Thomas Dale staying strong in fight for Central District title

Thomas Dale was able to keep pace in the Central District last Friday, as they defeated the Prince George Royals 39-7 in Central District action. The Royals were coming off a 60-7 beating by Meadowbrook and had some looks, but the Knights were able to grind it out and got two key interceptions by safety Desmond Frye in route to a win on homecoming weekend.

“Desmond [Frye] made some great plays on offense and defense tonight,” said Thomas Dale head coach Kevin Tucker. “On defense, he was like having another coach on the field.”

Thomas Dale started off well, with a solid first drive that ended with junior running back D.J. Reid scoring on five yard run to give Dale the lead at 7-0 after an Anthony Prevost extra point.

“In practice this week, coach made some small adjustments to the line,” said Reid. “We’re getting better every week. I love those guys.”

Prince George would answer with a drive of their own that was kept alive on two occasions by Thomas Dale penalties. Working from just inside Dale territory, Royals quarterback John Ford dropped back to pass and was intercepted by Frye, who returned the interception 58 yards for another Knights touchdown. The Knights led 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.

It appeared again that Prince George would answer as Marquan Stith was able to break daylight on a run on the Royals next drive; however he would be caught from behind by cornerback Lorenzo Fields, who forced a fumble just yards from the end zone that was recovered by the Knights.

After an errant snap on Dale’s next drive, Prince George was able to score, traveling three yards and scoring on a run by Kameron Smith, cutting the Knights lead in half at 14-7.

The Knights would extend the lead before the half on a 53-yard pass from Quentin Taylor to Frye, who had all of his 87 yards receiving in the first half. The Knights led 21-7 at the half.

For their homecoming festivities, cornerback Lorenzo Fields and senior Sierra Smith were named homecoming king and queen.

On the Knights first drive on the second half, it would be Reid again, darting down the sideline for a 44-yard score. On the next Royals possession, it would be Frye again, hawking the ball down for another interception, returning this one 31 yards for a touchdown.

The Thomas Dale defense continued to be dominant in the second half, totaling three interceptions two by Frye, returned for touchdowns, and another by sophomore Cary Reavis. The Knights defense also registered nine sacks. Senior Tevin Thorpe registered two of these sacks, and Darius Spruill, Willie Key, Louis Humphrey, Dalton Lee, Timothy Thoner, Andrew Henderson and Jamal Woolridge also joined the parade.

“Everyone was feeling it tonight,” said Frye. “We all played well on defense and helped out our case for winning.”

On offense, Reid led the way with 103 yards on 13 carries and had three touchdowns. Frye finished with two receptions for 87 yards, and three total touchdowns (one receiving, two interception returns).

With the win, coupled with a Meadowbrook win over Petersburg last week, it sets up the most important game thus far for both teams this season as next week the Knights and Monarchs will face off in a game with very serious playoff implications. That game will be played this Friday at Meadowbrook at 7 p.m.

“We’ll need to force Meadowbrook to make some mistakes,” said Tucker. “They are no doubt going to be ready to play; they have probably been preparing for weeks.”

With the win, Thomas Dale won their fifth straight game and improved to 5-2 overall on the year and 5-0 in the district, with early season losses to tough opponents Bird and Varina early in the season. Also figuring into the playoff race are the Matoaca Warriors. With one loss, chances aren’t as good for a berth, but they still figure into the picture mathematically with a 3-1 record in the district after defeating Hopewell last Friday 28-19. L.C. Bird cruised to victory defeating Huguenot 56-0, maintaining a tie for first place in the Dominion district.

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