POWHATAN – After each of their first three losses this season, the Powhatan Indians felt that if one or two things had gone differently, they would’ve won.
But tonight against Monacan, “a hundred things would’ve had to go different,” pointed out Powhatan head football coach Mike Henderson following the Indians’ 55-28 loss to a high-powered Chiefs unit that flexed its speed and big-play ability throughout Powhatan’s Homecoming game.
“They’re an excellent football team,” Henderson said of Monacan while having added: “This isn’t like we’re playing up two divisions – this team’s in our division. They just beat us soundly in every facet of the football game and we told our guys right there: we’ve got to figure out a way to get better.”
For Powhatan, Aaron Nash carried the ball 7 times for 60 yards and two touchdowns, and he threw for 52 yards and completed 4 of 7 passes, including a fourth-quarter, 30-yard touchdown that he aired out to receiver and track standout Anthony Greenhow in the left corner of the end zone. Hans Rehme, who switched-off at quarterback with Nash throughout the contest, completed 9 of 17 passes for 85 yards and added 18 yards and a goal-line score on 5 carries.
Running back Mitchell Johnson carved up chunks of yardage for first-down gains early and finished with 60 yards on 14 carries. Nate Moyer hauled in 8 receptions for 54 yards and Tye Morris had 3 catches for 47 yards.
Powhatan’s offense tonight enjoyed its best first half production-wise since playing George Wythe in its second game of the regular season; Rehme and his offensive line pushed forward for a goal-line touchdown at the end of a drive featuring his 39-yard rocket of a pass to Morris down the left field sideline, and athletic Aaron Nash in the second quarter dashed 20 yards around the right side to cap a drive set up by a punt that followed Zach Karanian’s 10-yard sack of Monacan’s quarterback.
“I thought we played a little bit better offensively tonight,” Henderson said, while adding that, when facing a high-powered offense with a lot of speed, they “need to find a way to put a few more scores out there and we weren’t able to do it.”
Both of Powhatan’s touchdowns tied the game early – the latest near the 6-minute mark of the second quarter – after Monacan went ahead 7-0 and 14-7. But a 20-point explosion fueled by big plays put the Chiefs in command at the half. Within a gametime minute of Powhatan’s second score to tie the game, Kyjuan Pettus racked up the yards after catch on a 66-yard play off the short pass from Tyler Hensley, and Josiah Nelson finished off the quick drive with a 4-yard run.
Monacan’s Zacchaeus Pullings made two first-half touchdown receptions, including a blistering 73-yard catch-and-run down the right sideline in the second quarter. He also helped set up two more touchdowns by his teammates Elijah McCleod – in the first quarter – and JJ Allen – on a short run near the end of the first half – by hauling in catches that went 58 and 48 yards, respectively. Pullings put the exclamation mark on his big night when he caught an interception near the top of the third quarter to initiate the drive finished-off by a touchdown pass to Xavier Wilson near the right corner of the end zone.
Defensively for Powhatan, Isaac Trent and Chase Gayness each racked up 8 tackles including 6 solo efforts each, with Trent getting a tackle for a loss. TJ Gates made 7 tackles including 5 assists. Wyatt Lowe and Tristen Bradley each made 6 tackles including 1 for a loss, with Lowe getting 4 solo efforts and Bradley making 4 assists. Karanian made the booming 10-yard sack to set up Nash’s first scoring drive of the game, and Josh Jordan and Ethan Dowdy each made 3 solo tackles.
In playing standout teams like Monacan and Manchester – whom Powhatan will see – Henderson said that “you see where you need to be.” Powhatan plays at Manchester High School on Friday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m.