HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Jackets outlast game Trojans in OT
It had been nine years since the Essex and James Monroe football teams met on the gridiron.
On Friday night at Maury Stadium the two former Northern Neck District rivals made sure the return match was worth the wait.
After trailing for much of the contest, the Yellow Jackets outscored their guests 21–7 in the final eight minutes and pulled out a 40–37 win on David Dit’s 27-yard field goal in overtime.
“We kept shooting ourselves in the foot with mistakes, but we buckled own in the second half,” said JM coach Rich Serbay. “I’m really proud of my kids.”
Dit’s game-winning field goal was his fourth of the game on a night when both teams moved showed their athleticism and big-play capability.
After Dit put JM in front 3–0 in the first, Jackets quarterback Jay Scroggins scored on a 6-yard run to increase the lead to 7–3 .
JM (3–2) spent the rest of the night trying to hold down the Trojans’ explosive offense led by quarterback Dominek Broaddus.
The junior completed 17 of 34 passes for 283 yards and two touchdowns as Essex regained its composure and the lead with 28 points in the first half.
With Scroggins (15 of 19 passing, 187 yards) leading the way, JM battled back and eliminated the turnovers that had plagued them in the first two quarters.
Athletic receiver Raheem White and Jarmal Bevels played big roles in the comeback. White scored on an
86-yard kickoff return and a 10-yard scoring pass from Scroggins to tie the score at 37 with 8 minutes left .
With 2:42 remaining, the JM defense rose to the occasion and blocked a potential game-winning field goal by Essex’s Robert Umphlete. With 21 seconds left, White helped send the game into overtime when he intercepted a Broaddus pass at the JM 2.
Essex got the ball first in the extra session but failed to score when White intercepted Broaddus again.
Serbay wasted no time in sending Dit out for the game winning kick and the senior split the uprights to hand Essex its first loss.
“We had a lot of work to to in the second half and stop the mistakes,” said Scroggins. “[Essex] is a great team.”
The game featured several lead changes, as well as some unusual plays, including a 70-yard touchdown pass by Essex punter Dartanious Jones after the ball had been snapped over his head.
The Trojans begin their Northern Neck District schedule Friday at home against Northumberland. JM hosts King George.