If you're a glass-is-half-full kind of guy, you could view Poquoson's 30-10 loss to visiting Dinwiddie on Friday optimistically. The Islanders, a Division 3 team, gave larger school Dinwiddie, a Division 5 state finalist in 2008, a much tougher battle than many expected.
But the competitive showing gave the glass-is-half-empty crowd plenty to latch onto. The fact is, had the Islanders (0-1) not hurt their cause with key turnovers and other breakdowns, they could've pulled off a big-time upset.
The Islanders served notice they would be more competitive than in last season's 36-7 loss to Dinwiddie when they trailed just 3-0 after a quarter. But the first breakdown came on the first play of the second quarter, when Generals quarterback Chris Hall exploited a Poquoson blitz by passing to an open Drakar Harvell on a slant for a 90-yard touchdown.
Hall, a Virginia Tech recruit, struck again late in the first half, passing 50 yards to Darius Hawkins down the right sideline. Two plays later Hall (11-of-25 passing, 271 yards) ran 3 yards for a score to give the Generals (1-0) a 16-0 lead at intermission.
But the Islanders were a different team, and arguably the better team, in the second half. They ran off 10 plays and ate up nearly six minutes of clock in driving from their 19 to the Generals 22 on the first series of the third quarter.
"I don't know if they were more fatigued at the beginning of the second half than we were," Poquoson coach Elliott Duty said. "But we came out and started running the ball and moving the ball."
But quarterback Tee McConnell's fumble at the 19 ended the drive. McConnell (166 yards passing) made up for it on the next possession by passing 64 yards to freshman Austin Turner, wide open because the Generals had only 10 men on the field.
Thomas Garris capitalized by running 2 yards for a touchdown, before McConnell passed to Dylan Hill for two points to cut the deficit to 16-8 with 1:09 left in the third quarter. But the Generals increased their lead to 23-8 on the ensuing kickoff, which Harvell returned 91 yards for a touchdown.
Undeterred, the Islanders drove 50 yards to the Dinwiddie 22 midway through the fourth quarter, only to lose the ball on a Garris fumble. Still, there was hope when Josh Forrest blocked a Dinwiddie punt out of the end zone for a safety to make it 23-10 with 3:13 to play.
And when Turner returned the ensuing free kick 23 yards to the Generals 47, there was more hope still. Another Poquoson turnover — a 55-yard interception return for a touchdown by Tavares Johnson with 2:22 remaining — extinguished the Islanders upset bid.
"I can't be disappointed with the way we played," Duty said. "We played tough, but it was the mental mistakes and missed opportunities killed us."
DINWIDDIE 30, POQUOSON 10Dinwiddie31377 — 30Poquoson0082 — 10Din: Thompson 30 field goal
Din: Harvell 90 pass from Hall (run failed)
Din: Hall 3 run (Thompson kick)
Poq: Garris 2 run (D. Hill pass from McConnell)
Din: Harvell 91 kickof return (Thompson kick)
Poq: Safety, Forrest blocked punt out of end zone
Din: Johnson 55 interception return (Thompson kick)TEAM STATSDinPoqFirst downs1015Rushes-yards20-10438-106Passing yards271166Comp-Att-Int11-25-08-23-1Punts-avg.4-254-39.8Penalties-yards8-874-33Fumbles-lost1-13-2Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun