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CULPEPER – The Caroline High School football team ended the season under first-year coach Jeremiah Ross on a down note.
Shut out for the second straight week, the Cavaliers were annihilated 52-0 by – of all things – Culpeper, the worst team in the Battlefield District. It was the only win of the season for the Blue Devils, who finished at 1-6 in the district and 1-9 overall.
“They have been on the precipice of this for several weeks now,” said Blue Devil coach Billy Thornhill. “I’m glad to see them close out their season with a win, particularly these seniors.”
Dawkwon Fisher led Culpeper with two touchdowns and 65 yards rushing on 12 carries.
The Cavaliers, who got off to a somewhat promising start earlier in the season, ended the campaign at 2-5 in district play and 3-7 overall, recording one more win than they achieved in each of the previous two seasons.
After going dry in district wins for two years, Culpeper struck often and freely on a night that had to be a surprise to them. The fourth quarter was the only period that the Blue Devils did not score a touchdown as they gained 165 yards rushing and 80 yards in the air for 245 yards on offense. After receiving a punt from the Cavaliers that was downed on their own 35-yard line, the Blue Devils put together an 8-play drive that culminated in a 23-yard field goal for their final score with 6:40 left.
Caroline managed only 196 yards on offense. The Cavaliers rushed 22 times for 94 yards. Quarterback Curtis Leacock’s passing game floundered; he was 11 for 32 with three interceptions and 102 yards for the second week in a row.
Two intercepted Leacock passes were returned for touchdowns. In the third quarter Culpeper’s B. Yates snagged a Leacock pass and returned it 50 yards for a touchdown, and Justin White intercepted another and returned it 55 yards to score. Earlier, Leacock’s first interception of the night was returned 38 yards to the Caroline 3-yard line, and Fisher rushed for a touchdown on the next play.
The Cavaliers could only put together one sustained drive as the end of the game neared. Starting with a punt return to the 50-yard line, the Cavaliers moved the ball well into Culpeper territory, but Leacock was intercepted as time expired on the 11th play of the drive.
Ross, who retained his positive demeanor until the end, acknowledged that the Cavaliers did not perform at the same level as earlier in the season. “They let go of what they had at the beginning of the season and never got it back,” he said, “and part of it was my fault. I should never have let it happen. Now we work on next year.”
CAROLINE 0 0 0 0-0
CULPEPER 14 21 14 3-52
First Downs 8 13
Rushing Yardage 22-94 33-165
Passing Yardage 102 80
Passes 11-33-3 5-11-0
Penalty Yards 2-25 2-15
Rushing: Caroline-Keyshawn Johnson 11-61; JaQuen Monroe 2-25; Aason Pankey 1-0; Chad Boxley 1-0; Curtis Leacock 7-(-7); Culpeper-Daekwon Fisher 12-65, 2TD; James Whetsel 5-56; Bill Hogan 4-16; Justin White 2-15; Marcellus Green 3-12 TD; Zachary Crim 7-1 TD.
Passing: Caroline-Curtis Leacock 11-32-3 102. Culpeper-Zackery Crim 5-11-0 80.
Receiving: Caroline-Keyshawn Johnson 3-24; Mark Rollins 2-22; Bevontae Morris 3-20; Aason Pankey 1-11; Jonathan Brown 1-10; JaQuen Monroe 1-2. Culpeper-Nikolas Stewart 2-32; Marcellus Green 1-24; Anthony Banks 1-24.