LD Keeps the Stew Bowl Trophy
Lee-Davis holds off Atlee 21-10 in the 26th Stew Bowl
The Lee-Davis Confederates have now approached their tough end of the schedule which includes defending 5A state champion Highland Springs next Friday. But the first of those five games was Friday against county rival Atlee. This game marked the 26th annual Stew Bowl, representing the battle for supremacy in Eastern Hanover.
Friday night was a tale of two running attacks. The Lee-Davis attack, led by University of Richmond commit Nate Evans, is complimented by two versatile rushers in Hayden Walsh and Jarel Braxton. The trio has run for 1,099 yards and 17 touchdowns total on the season. For the Raiders, there were rotation changes for this game as sophomore power back Isaac Abel started, while usual rushers Clifton Woody and Chris Green saw carries as well.
Lee-Davis would return the opening kickoff to the 40 yard line to begin the game and after ten straight carries by Evans, and one Atlee penalty, the senior running back pushed it in for one yard to cap off a six and a half minute, 60 yard drive and put LD up 7-0 early. After the first drive, the defense came to play for both teams. Atlee put up the only other score in the half with a field goal with 9.8 seconds to play in the half.
Atlee’s offense came out firing in the second half, driving down the field, until a costly turnover gave Lee-Davis the ball around midfield. The C-Feds made good use of the drive as sophomore quarterback Zach Lass connected with Ned Anthony for his only completion of the night, this one of 30 yards to give LD a 14-3 lead early in the second half, as Anthony took the pitch and catch and tip-toed his way down the home sideline to find the end zone.
After the teams traded turnovers on an Atlee fumble and an interception thrown by Lass, the Raiders marched down the field and put seven points on the board to make it a 14-10 game with 3:12 to play in the third quarter as quarterback Tyler Warren swung a lateral to wideout John Johnson, who turned the corner, kept his feet inbounds, and raced 22 yards for the score.
With ten and a half minutes to play, Atlee was forced to punt, Warren using a low line drive kick to pin the Confederates back on the one yard-line. The struggling offense for the Confederates had to go 99 yards to put Atlee down two scores. After one incompletion from Lass, Evans and Walsh combined to rush for 99 yards on 12 carries which was capped off by a four yard run by Evans to give LD the 21-10 lead with 2:36 to play, a microcosm drive for a Lee-Davis team built to possess and run.
An Atlee turnover on downs with just over a minute left sealed it for Lee-Davis, keeping the Stew Bowl trophy for the second straight year with the 21-10 victory.
Nate Evans had a huge night on the ground, rushing for 192 yards on 30 carries to go along with two touchdowns. Walsh had some carries as well racking up 25 yards on seven carries. Both defenses made big stops as neither offense could get anything going for most of the ball game. Atlee was held to just 181 yards of total offense while Lee-Davis was held to just 262 on the night.
“Tonight was awesome, I thought there was a lot of energy out there,” Lee-Davis head coach Ryan Turnage said post-game.
Lee-Davis (5-1) next faces 5-1 Highland Springs, who crushed the Confederates in Mechanicsville 42-0 but found a different Lee-Davis team in the playoffs, as the Confederates fell just short in a 41-34 5A South Second Round game.
“We are going to try to put our kids in a position to win and see what happens,” coach Turnage said. “We have some kids that didn’t play in that playoff game last year but a lot that did, so it is going to be a battle.”
It doesn’t get any easier for Atlee, now 2-4, as they next host 5-1 Henrico, needing a victory to propel themselves back into the playoff race in the 5A North Region.
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