With no disrespect to former running back and 2,000-yard rusher Mico Phillips, currently a red-shirted freshman at Virginia State University, it appears that Meadowbrook has answered questions about their running game this season. The Monarchs used a fierce run game and connected on passes when needed to rack up 503 yards of total offense on their way to crushing Mills Godwin 43-7 in a non-district match-up.
Mills Godwin head coach John Phillips summed things up pretty simply: “A lot of speed, a little misdirection,” he said, “but mostly a lot of speed.”
The Monarchs used five different players to carry the ball throughout the game, but their first score was set up by a 44-yard pass to senior Devin Woodley, which set up a three-yard touchdown run by Tyvonte Loney less than two minutes into the game. After a missed extra point, Meadowbrook led 6-0. Loney, a back-up last year and Meadowbrook’s scout team running back, has been a pleasant surprise for Troy Taylor’s Monarchs.
“He’s an all-around guy, a good student,” said Taylor. “So far he’s having a huge senior year.”
Mills Godwin would answer and take their only lead on the game on the following drive as a nice kick-off return set up a 46-yard drive that concluded with a five-yard quarterback keeper by junior Dane Forlines. Godwin led 7-6.
That would be all the scoring Mills Godwin would do, but Meadowbrook was far from done with their offensive output. Sophomore Earl Hughes, another member of the Meadowbrook’s running back by committee crew, ripped off a 39-yard run to score. After a two-point conversion, Meadowbrook led 14-7. On the next drive, set up by a 25-yard run by Woodley, Johnson would take the ball in on a six-yard run, and another two-point conversion made it 22-7 at the end of the first.
In the second frame, Meadowbrook continued their assault, and would score two more touchdowns. Another big run by Loney of 41 yards set up Johnson who found Woodley in the end zone on a six-yard pass. After a four and out by Godwin, it would be Woodley again who returned a punt 72 yards to put Meadowbrook up 36-7 where the score stood at the half.
In the second half, some adjustments were made by the Godwin defense as Meadowbrook only managed to score once in the half, but the Monarchs also matched that defense with outstanding defense of their own.
“John Phillips does a great job coaching his squad,” said Taylor. “We played well in the first half, and in the second half they made adjustments and slowed us down significantly.”
The lone score of the second half came in the fourth quarter as Johnson connected with Ahmed Fofana for a five-yard touchdown, giving Johnson three total touchdowns for the game to give the Monarchs their final score at 43-7.
“We played well tonight,” said Johnson. “The offensive line got great push and we were able to run the ball well all night.”
Standouts for Meadowbrook included Loney, who rushed for 165 yards and a touchdown, and Johnson, who gained 138 total yards to go with three touchdowns. Hughes finished the game with 83 yards rushing and a score; and Woodley finished with 73 yards on the ground and two scores (one receiving, one return).
On the defensive side of the ball, Frank Dickerson led the way with eight tackles, three of those for losses. The Meadowbrook defense forced three turnovers: two interceptions by senior Leroy Cheatham and junior linebacker Raequan Peoples, and forced a fumble that was recovered by senior Jamaal Worsham.
As a team, the Monarchs shut down the passing game, limiting the Eagles to 2-17 passing, and did not allow a 100 yard rusher for the third straight game this season, improving their record to 3-0.
With the loss, Godwin fell to 0-2, and will face Glen Allen on the road this Friday.
Other results from the area include: Thomas Dale fell to 0-2, losing in a hard-fought contest to a great Varina team 17-10 on the road, L.C. Bird improved to 2-0 routing George Wythe 42-0, and Matoaca fell to 1-2 after losing to Clover Hill at home 28-14.
This week’s schedule for the “Village News District” includes just two games as Matoaca and Meadowbrook will have bye weeks. L.C. Bird will travel to meet Manchester at 7:30 p.m. in a road contest, and Thomas Dale will face Petersburg at home at 7 p.m.