Deerfield’s Steven Williams sacks Sherwood quarterback Chris Thomas and causes a fumble in Friday night’s game. (Staff photo: John Millikan)
ALBANY — To say the Deerfield-Windsor Knights did not earn their win Friday night would be unfair.
But it must also be noted that the Sherwood Christian Eagles made things really easy for them.
Two turnovers, two punts and two bad snaps (one of which resulted in a safety) all in the first half opened the door for the Knights to walk away with a 47-12 win and get back in the win column after being shut out last week.
“It was a good win for us; we played well in a lot of areas so it feels good,” Deerfield head coach Allen Lowe said. “We’ve been through a tough opening game stretch so we just needed to come out and have some fun.”
The Knights (4-2) had their fun capitalizing off most of the mistakes made by the Eagles and quickly jumped out to a double-digit lead that they never relinquished. And all of it came without star running back Matthew Fox, who sat out the game with a sore elbow.
Sherwood meanwhile falls to 1-4 on the year and failed to put together its first winning streak of the season. The Eagles were without several key players and were forced to put some of their players in unfamiliar positions.
“We played great football for three minutes and for the rest of the game looked like a team that didn’t know what to do,” Sherwood head coach Otis Covington said. “We made one mistake and it snowballed into a series of mistakes that allowed Deerfield to take control of the game.
“They scored a bunch of, in my opinion, unearned points because of field position and mistakes we made.”
After exchanging fumbles in the first quarter, the Knights got the ball back when the Eagles turned the ball over on downs. Tripp Presley got his team on the board with a quarterback keeper from two yards out.
The Eagles did answer with a scoring drive of their own. Quarterback Chris Thomas executed a textbook read-option play, faking it to his tailback before running up the left side for a big 67-yard touchdown run.
“We saw something [early on] and made an adjustment to what they were trying to do,” Covington said of the play.
Sherwood would not see the end zone again until the last play of the game when Chaz Griffin caught a screen pass and took it up the right side from 70 yards out.
Up three points after their first of two safeties, the Knights hit pay dirt again in the second quarter when Chris Boswell dashed up the middle for a seven-yard score. Reid Wright added another touchdown run on the next drive, giving the Knights a 23-6 lead.
The Eagles tried to get into field goal range just before halftime, but Austin Cain picked off Thomas’ pass. The next play Deerfield tacked on three more points when Harry Vildibill kicked a 25-yard field goal through the uprights.
“Our linemen did a good job of blocking, our running backs did a good job of running and our receivers did a good job of catching,” said Presley, who had 42 yards rushing to go with his touchdown. “Our defense shut them down and it was an all-around team effort.”
For Lowe that is just how he likes it.
“When you look at the stats things will be very well spread out,” he said. “We got contributions from a lot of players and that is big when you’re missing a guy like Fox.”
Deerfield scored four more times in the second half, including its second safety of the game. Boswell scored his second touchdown of the game before handing things over to the reserves.
On defense the Knights had no trouble bottling up halfback Keyshawn Powell and the rest of the Eagles’ offense.
“They only had like 17 or 18 [healthy] guys so we knew we had to take advantage of our numbers,” senior linebacker Nick Michas said. “We knew they might get their second wind to start the second half so we came out fired up and were ready to put them away.”
The Eagles will try to get back on track when they open up region play against Valwood. The Knights will have a little more time to savor their cross-town win before hosting Bulloch Academy in two weeks.