The Govs’ varsity football contest played Sept. 21 was the start of anything that could happen in a game would happen.
Things started off very wet as the rain fell heavy at times as the Govs hosted the Randolph Henry team in a non-district contest for its home opener.
Award-winning Nelson County High School band director Scott Belcher had his musical troops on the field wearing ponchos while they played the National Anthem. Belcher would bring them back from the shelter of tents in the bleachers to play several tunes from this year’s show that has already won awards at halftime.
Meanwhile on the field, the two squads battled like a pair of heavyweight boxers with neither able to throw the knockout punch.
Randolph Henry struck first with a two-point safety as that score would be all the points for the first half, but not before several fumbles from both teams, interceptions and for the Govs’ few bright spots, a trick play.
Gov quarterback James Lloyd came towards the sidelines as if to talk to head coach Darrin McKenzie and he quickly turned upfield to catch a pass for a sizable gain. The first half’s end resembled a baseball score at 2-0.
Nelson roared back in the second half as running back Johnny Oneida bulled his way thru several Statesman defenders for the names for touchdown.
The Randolph Henry special teams ran over the Govs’ front line to block the extra point attempt but Nelson would take the lead, 6-2.
“Offensively we just did not execute very well. They were a big physical team and our guys struggled with that most of the night,” said McKenzie. “The opening drive in the third we found some things that worked for us and were able to move the ball a bit. But overall as a unit we didn’t do much well that night. Hats off to our [defense] again for giving us a chance to be in the game in the 4th quarter.”
In the third period the Nelson defense tightened down to hold the Statesman scoreless for the remainder of the quarter.
“The defense played great all night. They kept us in the game with big stops and turnovers after the [offense] couldn’t get anything going for most of the night,” said McKenzie. “Carsona [Becerra] led the way with 7 tackles and 3 of those were for a loss. Kaua [Rose] and DaVeon Ross each had a fumble recovery.”
Randolph Henry would put the game way in the final period with 24 points and the 26-6 victory.
“Next week is homecoming and we play Chatham,” said McKenzie. “This will be another physical team that likes to run the ball so we fix our mistakes, lick our wounds and be ready to go and play next Friday.”