Christchurch wins first state football title
|Behind the blocking of senior Win Homer (#62) and Bryan Ransom (#61), Christchurch tailback Carlos Gray (#5) races 11 yards for a third quarter touchdown. (Photo by Scott Blankenship)|
by Tom Hardin
A perfect season
CCS d. Covenant 39-0
CCS d. Nansemond Suffolk 33-0
CCS d. Blessed Sacrament Huguenot Catholic 30-12
CCS d. Virginia Episcopal 48-0
CCS d. Trinity Christian (NC) 41-12
CCS d. Blue Ridge 36-0
CCS d. Trinity Episcopal 47-12
CCS d. St. Anne’s Belfield 56-6
CCS d. Blue Ridge (state semifinals) 41-8
CCS d. Potomac School (state finals) 48-15
Final Record: 10-0
Too fast. Too strong. Too skilled.
That’s what the Christchurch School Fighting Seahorses were last Saturday in their 48-15 win over Potomac School in the State Division II Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association (VISAA) championship football game.
Actually, the Seahorses were like that all year as they pummeled every opponent en route to a 10-0 record and first state title in school history. The closest game coach Ed Homer’s team had all season was an 18-point win over Blessed Sacrament.
In 10 games, CCS outscored their opponents 419-65. They had four shutouts and most of the points they gave up were late in the game when reserves were on the field.
In last Saturday’s 48-15 win on Dischinger Field at Christchurch, the Seahorses rushed for 407 yards and held Potomac to only 10 rushing yards in the first three quarters.
The Seahorse defense got the fireworks going when Carlos Gray tackled Potomac quarterback Kevin Havermann in the end zone for a safety midway through the first quarter.
On the ensuing free kick, Jordan Wallace of Christchurch followed the blocking of Will Smith 75 yards down the right sideline for a touchdown. Duncan Morris’ extra point kick was good and CCS led 9-0 with 7:51 remaining in the first quarter.
A 27-yard field goal by Ryan Eckert got Potomac on the scoreboard with 54 seconds remaining in the quarter.
Pat Young opened the second quarter with a 52-yard run to set up the next CCS score. Gray plunged in from 1 yard out and Morris added the extra point for a 16-3 Seahorse lead.
|Christchurch linebacker Cade Larabee intercepts a pass in the first half. (Photo by Tom Hardin)|
Late in the second quarter Davis Horbal intercepted a pass for CCS, and two plays later Young scored on an 14-yard run for a 22-3 halftime lead.
A Pat Young interception set up the first CCS TD of the second half late in the third quarter. With 2:09 to play Young sped 46 yards down the left sideline for the touchdown and the rout was on.
Gray scored from 11 yards out early in the fourth quarter and Morris kicked the extra point for a 35-3 Christchurch lead.
Havermann hit Cullen Hamilton on a 19-yard touchdown pass for Potomac to slice the lead to 35-9.
Alex Girvan passed 9 yards to Gray for the next CCS score. Morris added the extra point and the Seahorses led 42-9.
Calvin Strong ran 33 for the final Christchurch TD of the game.
With a 48-9 lead late in the fourth quarter, the Seahorse reserves were given a chance to experience state championship game action.
Potomac’s final points came on a 1-yard run by Brandon Arvanaghi on the last play of the game.
Young finished with 152 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns on 15 carries, and also added 2 interceptions and 5 tackles on defense. Gray had 149 yards on 11 carries.
The big Seahorse offensive and defensive lines were outstanding. The linemen included Will Smith, Win Homer, Ryan Ransom, Bryan Ransom, Brandon Ashworth and William Murray.
The Ransom brothers combined for 10 tackles, a sack and an interception.
Linebackers Jeff Williams and Cade Larabee were solid and the defensive backfield of Brendan Cole, Horbal, Young and Ashby Lewis kept the high-powered passing game of Potomac in check.
“This was a memorable year, with incredible kids and kind and hard-working adults to help all around,” said CCS coach Ed Homer. “Assistant coach Bob Phipps, our former head of school, and assistant coaches Keith Bloom, Vince Smith, and Ian York, were all incredible. The school was so supportive! We just had to coach, and they did the rest. Our soccer team went to states, as did volleyball. We went to state finals in baseball and lacrosse last spring and lacrosse won their second straight state title. Things are going very well. Thanks to Mr. Byers supporting our efforts. I am very proud to be a part of this school community and look forward to next year.”