Thomas Dale blanks L.C. Bird in “Battle for Chester”
by Bryron Jones, recruit804
Thomas Dale took home bragging rights in this year’s “Battle for Chester” by defeating L.C. Bird 28-0 in front of a packed house. With the win, Dale improved to 2-0 on the year and picked up it’s second victory in the past three seasons against its arch rival.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Both defenses came to play in the first half as neither offense was able to muster much yardage. After a bad snap over the head of Bird punter Quinton Elliott, Thomas Dale’s Chris Tyree would punch it in from eight-yards out (PAT- Kuda) to give the Knights a 7-0 lead at halftime.
After the break, Bird recovered an onside kick but was unable to get anything out of it. A few drives later, Knights quarterback Jasiah Williams would break the game open on a 50-yard touchdown run (PAT-Kuda) making it 14-0 in favor of the visitors.
Entering the fourth period of play, Bird was once again forced to punt and Dale began to pull away. DeAngelo Gray made a 60-yard house call (PAT-Kuda) and then Chris Tyree sealed the victory on a four-yard touchdown run (PAT-Kuda).
WHAT WE LEARNED: THOMAS DALE
The Knights defensive line could be the best in the entire state. Bryce Carter, Darius Sterling, Malachi Madison, and Justin Tate spent the entire evening wreaking havoc on Birds offensive line. Known for their rushing attack, the Skyhawks were held to under 64 yards rushing on the night (stats from Richmond Times).
Should Thomas Dale stay healthy all season, don’t be surprised to see them playing for a state title come December.
WHAT WE LEARNED: L.C. BIRD
Before the peanut gallery begins talking too loudly in the back, let me just say that Bird will be ok. As I mentioned in the preview for this game, the Skyhawks returned only one starter on offense and three on defense. They are young but they are a scrappy bunch. Defensively Bird stood up to the challenge Dale brought. Fatigue set in towards the end and with no help on the offensive side of the ball they were simply beat up.
Having to replace offensive lineman John Stenglein, DeMarkus Dancey, Brendon Smith, and Brent Robertson who were responsible for paving the way for Bird’s 3000+ yard rushing performance a season ago, has proved to not be an easy task.
L.C. Bird has to get tougher up front and in a hurry.
Thomas Dale will go on the road once again next week, as they face a rejuvenated Hermitage team. L.C. Bird will look to pick up win number one of the year against Huguenot.
– Byron Jones