Blake Appleton completed 17 of 19 passes for 206 yards and four touchdowns, all to receiver Budder Haley as the Skyline Hawks pulled away to defeat the Green Dragons 42-20 on Friday night in the first round of the Region 3B playoffs.
Neither team scored on their first possession, but the Hawks eventually took the lead on their 2nd possession. Appleton connected to Anthony Domino on a 40 yard reception to set Skyline up at the Dragons 10 yard line. On the next play, Appleton connected to Haley for the first of their 4 touchdowns. That put the Hawks up 7-0 with 1:23 left in the first quarter.
Dupree Rucker tied it up for William Monroe on their next possession, running the ball on 7 of the 8 plays for the Dragons, capping it off with a 3 yard touchdown run. The score was tied 7-7 with 9:39 left in the 2nd quarter.
The next possessions for both teams were problematic. First the Hawks coughed it up on a David Carter fumble after crossing midfield. Then the Dragons snapped the ball over the punter's head, and he was only able to manage a punt of negative 23 yards. After alternating 5 yard pre-snap penalties, Appleton hit Haley on a 21 yard pass to put Skyline up 14-7 with 6:50 left in the 2nd quarter.
The Hawks looked to have the Dragons in trouble on their next possession, but a dead ball unsportsmanlike conduct penalty turned a 3rd and 18 into a 3rd and 3. Dupree Rucker took the handoff and ran 62 yards for a touchdown, After much discussion, the extra point was kicked and the score was tied 14-14, which remained the score at the half.
William Monroe, in a similar manner to their previous meeting with the Hawks this year, took the 2nd half kickoff and ran most of the time off the third quarter off the clock. Rucker had 10 carries on the drive, including a 5 yard TD with 3:54 left in the quarter. The conversion pass was no good, and William Monroe was up 20-14.
Skyline mixed it up on their next possession, using Logan Maiatico, Carter and Santucci on the ground, and Haley through the air including a 23 yard touchdown reception to put the Hawks back up 21-20 with 1:50 left in the 3rd quarter.
The Hawks forced the Dragons to punt on their next possession, and Michael Davis blocked the punt, and Santucci picked up the ball near the 10 yard line and ran it in for the touchdown to put Skyline up 28=20 with 11:46 left in the game.
The next time the Hawks got the ball, it was a heavy dose of Santucci and Carter on the ground, as the Hawks ate time off the clock. Appleton finished off the drive by connecting with Haley yet again on a 10 yard pass that Haley broke a tackle, and a facemask penalty, to make it into the end zone. That put Skyline up 35-20 with 5:20 remaining.
The Dragons did move the ball on their next possession, as Jared Knights completed a 42 yard pass to Andrew Hoffacker. But facing a 4th and 6, and their season on the line, Rucker was tackled for a 4 yard loss by Will Wolf.
On Skyline's next play, David Carter broke through the defense on a run and streaked 67 yards for a touchdown, with Haley running behind him as his wing man for the last 30 yards.
Rucker carried the ball 31 times for 212 yards in a losing cause for the Dragons. Santucci had 10 carries for 61 yards and Carter had 6 carries for 74 yards for the Hawks. Skyline had 357 total yards of offense for the evening.
Skyline will travel to Goochland next Friday to face the Bulldogs.
Game Summaries & Headlines.
Varsity Football vs. William Monroe
- Game Date
- Nov 15, 2019
- HAWKS: 42
WILLIAM MONROE: 20