CLINTON – After giving up a total of 75 points over the past two weeks, High Point High School’s football team turned over a new leaf defensively with a dominant performance against Surrattsville High School on the road.
The Eagles defense had two safeties, two interceptions, a forced fumble and fumble recovery that led them to a 24-0 victory on Oct. 6.
The first big play from High Point’s defense came in the second quarter by junior safety Daron Walker. As Walker was trotting deep back in coverage, he stepped in front of the Hornets wide receiver to make an interception for his team.
“Pretty much, I was in the backfield, so I was watching the whole play,” Walker said. “I am also looking at the quarterback and his waist.
“So, I trailed the quarterback and wherever his waist went and wherever his eyes went, that’s where I was. I did my job and came to the ball and got the interception. We did good as a team talking to each other and taking responsibility for each job, not getting mad at each other and just kept pushing forward.”
After Walker’s interception, High Point sophomore quarterback Keshaun Griffin broke off for a 57-yard run. On the very next play, Griffin ran in for his second rushing touchdown from three yards out.That gave High Point a 13-0 late in the second quarter.
“I was using my offensive skills by basically using my speed and my God-giving ability to make plays, get first downs and win the game,” Griffin said.
“I mostly use my feet over passing for the most part, but I do try to pass. After I use my feet, I try to get out of the pocket but sometimes I can’t, so that’s when I use my arm. We made a lot of big plays when blocking, especially when I would run.”
Walker and his fellow teammates got into the Surrattsville backfield and forced a safety, which gave them a 15-0 lead as they went into halftime.
The second half started off like the first half ended as High Point’s defense picked up right where they left off.
On Surrattsville’s opening drive of the third quarter, High Point senior safety Thomas Owens earned the team’s second safety of the game via an early tackle, increasing the Eagles’ lead to 17.
“On that safety, I was just reading because they weren’t really running the ball that powerful,” Owens said. “So, I said I’m going just to sit back, saw the player run our the pocket and I got him.
The rest of the game ended with more plays by High Point’s defense as they closed the game out with a forced fumble, fumble recovery and interception in the fourth quarter.
“I think our defense could have done better” Owens said. “We kept giving away a lot of plays. We did get to the line of scrimmage well, and we played pretty good pass coverage.”
The vital game was High Point’s second win of the season but the blowout victory could have been the breakthrough that the Eagles needed.
“We compete and we been competing all season,” High Point Head Coach Wilbert Brinson said. “We just have to eliminate the minimal mistakes and the drive-killing penalties. “We’re a young team, and overall, we compete, but we really got to lock in and focus on everybody individually doing their job. I’m satisfied with the win and to score 24. I would think that’s an accomplishment for them as well. We still have a lot of work to do.
“They have to stay focused, and they have to continue to want to get better. What hurt us is that we lost some possessions and opportunities, so I tell them to stay focus. We didn’t play up to our potential today. We competed and played, but we missed a lot of opportunities because of the penalties and minimal mistakes.”