- Published on Thursday, 25 October 2012 13:06
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The Drifters (4-3, 4-4) are scratching and clawing their way into a potential Regional playoff berth. After two losses in a row to Rappahannock and Essex, the Drifters were not ready to throw in the towel for the 2012 season.
Not only did they dominate Northumberland (1-7, 2-7) offensively (51-26), but also they did it the hard way, by rushing for 505 yards on 48 carries. Prior to the Northumberland win, the Drifters were winless in the Northern Neck District.
“It was not the perfect game for us by any means,” Drifter varsity head coach, Scott Foster said. “Although we scored 51 points, defensively as a team, we had 45 missed tackles.”
Utilizing the big efforts of the Drifters, the Indian defense was left bewildered, wondering which player to key on. The following players contributed to the Drifters rushing attack: Dion Gonzalez 24-195 (TD); Shamar Shanks 4-101 (2 TDs); Tim McDowney 7-79 (TD); Nick Graves 9-75 (2 TDs); Dez’John Parker 4-55 (TD).
The Drifters executed the following scores in all four quarters: first quarter - Gonzalez 50-yard run (Gonzalez 2-point conversion); second quarter – Graves eight-yard run (Gonzalez 2-point conversion); third quarter – Graves 20-yard run (2-point conversion failed); McDowney 47-yard run (McDowney 2-point conversion); Shanks 46-yard run (McDowney 2-point conversion); fourth quarter – Shanks 46-yard run (2-point conversion failed); Parker 51-yard run (Graves 2-point conversion).
According to Foster, in an effort to enhance their big play attack, the Drifters inserted Tim McDowney in as the starting quarterback. “It was a change of pace for our offense, because Tim presents a threat to score from anywhere on the field,” Foster said. McDowney has scored four touchdowns since he was reinserted into the Drifter offense. On defense, McDowney is often matched up against the other team’s best receiver.
With the playoffs on the horizon, the Drifters realize their VHSL region ranking (8th) is vulnerable to a potential loss. Currently there are six to 12 teams that are relatively close in the power point rating. “From here on out, wins are going to be important if you want to host a playoff game,” Foster said. “If you’re going to be a playoff team, you have to start building, and you need to start catching fire now.”
The interesting part of the equation is that the Drifters are a small school with fewer than 200 students, and for years, they have relied on their physical resources for success on the field.
Cautiously optimistic, Foster continues to encourage his players to remember their football fundamentals. “We’ve yet to really put a complete game together all year,” Foster said. “We’ve had games where the offense clicked, and the defense failed to show up, and we’ve had games where the defense came together, and the offense could not move the ball.”
Foster hopes that fullback and middle-linebacker, Josh Thomas’ return to the Drifter lineup on Friday will fill the defensive void. The hard-nosed, feisty, no-nonsense athlete will present a new set of problems for the visiting Lancaster Red Devils on Friday, at Monroe Park. Game time is 7 p.m.
Leonard Banks, Sports editor