Thomas Dale 2018 (Photo: Mike Caudill/recruit804)
“The Battle of Chester” #2 Thomas Dale (1-0) @ #8 L.C. Bird (0-0)
by Byron Jones, recruit804
Thomas Dale makes the short trip across Chester to square off with its archrival L.C. Bird Friday night in what should be another classic between the two schools. L.C. Bird has reigned victorious in ten of the past eleven meetings, including last season’s 32-20 victory over the Knights.
LAST TIME OUT: Thomas Dale
The Knights made quick work of Cosby in its home opener last Friday night, 58-0. Chris Tyree (Notre Dame commit) toted the rock 15 times for 117 yards and two touchdowns. Tyree also scored on a kickoff return. QB Jashia Williams went 7/10 for 171 yards and added a TD. Bryce Carter notched eight tackles, two sacks, and a safety, while Crishaun Saunders added seven tackles and an INT-TD.
LAST TIME OUT: L.C. Bird
The Skyhawks have not stepped on the field since November 16th, 2018 when they fell in the Division 5 Region B semifinals to Henrico 21-7. Ramon Brown was held to 60 yards on 16 carries, and Jayden Payoute (Virginia Tech) scored Birds lone touchdown on an eight-yard run in the first quarter.
RECAP: L.C. Bird vs. Thomas Dale (2018)
The Knights got off to a hot start as Chris Tyree scored two rushing touchdowns and DeAngelo Gray took a kickoff return 76 yards to the house. Dale would lead 20-14 at the break. However, the Skyhawks defense stifled Thomas Dale in the second half, and the combination of Payoute and Tre Mason was too much for the Knights to handle. Payoute rushed for 154 yards on 10 carries, scoring three times, while Mason rushed for 211 yards on 33 carries and one score.
Thomas Dale enters the contest with one game already under its belt, so spectators should reasonably know what to expect from the Knights. Bird on the other hand will be opening their season tonight and there are a lot of question marks surrounding the Skyhawks, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Coach Troy Taylor returns one starter on offense and three on defense. A majority of his players who are stepping into starting roles this season have had game experience which is a plus. The quarterback situation is still unclear for the Skyhawks. Coach Taylor has kept his cards to his chest this off-season and has provided no definitive answer as to who the quarterback could potentially be. With Bird being a traditional ground and pound team, I look for them to stick to the basics this evening and try to eat as much clock as they can and keep the ball out of Tyree’s hands.
Ramon Brown will be the feature back for Bird this season after the departure of Tre Mason (1860 rushing yards 15 TDs) to Life Christian Academy, and Jayden Payoute to Virginia Tech. The sizzling sophomore made a name for himself last season backing up Mason. Brown rushed for 631 yards on 72 carries (8.8 ypc) and scored five touchdowns. He currently holds offers from Virginia Tech, Maryland, Wake Forrest, and UVA. Brown and seasoned veteran Chris Barfield will need for their offensive line to contain Bryce Carter, Darius Sterling and Justin Tate. All three have the ability to wreak havoc upfront all night long.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: THOMAS DALE
Chris Tyree RB/DB (2020 5-11 185), Jasiah Williams QB/DB (2020 5-11 175), Crishaun Saunders DB (2020 6-2 185), Bryce Carter DE (2021 6-3 265) Zach Jones TE/LB (2020 6-2 245), Deangelo Grey (2021 5-8 165), Berk Snow OL (2020 6-1 255), TJ Minter OL (2020 6-3 265)
PLAYERS TO WATCH: L.C. BIRD
Ramon Brown RB (2022 5-11 190), Tyson Pledger TE/DE (2020 6-2 215), Chris Barfield RB/LB (2020 5-11 190), Mike Allen (2022 5-11 210) Quentin Elliott DB (2020 6-0 170), Keyshawn Williams OL (2021 6-2 270), Bryce Benson OL (2021 6-2 240), Elijah Rivers WR/DB (2020 5-11 175)
– Byron Jones
Kickoff is slated for 7PM. I will be onsite covering the contest. Be sure to follow recruit804 on Facebook and Twitter for up to date scoring of the game. Post-game review to follow.