Godwin versus Deep Run is known as “the premier high school rivalry in Short Pump.” The rivalry is always heated, and after weeks of trash talk among the students of the two schools, everything was settled Friday night on the football field at Axselle Stadium.
In a game in which Godwin had more miscues than highlights, the Eagles were able to overcome their struggles and win the game 24-10.
The game began with a promising Godwin drive. Sophomore running back DJ Anderson carried the ball eight times for 59 yards during this drive alone, highlighted by a 22 yard run. Godwin freshman quarterback, Preston Hutchinson was also able to connect with senior wide receiver Garrett Lemelin for 12 yards on a key fourth down and eight.
Despite the success early in the drive, the Eagles were unable to put the ball in the end zone after having a first and goal at the six yard line. However, senior kicker Chris Ray was able to finish the drive with a 30 yard field goal.
Deep Run looked very shaky on their first drive. It included a series of negative plays. The Wildcats were called for a personal foul on the kickoff, so their drive started inside their own ten yard line.
Godwin senior linebacker AB Rhodes then had a tackle for loss on the Wildcats’ first play, and the Deep Run quarterback, senior Jack Click, was unable to handle the snap on the second play. Click then completed a short pass, but Deep Run was forced to punt.
This was not a night that Godwin special teams would like to remember. The first of their three mistakes came when senior Delton Dunkum returned the punt into Deep Run territory, but the ball was then stripped from him and recovered by Deep Run.
Deep Run was able to take advantage of their field position and convert on a 30 yard field goal by Josh Diumstra.
Following the field goal, the Deep Run defense forced a Godwin three and out. Eagles senior punter Cullen King then mishandled the punt, which led to a block, the second special teams miscue of the game.
After another impressive defensive series, Godwin failed to move the ball and was forced to punt. King did not mishandle the snap this time, but the Wildcats were able to block their second punt of the day to position their offense in Godwin territory.
Even with the many special teams’ mistakes, the Eagles defense was able to bail them out once again. Finally, the Godwin offense was able to move the ball effectively with the perfect mix of power running and timely passing. Junior tight end Aaron D’Amato made a spectacular catch off a Hutchinson pass for an 18 yard gain, and Anderson was able to finish the drive with a nine yard touchdown run.
Godwin headed into the locker room at the half with a 10-3 lead, but the game was far from over.
On the Eagles first drive of the second half, the offense had their second turnover of the day after junior running back Will Barney fumbled after a nice gain.
The Godwin defense had contained the Deep Run offense all night and prevented big plays until Deep Run running back Nick Konstantinidis was able to break a tackle and take it in for a 33 yard touchdown midway through the third quarter. Konstantinidis finished the night with 73 yards on 11 carries.
With the momentum favoring Deep Run, Dunkum, who was in at quarterback, was able to scramble for 25 yards to put the Eagles in scoring position. Dunkum finished the drive with a ten yard touchdown run to make the score 17-10.
Anderson finished the night with 205 yards on 33 carries, but with the Godwin offense driving near the end of the third quarter, Anderson had Godwin’s third fumble of the night. Each of Godwin’s three fumbles came after sizable gains.
The third quarter ended, and Godwin was up 17-10 despite the fumbles and blocked punts. Deep Run then faced a crucial fourth down at the beginning of the final quarter. Click delivered a perfect pass that just got over the outstretched arms of Lemelin, who was playing safety, and it looked like the ball was going to land in the arms of Wildcat wide receiver, Shawn Johnson. However, the ball slipped through his hands while he was in the end zone putting Godwin in the driver’s seat in the beginning of the fourth quarter.
Godwin was forced to punt, and they got it off clean. After King pinned Deep Run inside their ten yard line, D’Amato, also a defensive end, swatted Click’s pass down on third down. The Eagles offense regained possession midway through the fourth quarter with a seven point lead.
Anderson then put Godwin up by 14 points with only five minutes left in the game. Deep Run’s final two drives resulted in zero points, and the game ended with a final score of 24-10.
D’Amato impressed on both sides of the ball. As a tight end he had three catches for 53 yards. At defensive end he had two sacks and the key swat. When asked how he was able to perform on such a high level playing on both sides of the ball, he replied, “It was tiring, but you’ve got to get over it. It’s a rivalry game.”
As well as D’Amato catching passes, Anderson was also a bright spot on the Eagles’ offense. He rushed for 205 yards and added two touchdowns. After his breakout performance, Anderson credited others, saying, “I had good blocking from the offensive line and the H backs.”
Godwin had their ups and downs, but they were able to emerge victorious in an important rivalry game. Head coach John Phillips said after the game, “I’m proud of (the team) for overcoming a little adversity.”
Next week the Eagles travel to face the undefeated and greatly improved Freeman Rebels. “We’ve got to clean it up if we’re going to win next week,” said Phillips.
Deep Run Stats
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