With COVID numbers on the rise across both our country and the world, one thing came across to this sports writer very clearly. The Northumberland High School staff takes the problem seriously. Time and time at Friday night’s game, I heard the coaching staff tell players coming off the field “Put your masks on!” This past week when the volleyball team played, players were reminded to “Mask up!’ when they came off court. Maybe that would be expected if those student/athletes were getting beat but both the volleyball and football teams got, not only wins but BIG wins.
The Lady Indians volleyball team started it off on Tuesday here when they entertained the Mathews Blue Devils. Mathews has long been the strongest team in the eastern part of the state and has several state championships under their belt. This year’s Blue Devil team had a lot of new players and the Indians took advantage of it. The Indians JV team won their match two games to none and the varsity followed it up with a three game sweep of the Blue Devils. Coach Anjelica Scott made the following observations, “It was a great effort, everyone was able to contribute to a positive win.”
The Indians golf team traveled across the river to Middlesex and lost 179-212. Coach Gary Dickens reminded this writer that his 2021 team is very much a young squad. Trey Booth was low scorer for the Northumberland team shooting a 43. The match scheduled for Wednesday was cancelled due to a conflict.
Friday night brought the beginning of a much anticipated high school football season. The Northumberland Indians traveled to Lancaster for the opening game of the 2021 season. From the very first kickoff, the Indians completely dominated the Red Devils. Lancaster had been riddled with Covid problems from the beginning and simply weren’t able to play with the Indians.
In the first five minutes of the game, Northumberland scored three touch downs and despite playing everybody suited up, it didn’t slow things down very much. The Indians scored five touchdowns in the opening quarter of play and added three more by half time. By VHSL rules the clock ran in the second half but Northumberland scored two more times before the officials stopped the game.
Lancaster received the opening kickoff but after only three running plays, two of which were loses, they punted. After a bad snap from center and a short kick, the Indians were in business on the Red Devil’s fifteen yard line. Two plays later Denzell Palmer bolted over for the game’s and season’s first Indian TD. Kevin Edwards provided the two points after on a crushing run. Palmer scored again on a 48 run with Antione Mills adding the two points after. Cameron Seldon scored number three with Palmer tacking on the two points. Palmer hit Caleb Williams on a 26 Yard TD strike with Edwards on the conversion. Finally, to end the first quarter, Edwards scored on a 31 yard scamper with Palmer running in the conversion. Mercifully the first quarter ended.
The second quarter was little better for the embattled and shorthanded Red Devils. With Northumberland subbing freely, Seldon scored on a beautiful 35 yard punt return with C.J. adding the two points. Then it was Edwards on a 17 yard run and the conversion. Anthony Gregory scored on a 40 yard punt return with Caleb Williams on the conversion.
With the clock continuously running, as per VHSL rules, the Indians scored only once on a Markell Cockrell five yard run. The two point conversion was stopped but later in the quarter, Desmond Williams sacked the Devils’ quarterback in their end zone for a two point safety. In the final quarter of play, Caleb Williams scored on a 37 yard run and the referees held up the ball signaling the games end.
Head Coach Aaron Lewis said later, “I thought it went perfectly for our first game. No turnovers, we protected the ball well.”