Woodside RB D’onte Chesson (File Photo: Joe Barnes/recruit757)
Woodside-Heritage Preview: Wolverines, Hurricanes looking to build winning streak after long layover
Woodside (2-1) vs. Heritage (1-1) at Todd Stadium, 7:00 p.m. Friday
by Brandon Mitchell, recruit757
Hurricane Florence asserted itself throughout North and South Carolina last week after changing direction near the middle of the week. The entire region of Hampton Roads postponed many games to keep student-athletes out of harm’s way, however; wind gusts were the only characteristic of the storm that reared its face throughout the week. Woodside was fortunate enough to have only one of its contests postponed which was its September 13 matchup against Phoebus. Last time out the Wolverines were able to get back on their feet after suffering a terrible loss at the hands of Loren Johnson and Highland Springs.
Two Fridays ago, Woodside fought off a pending two-game losing streak by blanking Kecoughtan 28-0. It was the third-consecutive time Woodside has been able to shutout the Warriors as it dropped Kecoughtan to 1-2 on the football season. The Wolverines will now matchup with Heritage in a contest in which has been given mixed reviews by way of the scoreboard over the last 10 seasons. Woodside has played the Hurricanes to a record of 6-4 over the last 10 seasons, but its Heritage that has won four of the last six contests played between the two in recent seasons.
George Massenburg and the Hurricanes have endured layover after layover through the first five weeks of the season making it difficult for his young student-athletes to build continuity. Heritage started the season with a horrible showing against Warhill losing 34-16. Trevon Faison helped Heritage jump out to a 6-0 lead against Phoebus two Saturdays ago before the contest was postponed due to lightning.
The last time the Hurricanes took the field was against Gloucester on September 7. The energy displayed against Phoebus just a week prior helped them jump out to a 37-21 lead that made it difficult for the Dukes to recover. The 37-29 victory picked up by the Hurricanes over Gloucester was the third-consecutive time the Hurricanes has been able to defeat the Dukes. With that being said, the degree of difficulty will move up a notch this week for Heritage when it takes on Woodside. The Wolverines present dynamic challenges in the running game that have troubled the majority of their challengers this season A victory for Heritage will be contingent on whether or not they can be disciplined enough to stop Danny Dodson’s Wing-T offense.
Woodside Key Players: D’onte Chesson (2019 RB 5-8 170), Desmin Wright (2020 RB 5-7 160), Tyler Thompson (2020 QB 5-10 150), Darius Jones (2019 DB 5-10 170) and Dartanyon Davis.
Where Woodside shows similarities to Gloucester is in its ability to control the outcome of a contest through ball control. Most programs will preach the essence of achieving balance as a way to constantly keep another team guessing. It’s no surprise that the Wolverines don’t privy their opponents to much of an air attack through 48 minutes. However, the way they attack on the ground is second to none in the Peninsula District. Desmin Wright, Tyler Thompson and D’onte Chesson are as dominant as it comes with the football in their hands with open daylight as their guide.
Against Kecoughtan a few weeks ago, Woodside was able to accumulate 324 yards of offense on the ground alone. Thanks are allotted to the diversity within the scheme of their Wing-T sets as well as the running backs used for execution. However, let’s not take for granted agility of Josh Hartley, Devon Hyman, Tony Harrington, Jordan Hardrick and the rest of the offensive line. The Wolverines only allowed 93 total yards of offense to the Warriors with Darius Jones collecting two interceptions on the day. This could be a problem for Darius Price.
Heritage Key Players: Darius Price (2019 QB 6-0 185), Trevon Faison (2019 RB 5-7 155), Roderick Webb (2020 WR/DB 5-10 155), Darryl Parker (2019 DE 6-2 210), Davionta Robinson (2021 LB 6-0 170) and Jeremiah Washington (2019 WR/DB 5-10 153).
Heritage has earned respect throughout the Peninsula District from every single opponent with Woodside being near the top of that list. The Hurricanes have owned the Wolverines over the last six years with most of their contests ending in close scores. Quarterback play will be extremely important for Heritage come Friday and they are equipped with the best arm in the Peninsula District in Darius Price. Against the Dukes, Heritage passed for 159 yards while Trevon Faison and the running game accumulated 197 yards on the ground.
The problem for the Hurricanes has been on the defensive side of the ball. Heritage allowed 343 yards of total offense to the Dukes with 206 coming on the ground. Joren Brown led the way with 78 yards on ground through 16 carries and a touchdown. As well as Woodside runs the ball, the Hurricanes can’t afford to spot the Wolverines 200 yards on the ground which is something Woodside is capable of accomplishing by the end of the first half. Both teams have light schedules after this contest which makes the magnitude of winning that much more important.
Prediction: Highland Springs will follow Woodside through the rest of the season. Coach Dodson ensures every year that the Wolverines step up in competition and play an opponent outside of the norm to prepare his men for moments just like this. Woodside won’t cruise, but expect D’onte Chesson and Desmin Wright to win the ground battle.
– Brandon Mitchell