – ever – six times,” said Stone.
“I love these kids. I really do. They try as hard as they can.”
It was just not up to the standard of HMA, which not only produced more points, offense and defense, but which took advantage of its hosts’ miscues.
All but 10 of the Tigers’ tallies were at the hand of a misdeed by the Colonels. The latter possessed the ball for eight drives, but lost the ball on a half-dozen of them.
The 10 points that came without benefit of a turnover came on the very first offensive play when junior quarterback Darrell Smith made his presence felt and the last one – a field goal.
Smith scored on runs of 56-, 6- and 35-yards. He also threw for a touchdown.
The signal caller plowed around right end for a 56-yard scoring romp on grass still wet from an early weekend rainstorm. With only 33 seconds having lapsed, the Tigers held on a 7-0 lead on the Jordan Riggs extra point.
After holding the Tigers scoreless the rest of the quarter, the Colonels fumbled the ball at their own 25. This led to Hargrave’s second touchdown.
Smith carried over for the 6-yard score, then Connor Rogers converted the 2-point conversion for a visitors’ 15-0 with 9:31 left in the first half.
A second fumble led to the Tigers’ third touchdown. Hargrave came up with the misplaced ball at the MMA 35.
That was all it took for the visitors. Smith sprinted 35 yards and Riggs’ extra-point kick gave Hargrave a 22-0 advantage with 3:24 showing.
A third ball got loose from Massanutten and Hargrave was only happy to pounce on it. For the second straight time, the Tigers scored on the very next play after an MMA mishap.
This time it was Smith going to the air to find 6-foot-3 John Naheed, a cadet from Fairfax. Smooth’s looping lob caught Naheed at the Colonel five, and he juked a defender to get into the end zone. The extra point gave the Tigers a 29-0 advantage with 3:05 left in the half.
Senior linebacker Trey Lee plucked an MMA pass in Colonel territory. A pass interference call on the Colonels moved the ball close enough so that Rogers could plow over for the 6-yard score. The extra-point made it 36-0 as the half ended.
Another Massanutten fumble led to yet another Hargrave score in the third quarter.
The Tigers recovered the ball at the Colonels’ 20. A run by Cody Lovelett took the possession to the 1-yard line, and the running back finished it off with a blast on the next play. The kick was good and it was 43-0.
Massanutten’s sixth turnover of the afternoon came on a backward pass that fell helplessly to the turf. It was ruled a fumble and HMA recovered.
Paris, who subbed in new players in the second half, had new quarterback Paul Englander carry for 5 yards and the final 6 of the day. The extra point made it 50-0.
Jordan nailed a field goal before time ran out.
Smith finished scoring three touchdowns and passing for one other. He also completed four-of-nine passes for 89 yards. He led all rushers with 87 yards
Lovelett added to HMA’s offense with 57 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
“Our goal is to come up with three turnovers again without giving any up. That was kind of the plan today,” Paris said.
Contact Jim Laise at email@example.com
Tigers 53, Colonels 0
Hargrave Military Academy 7 29 14 3–53
Massanutten Military Academy 0 0 0 0–0
HMA: Smith 56 run, Riggs kick, 11:27
HMA: Smith 6 run, Rogers 2-point run, 9:31
HMA: Smith 35 run, Riggs kick, 3:24
HMA: Naheed 30 pass from Smith, Riggs kick, 3:05
HMA: Lovelett 1 run, Riggs kick, 9:52
HMA: Englander 5 run, Riggs kick 4:11
HMA: Riggs field goal
First downs 12-3
Rushes-yards 22-118 13-21
Passing yards 66 0
Comp-Att-Int 4-9-0 2-6-0
Fumbles-lost 6-5 0-0
Punts-avg. 1-31 5-28
Penalties-yards 5-50 13-79
RUSHING-HMA: Smith 6-87, Lovelett 8-57, N/A: 4-23, N/A 3-17, Englander 4-14. MMA: Volpicello 7-32, Burke 6-(-11)
PASSING-HMA: Smith 4-9, 66. MMA: Burke 3-6, 3
RECEIVING-HMA: Riggs 2-53, Naheed 1-30, Rogers 1-6