By John Stepp / For The Endzone
HALLS, TENN. — The Williamsburg Yellow Jackets opened the 2013 season with a whopping 43-14 win over the Halls (Tenn.) Red Devils.
Jackets’ senior quarterback Dalton Sizemore turned in a huge performance for the Jackets, scoring three rushing and three passing touchdowns on the night.
After stopping Halls on their first possession, Williamsburg wasted little time finding the scoreboard. Sizemore found junior wide receiver Corey Shelton down the sideline for a 77-yard catch, followed by a one-yard touchdown run by Sizemore. The extra point was no good, giving the Jackets an early 6-0 lead.
After a 72-yard touchdown run by Halls’ Garret Moyers gave the Red Devils a 7-6 lead, Williamsburg’s Sizemore found pay dirt, yet again, on a three-yard touchdown run. Sizemore connected with junior wide receiver Skyler Griffith on the two-point conversion to make the score 14-7 Williamsburg with 1:54 left in the first quarter.
“I thought Dalton (Sizemore) did a good job tonight. There were a few mistakes, but when they’re sending five, six, seven guys at you, it’s hard,” said Williamsburg Coach Jerry Herron. “Offensively, we did some things wrong, missed a few blitzes and protections. But, I thought our offensive line protected well and I thought all of our fullbacks did a good job, too.”
With just under a minute left in the first quarter, Jackets’ junior linebacker Michael Rose-Creekmore intercepted a Halls pass and returned it to midfield to set up Williamsburg’s final score of the first half. Just two plays later, Griffith hauled in a pass from Sizemore, moving the Jacket offense to the seven-yard line. On the next play, Sizemore scored his third rushing touchdown of the night with a seven-yard run. With 11:58 to play in the second quarter, Williamsburg held a 20-7 advantage.
Despite being held scoreless the remainder of the first half, the Williamsburg defense continued to dominate the Halls’ offense. Griffith intercepted a pass and senior defensive lineman Luke Perry recovered a fumble to stop any scoring threat from the Halls’ offense.
“Coach Hatcher’s defense did a remarkable job. We had that one long run that we gave up, but as a whole we were pretty good,” said Herron. “We got to play a lot of kids tonight, and that’s always good for us.”
Things started to get out of hand in the second half, as the Williamsburg offense was firing on all cylinders. Sizemore found Griffith in the back of the end zone for the first passing touchdown of the game, to give the Jackets a 27-7 lead with 9:25 left in the third quarter. Williamsburg added a field goal on the next possession as junior kicker Brently Patrick put a 27-yard kick between the uprights, pushing the Jackets lead to 30-7 with five-minutes left in the third.
“It’s been a long time since we kicked a field goal. I think it was back in 2004,” said Herron. “That’s a new weapon for us this year. If we get in there close we have a good chance to get three.”
The Jackets added another score in the third quarter when Sizemore connected with Shelton for a 61-yard touchdown pass with 2:41 left in the period. The duo teamed up again to open the fourth quarter with a 47-yard touchdown pass, all but putting the game out of reach 43-14.
Substitutes for both teams played the remainder of the game.
Sizemore finished the game with 415 yards passing and 70 yards rushing while Griffith had 128 yards receiving in the win. Shelton finished with a game-high 230 yards receiving while Williamsburg rolled up 515 yards of total offense.
The Jackets return to the gridiron next week when they take on the North Laurel Jaguars in Cumberland Valley Bowl XIII at South Laurel High School.