#4 Hopewell ATH Trey Henderson (File Photo: Thomas Matzke/recruit757)
Briggs, Henderson combine for six touchdowns in 46-25 demolition of Norcom
by Brandon Mitchell, recruit804
The final score wasn’t a true indicator of how dominant the Blue Devils were on both sides of the ball particularly for the offensive side of the ball.
During the first week of the season, the Blue Devils put up almost 500 yards of total offense on the Tabb defense. Against Norcom during the second week of the season, it was more of the same for Hopewell as the offense was able to drop 397 yards of total offense on the Greyhounds defense.
Its stellar play on offense was led in part by Robert Briggs and Trey Henderson who combined to rush for 285 yards on 29 carries and six touchdowns on the day four of which came from Henderson. It’s easy to swing the credit in the direction of two of the most dynamic running backs in the Central Region. However, it was Landon Baker, Phillip Bowden, and the rest of the offensive line that has continued to open holes as well as keep Joseph Eliades untouched through the first two weeks of the season.
“I feel like I’ve got the best offensive line coach in the state of Virginia and he gets those guys prepared and ready to ball each and every week,” Coach Irby explained. “Those guys love it. They don’t get a lot of the attention, but they’re a close-knit group and do a lot of things together.”
The offensive line for the Blue Devils was able to put the pressure on the Greyhounds’ defensive front early in the first quarter when Henderson put Hopewell on the board first with a six-yard touchdown run.
The pressure continued on the Greyhounds next possession as Kaiveon Cox and the defensive front seven bull-rushed Norcom starting quarterback Jacoby Smith causing him to fumble deep in Norcom territory. This led to Briggs picking up his first rushing touchdown of the day from 11 yards out.
However, all was not lost for the Greyhounds after a horrendous start to the first quarter. Demonte Dunlap capped off a methodical drive near the conclusion of the first quarter that ended with a three-yard touchdown run to bring the Greyhounds within seven points.
It seemed as though whenever Norcom would get close is when the Blue Devils would stretch their margin even farther. On the ensuing kickoff, Henderson took the return 99 yards for his second touchdown of the first quarter extending the Hopewell lead to 19-7.
The deep threat capability of the Greyhounds’ offense showed up at the end of the first quarter when Jacoby Smith connected with Shyheim Cannon on a 77-yard touchdown strike. Hopewell would clamp down on the defensive side of the ball after this score and made sure the ball didn’t reach the end zone for Norcom the entire second quarter.
In retrospect, the second quarter is when the Blue Devils truly proceeded to pull away from the Greyhounds. Hopewell added three touchdowns in the second frame — two of which came from Henderson and one which came from Briggs — to go into halftime with a 40-13 lead.
The resolve of the Greyhounds began to show in the third quarter as they just weren’t ready to concede on the evening despite the wide score disparity. Eliades lined up to execute a screen which went over the head of his receiver and into the waiting arms of Karon Prunty who returned the interception 40 yards to the end zone to bring Norcom within three scores.
At the top of the fourth quarter, Nasir Cross led the Greyhounds downfield to their second touchdown of the second half on a 16-yard broken pass play to Demonte Dunlap to bring the contest to within two scores.
However, this is the closest Norcom would get as Henderson iced the game with 4:24 left in the fourth quarter with a 24-yard touchdown run.
Hopewell (2-0) has now started the season with consecutive victories for the second time in as many years. The Blue Devils will look to stay undefeated as they’ll head to Henrico (2-1) next Friday. Meanwhile, Norcom (1-1) is back in the Central Region next week with a match up against a surging John Marshall (2-1) program.
Final: Hopewell 46, Norcom 25
– Brandon Mitchell
Hopewell 19 21 0 6 — 46
Norcom 13 0 6 6 — 25
HOPE—Henderson 6 run (PAT good)
HOPE—Briggs 11 run (PAT no good)
NOR—Dunlap 3 run (PAT good)
HOPE—Henderson 99 kick return (PAT no good)
NOR—Cannon 77 pass from Smith (PAT no good)
HOPE—Briggs 70 run (PAT good)
HOPE—Henderson 4 run (PAT good)
HOPE—Henderson 41 run (PAT good)
NOR—Prunty 40 interception return (PAT no good)
NOR—Dunlap 16 pass from Cross (two-point no good)
HOPE—Henderson 24 run (PAT no good)
HOPE: Eliades 4-8-26-0-1 NOR: Smith 2-5-74-1 Cross: 6-14-105-1
HOPE: Briggs 14-181-2 Henderson 15-104-4 Cox 3-35 Eliades 5-24 Taylor: 3-21 Hale 4-10 NOR: Dunlap 18-78-1 King 1-13 Cross 4-10 Cannon 1-4 Northern 1-3
HOPE: Briggs 2-13 Henderson 2-9 NOR: Cannon 2-74-1 Sykes 1-45 Outten 2-26 Dunlap 2-26-1 King 1-8