We have a second candidate for Game of The Year 2014.
After the heartbreak of Meadowbrook losing on an 18-yard scramble with four seconds to go at Hermitage last week, we didn't expect an ending top it. But the Battle of Chester lived up to its billing for the first time in a few years, and then some.
Thomas Dale, #10 in our NBC12/WHAN Radio Top 10 Poll from HCS Media Network, held a 15-14 for nearly the entire fourth quarter, before Jalen Elliott, new L.C. Bird quarterback, led the Skyhawks down the field in the final minute. The #1 team in our poll, L.C. Bird found themselves at the Knights' 43 with three seconds left.
Elliott picked up a low snap off the ground and had the presence of mind, and the protection from the offensive line, to launch a Hail Mary as time expired. And Daijuane Dorsey, who hadn't played offensively all night, answered the prayer, hauling in the pass in the end zone as the Skyhawks unbelievably won their 30th consecutive game, 20-15 over Thomas Dale.
The Skyhawks are 1-0, and next hold their home opener with George Wythe, who lost 80-0 Friday night in Charlottesville at Monticello. The Knights fall to 0-2, scoring 15 points in both losses, and now must get ready to host #5 Varina, who was idle this week.
Another good county team facing 0-2 is Meadowbrook, who, after giving a game away at Hermitage last Friday, came up just short at #6 Manchester, the Lancers getting the 26-21 victory. The Lancers defense sealed the victory with a final second goal line stand, ending the game on a stop on third down and goal.
Manchester next hosts 0-2 Huguenot, while the Monarchs hold their home opener next Friday against #4 Highland Springs, who beat Brooke Point 51-12 in Stafford Friday.
#9 Cosby is 2-0 as well, after getting a late lead against Matoaca and holding on for a shootout 44-36 victory. The Titans continue an early season homestand, the third of four straight home games in as many weeks, hosting Midlothian next Friday. The Trojans were shut out again, this time 41-0 at the hands of fellow 4A member Powhatan, to fall to 0-2.
Clover Hill opened their season in Prince George, falling to the Royals 35-21. The Cavaliers (0-1) will host Matoaca, now 0-2 after the Cosby loss, in their home opener next Friday.
For the James River Rapids, it was opportunity denied. After trailing throughout, the Rapids recovered a late fumble, advanced to the one-yard line, only to be turned away by the Douglas Freeman defense as the #7 Rebels literally held off the Rapids in the final seconds to secure a 17-13 victory. The Rapids are now 1-1 and get a big test next week when they host the Monacan Chiefs.
The Chiefs made another big statement this week, looking to break into the Top 10, defeating Mills Godwin 42-25 to move to 2-0. Last year, Monacan beat Godwin 27-26. The Chiefs traveling to the Rapids will be the best county vs. county matchup of "Week 2".