Royals fall to Knights 49-7

The Royals fell 49-7 to the Thomas Dale Knights in a Monday night game due to weather concerns last Friday night. The Royals (2-3) were hurt by turnovers around midgame which played into Thomas Dale (4-1) building up their lead.

“We gave up a kickoff return for a touchdown, and an interception return for a touchdown,” Prince George Head Coach Bruce Carroll said. “You can’t do that when you’re playing a good football team.”

After tying the score at 7-7 with a six yard run from Senior Quarterback Malaki Gurley, the Royals upon kicking off the ball to the Knights offense, allowed Senior Running Back Maxwell Oxendine to run the ball 77 yards for a touchdown, giving the lead back to the Knights. Thomas Dale held a 14-7 lead after the first quarter.

Late in the second with less than a minute remaining, the Royals offense was on the verge of tying the score when an interception caused the ball to go the other way down the field. The end result was a touchdown from Oxedine, and the Knights went into the half leading 21-7.

“Our defense has been playing great all year, providing turnovers and getting the offense out of some bad situations,” Thomas Dale Head Coach Kevin Tucker said. “We had the ball on the goal line one time and we didn’t get any points. I told the offensive line we’ve got to dig deep in those situations, if we need a yard, we need to be able to get that yard.”

The Knight offense came out in the second half and put up 28 unanswered points. The Royals through the night threw four interceptions and fumbled the ball three times. Oxedine was the first to strike in the third quarter with a touchdown run and Senior Quarterback Matt Lawton gave Thomas Dale a 35-7 lead still with six minutes remaining in the third a 30 yard pass to Senior Wide Receiver Elijah Smith.

The Knights finished with 358 total offensive yards while Prince George finished with 193. Lawton put up 212 total passing yards for Thomas Dale.

“The second half I just told them to get their heads up,” Coach Tucker said. “They’ve to pick their heads up. They started doing a better job of that and some holes were open. We don’t need to have home run balls all the time, we just need to average four or five yard per play. We had some great receivers and getting Matt Lawton back, he was able to open the field up a little bit which will help our running game the more we go throughout the season,.”

The Knights scored 14 more points in the fourth quarter to take a 49-7 victory over the Royals. Freshman Wide Receiver Chris Tyree was the lead rusher for Thomas Dale with 131 yards. Gurley was the lead rusher for Prince George with 46 yards.

“I was pleased with the way we played defensively early on,” Coach Carroll said. “We’ve got to capitalize on every fascine of the game. We don’t have too many days to get ready for Friday so we’re going to sit down, look at this, evaluate it and move on.”

Prince George will play their next game at home against Colonial Heights on Friday, while Thomas Dale will travel out to Dinwiddie for road game against the 5-0 Generals.

“Dinwiddie is one of the best teams in the region I think this year,” Coach Tucker said. “I think they’ve got a team that can possibly win a state title, if not, they’ll definitely be competing for one. Definitely they’re going to be one of the best teams we’ve played so far this year. We’ve seen some great teams, we’ve just got to make sure that we put together four good quarters of football and I think we can give them a run for their money.”

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