NEWPORT NEWS—Fans at Todd Stadium were treated to a show before the halftime festivities even started Friday night at Todd Stadium.
With a turnover on defense and a three-pronged rushing attack, Menchville put on a display in the first half of its homecoming game.
Patriots spoiled the party for Menchville with a 30-20 win.
"We have high expectations for Allen," Denbigh coach Marcellus Harris III said. "He made some nice throws tonight, got us in the end zone a few times, but he missed a few reads, which we expect him to improve on, but he fought well tonight."
Denbigh took the lead for good with 2:31 left in the first quarter, after the Patriots' O'Shea Bryant recovered a muffed punt at Menchville's 12-yard line. Simon threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Jenkins in the right side of the end zone to put Denbigh up 10-7.
It was the first of two touchdown passes in the first half for Simon; he floated a ball to Lavon Pearson with 7:04 left in the second quarter. Pearson shook off his defender, came back to the ball and then ran it the rest of the 49 yards for the score to give the Patriots (4-2, 3-2 Peninsula District) a 17-7 lead.
"Our strength is our wide receivers," Harris said. "We knew coming in tonight we had to score some points, because Menchville had (Clifton Richardson), and he can be dangerous."
The Monarchs answered just before halftime, after Trey Lewis intercepted a Simon pass and returned it to the Patriots' 29-yard line. Five plays later, Anthony Mullen ran right and dove into the end zone from 5 yards out with 40 seconds left to pull Menchville within three.
Simon's third touchdown pass came with 8:31 left in the third quarter, when he found Pearson again, this time in the right side of the end zone from 28 yards to put the Patriots up 24-14.
The Monarchs (1-5, 1-4) took a 7-3 lead six minutes into the game when Xavier Reid punched in a 1-yard run. That play was set up by a 38-yard, sideline-to-sideline scamper by Richardson.
Denbigh struck first on a 28-yard field goal by Kevin Jones at the 10:26 mark in the first quarter to go up 3-0.
"It's all about the fight," Harris said. "We put up a good one tonight, which I'm proud of."
DENBIGH 30, MENCHVILLE 20
|Denbigh 10776 — 30|
|Menchville 7706 — 20|
Men: Reid 1 run (Norton kick)
Den: Jenkins 1 pass from Simon (Jones kick)
Den: Pearson 49 pass from Simon (Jones kick)
Men: Mullen 5 run (Norton kick)
Den: Pearson 28 pass from Simon (Jones kick)
Den: Rawls 8 run (kick blocked)
Men: Richardson 6 run (run failed)