Thomas Dale and Dinwiddie (File photos by Joe Barnes/recruit804)
Dinwiddie needs a win for playoff contention
by Byron Jones, recruit804
#10 Dinwiddie (4-1) vs. #2 Thomas Dale (4-0) Thursday, 7:00 p.m.
The final week of the spring season begins tonight with a Thursday night clash between #10 Dinwiddie and #2 Thomas Dale. Since dropping a 22-19 heartbreaker to Prince George in week one, the Generals have reeled off four straight victories against Petersburg, Matoaca, Hopewell, and Colonial Heights. They are currently ranked fifth in the Region 4B standings behind Monacan, Patrick Henry, King George, and Louisa. Dinwiddie needs a win this evening and a loss by one of the four unbeatens to sneak into the playoffs.
Thomas Dale on the other hand has locked up a playoff spot in Region 6A. They are 0.5 points back behind Oscar Smith for the top spot in the region. A win over Dinwiddie guarantees them a home playoff game.
Dinwiddie has been riding the arm of junior quarterback Brenton Hilton. Hilton has completed 66 of his 106 pass attempts (62.3%) for 1,040 yards, 14 TD’s and one interception. His favorite targets have been Kelmari Brown (21 catches 421 yards 7TD’s) and Cedric Drumgoole (28 catches 386 yards 4TD’s).
The Knights are led defensively by defensive end Hazzon Ellis and defensive back Shamus Jones (VMI). Ellis has notched 36 total tackles (seven solo), four sacks, and six hurries despite missing the L.C. Bird game. Jones has recorded 35 tackles, six pass breakups, and an INT for a touchdown.
Offensively, Dale has been successful by using a blanched attack. Freshman quarterback Ethan Minter has thrown for 472 yards, 5 TD’s, and no interceptions. He’s added 185 yards on the ground and four scores. Jordan Branch (63 carries 384 yards 7TD’s), DeAngelo Gray (24 rushes 155 yards 3 TD’s; 8 catches 175 yards TD), and Brandon Rose (11 carries 182 yards 3TD’s) have been the workhorses getting it done for them on the ground.
Dinwiddie’s defensive unit will be the toughest group Thomas Dale has faced to date. The Generals are giving up an average of 11.2 points per game. Key defensive standouts for the Generals include LB Zachary Weaver, DB Qion Brown, DL Cornell Lucess, DB Cedric Drumgoole, LB Christopher Parham, and DE Khalil Hazelwood.
Kickoff is set for 7:00PM. I will be onsite covering the contest. Be sure to follow recruit804 on Facebook and Twitter for scoring updates. Post-game review to follow.
– Byron Jones