by Keith A Chisolm, recruit804.com
In their third trip to the state finals, the Dinwiddie Generals defeated the Sherando Warriors 56-14 on Saturday to claim their first state championship in school history. Before a large supportive crowd at Arthur Williams Stadium on the campus of Liberty University, the Generals’ explosive offense needed little time to put the game out of reach as they took advantage of five Warrior turnovers.
After the Generals’ opening drive stalled, the Warriors stuck first on Daniel Eppard’s 35-yard pass reception, taking the early 7-0 lead. “It was definitely a shock to us,” said senior running back and defensive back Rashaad Goodwyn. “But we have great leadership on defense. We got back to the sidelines, got some things squared away with our coaches, made some minor adjustments and went back out there did what we had to do.”
The adjustments the Generals’ defense made paid off. Led by Rashaad, Sadarius Williams, and Denzel Williams, the Generals forced the Warriors’ offense into predictable situations by forcing them to pass the ball.
The limited success the Warriors had running the ball was overshadowed by the need to score points quickly. The Warriors gained 316-yards of offense with 88 passing yards. Their offensive output was below their 380-yard season average. Sherando linebacker George Aston stated “There just was not enough time. When you’re in a hole like that and you run the ball, the clock just keeps moving.”
“What they were doing offensively and defensively didn’t catch us off guard,” said Sherando Coach Bill Hall. “It just came down to a lack of execution. We had our game plan, but then when they started to build that lead, we kind of got out of our comfort zone, which is what they wanted to do.”
Red zone scoring opportunities were the difference in the game. Sherando scored on every red-zone opportunity. Unfortunately the Warriors visited the red-zone only once compared to the Generals’ seven opportunities. The Warriors’ three interceptions and two fumbles provided the Generals excellent field position throughout the game. The Generals were seven-for-seven in red-zone scoring opportunities and had zero turnovers.
The Generals had 298 rushing yards with senior Sadarius Williams leading all efforts with 128 yards on 16 carries and two touchdowns. In his post game press conference, Dinwiddie coach Billy Mills said “(The Warriors) keyed on Sadarius so we used Ja’quan (Poarch) and Rashaad (Goodwyn) to keep them balanced. We were able to find running lanes.” The Generals scored six times from the ground.
Dinwiddie Generals senior quarterback Ronald Kearney showed poise and command of the offense as he led his team. He was 11-for-16, 144 yards, and threw for two touchdowns; a 23-yard strike to Rashad Stewart and a 16-yard pass to Dakarai Wilson. “I don’t care about the stats. I just want to do my part to help my team win” Ronald said after the game.
“This (championship) is for this group of young men, the past Generals teams, the parents and fans that supported us through the lean years” said Coach Mills. “This is about the program and big for our community. From our sheriff escort to the families that waved at the buses as we drove by, this is big for our community.”