56TH TOMATO BOWL: PATRICK HENRY 17, LEE-DAVIS 14: Not a surprise, this was yet another classic close game in the long history between the Confederates and Patriots. And for the third time in their last four visits to Lee-Davis, Patrick Henry walked away victorious.
After each team traded turnovers on their opening possession, Patrick Henry marched 94 yards on their first touchdown drive of the season, capped by a 3-yard touchdown run from Hunter Hart, the freshman quarterback starter, to give PH a 7-0 lead at 3:12 left first quarter.
The Confederates responded in the second quarter, as Nathan Evans scored the first of his two one-yard touchdown runs. After a false start penalty moved the extra point attempt back five yards, Stephen Hall's kick was partially blocked, and the Patriots remained ahead 7-6. Evans' second TD run gave Lee-Davis a 12-7 lead, and Chase Mummau's pass to Chris Bundy converted the two-point try to make it 14-7.
The Confederates had a chance to make it a two-possession game on multiple occasions. Stephen Hall missed a 26-yard field goal from the left hashmark. Lee-Davis got the opening kickoff to start the second half, and couldn't get points.
The Patriots hung around, hung around, then started seeing their offensive line get holes up front. Bender Vaught approached 100 yards rushing for the first time in 2014. Down deep in the red zone, Hart called his own number again and scored from less than a yard out to tie the game at 14-14, with 3:28 left in the third quarter.
The fourth quarter was a back and forth battle, with PH almost making a fatal error. Lee-Davis got the ball when, on a punt, the officials ruled the ball touched a Patriot blocker before it hit Evans, giving the Confederates the ball at the Patrick Henry 45. But they couldn't get points again, an achilles heel that helped cost them the game.
The Patriots final drive made the red zone, but stalled at the ten. Enter Logan Bulthuis, who nailed a 27-yard field goal to take the 17-14 lead. Lee-Davis still had a shot.
They drove downfield quickly, using the no-huddle offense, trying to save timeouts. The best play was a third down when Mummau was flushed out of the pocket. Rolling right, looking as if he'd throw it away, he found Nick Winston, squatting near the 23. Winston caught it, turned left, beat two Patriots and made it to the 10-yard line. First and goal Confederates.
After a timeout to call the play, Mummau looked to connect on the back fade route in the far corner of the end zone. The only problem was the ball was thrown 3 yards too far to the right, more inside the end zone near the end line, and not at the pylon. Cade Harris saw it and made a leaping catch for the turnover.
When James Pinder gained 20 yards for a first down and the scoreboard showed a minute to play and just one Lee-Davis timeout, the celebration of the Ashland faithful began.
Hart's numbers were small, but his game management and positive attitude, as a freshman, in the midst of a Tomato Bowl, was impressive. Patrick Henry has had quarterback issues since Brandon Cash's final season in 2008, PH's last winning season. That may, may finally be over.
Vaught rushed for 87 yards, Pinder had 52.
For Lee-Davis, Evans rushed 20 times for 68 yards and the two scores. Mummau finished 12-of-22 for 146 yards and two interceptions.
Lee-Davis hosts Varina, now also 1-2 after losing to Hermitage, next Friday, while Patrick Henry, at 1-2, goes to 1-2 Mills Godwin.
#2 ATLEE 49, #6 DOUGLAS FREEMAN 7: For those who didn't believe Atlee deserved the #2 ranking in our poll, tonight should quell those thoughts. The Raiders defense was relentless, while Loumond Dandridge rushed for three touchdowns as Atlee ran away from Douglas Freeman by halftime, then methodically finished their work in the second half to move to 3-0. Atlee has outscored their opponents 168-27 as they head to battle fellow unbeaten Henrico next Friday. Rasharrd Harris through two touchdown passes, and Ethan Ratke hit seven more extra points. He's 24-for-24 so far this season.
HANOVER 28, HOPEWELL 14: In a battle of sophomore quarterbacks, Clayton Cheatham stole the show, rushing for three Hawks touchdowns, one putting the game away with 1:21 left to give Hanover a 3-0 start. Ryan Mallory scored earlier on a 57-yard run. Cheatham ended with 139 yards rushing.
The Hawks will face fellow 3-0 Highland Springs, #4 in our Top 10 Poll, in our Game of The Week next Friday, 6:30pm, on 102.9 FM WHAN Radio and online HERE at HanoverCountySports.net from HCS Media Network!
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