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Christchurch to host VES on Saturday

Christchurch junior Cleveland “Cool” Battle of Stem, N.C., rushed for yardage in last Saturday’s scrimmage against Richmond Collegiate.
Due to last Friday’s electrical storm, the Christchurch School Fighting Seahorses had just one scrimmage this year in preparation for the season, but the outlook is very positive. “The team is much more experienced than last year and is ready for a winning season,” said head coach Ed Homer.

Saturday’s scrimmage with the Collegiate School of Richmond went well for the Seahorses, albeit after a slow start. Within the controlled, 10 plays on defense and 10 plays on offense, Collegiate got the better of the Horses with two scores—one on a pass play of 5 yards that turned into a 70-yard touchdown, and the other on an interception return for a touchdown.

When the scrimmage quarters got going, so did the Seahorses. On Collegiate’s first possession, sophomore Carlos Gray intercepted a pass that led to a 5-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Taylor Byrd to senior Josh Lovell (both Gloucester natives). 

On Collegiate’s second possession, sophomore corner back Pat Young of Ewing, N.J., caused a fumble with a jarring tackle and Gray recovered. 

The CCS offense failed to move the ball on this possession but Lovell punted a beautiful 50-yard bomb to strand the Cougars inside their 10 yard line. The CCS defense held and forced Collegiate to punt. 

On their third possession, Christchurch running back Cleveland Battle ran for 12 yards around left end, and two plays later scored on a 20-yard touchdown run up the middle. Battle led all rushers with 60 total yards.

The front lines led the day for Christchurch. The offensive running game was clicking all morning. Lovell, a top tight end recruit of the University of Maryland, led an offensive line made up of captains Collin Brooke (center) from Alexandria, and David Bracket (tackle) from Ahoskie, N.C., as well as junior Ben Heckman (guard) of Fairfax, sophomore Win Homer (tackle) of Christchurch, and Jeff Williams (guard) of Danville. 

The Cougars were not able to gain any yards on the ground. On defense, linebackers junior Heckman, Williams and Gray helped a front four of Lovell, Brackett, Brooke and Homer to hold back the Cougar running game. 

At defensive back, CCS played without the two starting corners. Senior Shane Jones of Toano and sophomore Andy Snow of Hartfield were both out of the scrimmage with minor injuries. Their replacements, junior Delonte Stewart of Washington, D.C., and freshman Ashby Lewis of Lancaster gained valuable experience in their first varsity scrimmage and improved as the day went along. Playing strong at safety were Battle and sophomore James Ford of Hopewell.

Ford also played both quarterback and tailback on offense, where a strong run around left end set up the touchdown pass from Byrd to Lovell.

Christchurch School opens its 2009 football season at 1 p.m. this Saturday, September 12, against Virginia Episcopal School at Dischinger Field on the Christchurch School campus. Admission is free.

posted 09.08.2009

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