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Bruins Sports


Posted Monday, November 04, 2013 by Virginiapreps.com

Bruins Win Wild One on Homecoming: Saturday night's Homecoming at Western Branch High School in Chesapeake between the host Bruins and visiting Nansemond River Warriors was a roller-coaster type of game with many unforeseen twists and turns along the way. Fans at the Art Brandriff Sports Complex witnessed several exciting moments as well as sloppiness on both ends in the form of 13 fumbles, 10 turnovers and over 200 yards in penalties by the two teams.

Western Branch jumped out on Nansemond River from the very beginning to the tune of a 21-0 first quarter lead, only to watch the Warriors battle back and make things much tighter than expected for parts of the second half. Leading by seven with just over nine minutes to play, Western Branch proceeded to score off four consecutive turnovers and widen its advantage to a running clock margin of 35 with three minutes to go during a head-spinning 63-28 win.

Rarely does a team have the type of scoring output that the now 8-1 Bruins had in spite of nine fumbles, four of which that were lost, 15 penalties for 150 yards and losing the Time of Possession battle. However, Western Branch's scoring strikes that came in a multitude of ways proved to be as timely as they were lethal.

"You fumble the ball nine times and come away with a 35-point victory and have 63 on the scoreboard, I'll take it," admitted second-year Western Branch Head Football Coach Greg Gibson.

"We had a couple times where we could've closed them out, turned the ball over and made some bad errors. It was a little sloppy with the penalties, too, and it kept drives alive for them that made them close. You just have to play smart football. In the end, the kids were able to overcome the turnovers and we were able to get on a roll offensively and also defensively with some scores."

On offense, Western Branch rolled up 361 yards rushing on 51 attempts, plus moved the chains successfully three times on fourth down. The Bruins also recorded 13 tackles for loss, four sacks and three touchdowns. With the 3TD's on defense, that brings their season total to ten scores on that side of the ball through nine contests.

Rod Johnson
Daryn Dunkley and Western Branch went from up 7 to up 35 in a span of 6:12

In spite some of some positives statistically, the feeling afterwards that Western Branch has a lot to clean up in order to be a threat in the postseason. As things stand going into their regular season finale with King's Fork, the Bruins looked pretty much locked into the #3 seed in the 6A-South (East) bracket of the playoffs behind top seeds Oscar Smith and Ocean Lakes.

"We definitely have to work on ball security next week. I told them if we don't turn the ball over, we score every time we have the ball," Gibson recalled.

"There were some [fumbles] that I was real agitated on because we were just carrying the ball really carelessly. I think that's an easily correctable thing, just concentrating on keeping it high and tight. Through the week of practice, they'll understand that they're not going to want to carry the ball carelessly after going through some of the stuff that they'll work on to keep the ball high and tight."

Defenders Rise to the Challenge: Coming into the season, the headline names for Western Branch were seniors RB/LB Terence Ricks and CB DaiQuan Lawrence as well as ATH T.J. Boothe and OG Thomas Coleman. Ricks and Lawrence are committed to play their College Football at Wake Forest; Boothe and Coleman have given a verbal to Hampton University.

But on Saturday night, two relatively unknown seniors to the rest of the Hampton Roads area made a major impact on defense for the Bruins - - DB Jeremiah Young and OLB Daryn Dunkley.

On the night, Dunkley posted a game-high 13 total tackles, nine of the solo variety, with five stops behind the line of scrimmage, including a sack, forced a fumble, recovered a fumble and had a quarterback hurry. With senior middle 'backer Ronnie Gardner still out to his injury, his presence was valuable in keeping Nansemond River star RB Latrell 'Vegas' Sandifer under 100 yards rushing. Vegas came in having rushed for 1192 yards and 9TD's.

As for Young, the Warriors tested the Bruins' defensive backfield early and often. While Lawrence and Davion Taylor, an off-season transfer from Maury, manned the corners, Young played over the top and offered support from the safety spot. His contributions were plentiful with two interceptions, one of which he returned 99 yards for a touchdown.

"We have this mentality and philosophy of next man up. We've done that with guys coming off the bench because of injuries and whatnot. These guys Jeremiah and Daryn don't necessarily get the big pub week in and week out on our defense, but they're real solid players," Gibson noted.

"When the time comes, they have stepped up in the past. Tonight they really came to the forefront with some huge plays for us. It's great to see those guys get their turn to get some recognition."

Glover Continues to Flourish: There were questions marks about who would fill the void of stud RB Josh Marriner, the 2012 Southeastern District Offensive Player of the Year who's now at UCONN. Replacing Marriner is no easy task, but Western Branch is less than 100 yards away on the ground for 3000 on the season thanks in large part to the addition of Mondryl Glover.

Leslie Wilde
Mondryl Glover rushed for over 200 yards in another Bruins blowout

A speedster from track that played as a sophomore but didn't as a junior, Glover broke touchdown runs of 77 and 45 yards on the Nansemond River defense. He finished the night with 216 yards on 21 carries to give him 1200 yards and 12TD's rushing going into the team's final regular season contest. Even more impressive is his 9.7 yards per carry average.

"Mondryl's a great kid. He comes over to the sideline to me and is like, 'Coach, just run the ball to me, it's working all night.' I said, 'Okay, we will.' He had some spectacular ones like that one when it was third-and-30 and we run the jet sweep and he gets 26 yards," Gibson commented. "When it's his turn to block, he does a great job blocking. But he's pretty spectacular."

Must-Win for Nansemond River Upcoming: At 3-6 overall, Nansemond River is projected to be the #14 seed in the 4A-South playoffs with an opening round matchup against reigning Division 5 State Champion Lake Taylor in Norfolk. That is provided everything goes according to form, of course, and that means they have to beat Deep Creek, a team that started 0-7, though is fairly confident after back-to-back wins over Indian River and Lakeland.

A loss to the Hornets might keep the Warriors out of the postseason, extending the program's drought to 18 seasons. Their last playoff game was a 28-7 loss to Sherando in 1995.

To try to punch their postseason ticket, the Warriors will lean on Sandifer on offense and senior linebacker Marvin Branch, who was in on 12 tackles and both recovered a fumble and forced one, to lead the defensive charge.

Postgame Audio with Western Branch Coach Greg Gibson

Final Stats:

Western Branch Bruins 63:
Mondryl Glover - - 21Car. 216Yds. 2TD's
T.J. Boothe - - 3-4 for 58Yds. 1-1TD/Int. ratio; 15Car. 80Yds. 2TD's
Terence Ricks - - 8Car. 45Yds; 1Rec. 17Yds; 4 Tackles, 2.5TFL
Daryn Dunkley - - 13 Tackles (9 Solo), 5TFL, Sack, FF, FR, QBH
Arman Jones - - 10 Tackles (4 Solo), Fumble Rec. TD
Davion Taylor - - 6 Tackles (5 Solo), 2XP's Blocked, PBU

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