By: LaMonte Thomas & Drew Willingham
Headline Photo & Video Credit: LaMonte Thomas
Thomas Dale’s Chris Tyree continues to be a workhorse and make a huge impact for the Chester based team. Friday’s game at home against Hermitage started off a little slow as both teams looked strong on defense heading into the final minutes of the first half.
The score was 0-0 until Thomas Dale punched in two touchdowns with less than 4 minutes left in the first half. The Knights were running the I-Formation consistently, utilizing the rushing attack with Tyree and Adam Hall. Despite the two quick touchdowns, the game was still in reach for Hermitage as the score was only 12-0 going into halftime.
Thomas Dale was set to receive the ball at the start of the second half. Upon returning from halftime, the Knights appeared to be poised and determined to keep the momentum in their favor.
A quick touchdown increased the lead to 18-0 despite Hermitage blocking the first 3 extra points. Followed by a field goal and a touchdown to make it a 28-0 lead. Just as the game was pulling away from Hermitage, they rebounded and appeared to finally find their mojo.
Hermitage’s Quarterback was struggling to find a rhythm with his receivers throughout the first 3 quarters, despite all that he was able to persevere and have one stellar drive. The quarterback finally connected with one of his receivers early in the fourth quarter to make the score 28-7. That score ended a season long scoreless streak of 11 full quarters.
Despite that the crowds energy was high as the knights we’re cruising towards their second victory of the season. However, the biggest setback came with just under 8 minutes left in the game.
At the end of a routine play, student-athletes on both sides cringed, shrieked, and sprinted to the sidelines and took a knee. The mood quickly became solemn and the crowd grew silent. It was if someone took the air right out of the ball and you could hear a pin drop.
Thomas Dale’s leader, lineman Rick D’Abreu suffered what appeared to be a season ending injury. The overwhelming injury left everyone in shock as the star athlete who just commited to JMU a little over a month ago was down near midfield.
As EMS took him off the field, D’Abreu waved his arms to his teammates to signify that his team spirit remained. Both teams said a prayer for the athlete; the stadium a standing ovation, and a referee timeout occurred before the game resumed.
Thomas Dale Head Coach Kevin Tucker would say this about his injured star, “You don’t replace a Rick D’Abreu, you just hope a guy can fill in and honor his legacy for the rest of the year.”
Thomas Dale would go on to score another touchdown and a safety in honor of their leader for a final score of 37-7.