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Bruins Sports


Posted Saturday, September 21, 2013 by VirginiaPreps.com

The Oscar Smith Tigers entered their game with the Western Branch Bruins having dominated their first two opponents by a scoring advantage of 103 - 2. Western Branch experienced success in its first two games with wins against Peninsula District foe, Bethel High, and a Southeastern District combatant, the Hickory Hawks.

On Friday night, the nine-time Southeastern District Champions welcomed the Bruins to Beard-DeLong-Easley Field for what could be a future playoff matchup for these district competitors. The outcome was a lot closer than the capacity crowd expected, with the Tigers (3 - 0) edging Western Branch (2 - 1) by a score of 27 - 14.

Box Score







Western Branch






Oscar Smith






Scoring Summary


Time (Qtrs.)

Scoring Plays

Game Score



9:44 (1)

McClease 3-yd run; PAT Davis

7 - 0


7:29 (1)

Sweat 6-yd pass from Mitchell; PAT Davis

14 - 0


8:58 (2)

Summerville 2-yd run-lateral, PAT Dudek

14 - 7


6:12 (2)

Fenner 27-yd pass from Mitchell; PAT failed

20 - 7


6:18 (3)

Bradshaw 12-yd pass from Mitchell; PAT Davis

27 - 7


4:24 (4)

Boothe 8-yd run, PAT Dudek

27 - 14


Tigers set the tone early: Oscar Smith won the opening coin toss and quickly employed its "fast-break" spread offense, under the direction of 14-year-old freshman Shon Mitchell. Starting on their own 49-yard line, following a brilliant kickoff return of 42-yards by senior Jaylen Bradshaw (a Virginia Tech commit), the Tigers featured the precision passing of Mitchell and thunderous running of junior tailback Dashawn McClease to move the ball 51 yards in seven plays. This drive was capped by a 3-yard touchdown run by McClease. The PAT by junior placekicker Brad Davis made the score 7 - 0.

After a short punt by the Bruins, Oscar Smith claimed the ball on the Western Branch 35-yard line and drove for its second score by virtue of a 6-yard pass from Mitchell to junior tight end Josh Sweat. In less than five minutes, the game looked like a runaway for the home team at 14 - 0.

Weathering the storm:
On the other side of the field, second-year coach Greg Gibson showed not one ounce of panic, and stuck with the Bruins' disciplined, ball-controlled rushing attack. With just under ten minutes remaining in the second quarter Western Branch got its chance to respond after back-to-back snap miscues by the Tigers. The latter, in conjunction with an unsportsmanlike infraction, set the table for the Bruins at the five-yard line of Oscar Smith. In two plays, the visitors changed their fortune with a 2-yard run by senior wingback Eugene Summerville. The Tigers' lead had been cut in half, 14 - 7.

Regaining the momentum:
In its quest for a 58th consecutive district win, Oscar Smith took a positive step to regain control of the contest on the game's next offensive possession. Starting from their 21-yard line, the Tigers used four running plays and two passes to drive the ball downfield for a third touchdown. This scoring drive concluded when Mitchell connected with senior wide-out Monty Fenner for a 27-yard tally. Fenner made a skillful over-the-shoulder catch after getting behind the Bruins' secondary. Davis' PAT hit the uprights and fell into the end zone, resulting in a halftime lead of 20 - 7 for the defending SED champs.

Holding serve:
Both teams would register a touchdown in the second half. Oscar Smith's points would come, in the third quarter, on Mitchell's third TD pass of this highly anticipated tilt. He found Bradshaw opened on an "out route" across the goal line, which widened the Tigers' lead to 27 - 7, with Davis' PAT.

The Bruins' squad, which battled valiantly throughout the night, scored a second TD on an 8-yard run from senior RB/WR T. J. Boothe. The Western Branch offense moved the ball 62 yards in seven plays. Boothe would carry the ball on five of the plays, lining up as a "wild-bear" back. He also hooked up with senior WR Michael Hodge on a 17-yard pass completion during this final series.

Relentless efforts:
Facing the run oriented attack, like the one featured by Western Branch, can take its toll on a defense. However, the Tigers' defensive linemen and linebacker corps did an admirable job slowing down a determined Bruin offensive unit. The pursuit and tackling were led, most noticeably, by seniors Marquise Cooke-Payton, Keshaan Cuffee, Chris White, Kam Cuffee, Andrew Brown, and juniors Josh Sweat and Jahlil Bagby. Sophomore Keyvone Bruton and seniors Lakwon Chapel and Monty Fenner added support to their teammates.

The Bruins' defense kept their team in striking distance throughout the contest. After a game-ending injury to leading tackler senior Ronnie Gardner, who had a fumble recovery and several tackles to his credit, junior Kenan Johnson, along with seniors Terence Ricks and Jeremiah Young exhibited leadership, which helped this unit turn in a solid performance.

Next up:
On September 27th, Oscar Smith will be at home to take on the Cavaliers of Lakeland, while Western Branch will be at home to square off against the Deep Creek Hornets. Game time for both contests will be 7 pm.


Key Game Stats:

Oscar Smith - 27:
First Downs: 15

- Shon Mitchell (QB) - 8 of 14 for 91 Yards, with 3 TDs and 1-Ints.
- Dashawn McClease (RB) - 18 rushes for 169 Yards, 1 TD
- Monty Fenner (WR) - 5 Recs. for 70 Yards, 1 TD
- Jaylen Bradshaw (WR) - 2 Recs. for 15 Yards, 1 TD; 1 Punt return for 37 Yards
- Josh Sweat (TE/LB) - 1 Rec. for 6 Yards, 1 TD; 7 Tackles, 2 Sacks
- Chris White (LB) - 8 Tackles, 2 TFLs
- Andrew Brown (DL) - 7 Tackles, 1 TFL, 1 QB Hurry

- Kam Cuffee (LB) - 7 Tackles

Western Branch - 14:
First Downs: 14

- Mondryl Glover (RB) - 12 Rushes for 77 Yards
- TJ Boothe (RB) - 7 Rushes for 30 Yards, 1 TD
- Eugene Summerville (RB) - 11 Rushes for 28 Yards, 1 TD
- Kenan Johnson (DL) - 5 Tackles, 1 Sack
- Ronnie Gardner (LB) - 4 Tackles, 1 Fumble recovery, 1 PBU
- Terence Ricks (LB) - 5 Tackles, 1 TFL


Merlin C. Vaughan serves as a sports analyst for Chesapeake WCTV's coverage of high school sports in the South Hampton Roads region. He is also the host of a sports talk program, The SportScene, airing on WCTV in Chesapeake, VA. Periodically, Merlin files articles for VirginiaPreps.com.

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