Visiting Kettle Run used a strong defensive performance to defeat Culpeper County 28-14 at Broman Field on Friday night.
The Cougars (1-8 overall, 1-5 Class 4 Northwestern District) held the Blue Devils (1-8, 0-6) to just 90 yards rushing and a meager 184 yards overall.
“[Kettle Run] is bigger up front than we are, so we had to get away from our heavy-run sets,” Culpeper acting head coach Brandon Utz said. “They have good bigs up front and they kind’ve took that dynamic away from us.”
Kettle Run featured a balanced attack offensively, but it was the Cougars’ passing game that broke things open early, as quarterback Elijah Chumley threw a pair of first-quarter touchdown passes.
Chumley’s first scoring strike was an 87-yarder to Jacob Robinson, who made a spectacular one-handed catch in traffic before outracing the Culpeper defense to the end zone with 8:59 left in the period.
A.J. Williams hauled in Chumley’s second scoring pass—a 28-yard connection that extended Kettle Run’s lead to 13-0 later in the stanza.
Chumley completed 8 of 16 passes for 130 yards on the night, while Williams had five receptions for 45 yards.
The momentum seemed to shift in the second quarter when the Blue Devils’ Joseph Holland intercepted Chumley, leading to a 34-yard touchdown run from Riley Harrison that pulled Culpeper within 13-7.
Harrison ran for a team-high 70 yards on 11 carries.
However, the Cougars used a heavy dose of their running game to wear away at the Blue Devils’ defense in the second half—particularly in the fourth quarter.
With 9:10 remaining in the period, Kettle Run’s Darian Lambert broke free for a 16-yard score to extend the Cougars’ advantage to 21-7.
Backup quarterback Peyton Mehaffey delivered the knockout blow on the next Kettle Run possession, scampering 55 yards for a touchdown to make it 28-7.
Kettle Run head coach Charlie Porterfield said his team’s performance was in line with the kind of squad he thought they’d be before the season began.
“At moments tonight, we were the team I felt we were going to be [this year],” he said. “It would have been very easy for those guys to move on [after the 0-8 start]. We were able to hold on to the ball and keep it out of Culpeper’s hands tonight, and that made the defense so much better.”
Culpeper added a touchdown on a 24-yard pass from quarterback JoJo Crenshaw to Josh Plaster with 1:15 left in the game.
While Utz acknowledged that losing on Senior Night and the team’s record this season are both disappointing, he waxed poetic about his players.
“It’s not the spot we want to be in, but this is a solid group of kids,” he said. “The task this week will be to enjoy each other’s company. This is the last week this group will be together, forever. I’m going to miss them when they’re gone.”
Senior Armani Hoffman, who currently holds four scholarship offers, took some time to reflect on the program.
“I’m going to remember playing football with the greatest group of guys in the world,” he said. "It’s an unbelievable group. Most importantly, I couldn’t ask for better people to coach me.”
|Kettle Run||13||0||0||15|| —||28|
KR—Jacob Robinson 87-yard pass from Elijah Chumley (kick failed).
KR—A.J. Williams 28-yard pass from Elijah Chumley (Andrew Piercy kick).
CC—Riley Harrison 34-yard run (Joe Holland kick).
KR—Darian Lambert 31-yard run (Peyton Mehaffey run).
KR—Peyton Mehaffey 55-yard run (Andrew Piercy kick).
CC—Josh Plaster 24-yard pass from JoJo Crenshaw (Joe Holland kick).
RUSHING: Kettle Run—Darian Lambert 9-76, TD; Brandon Strickland 10-59; Elijah Chumley 13-54; Peyton Mehaffey 2-54, TD; A.J. Williams 2-15. Culpeper County—Riley Harrison 11-70, TD; Dejour McCray 3-18; Josh Plaster 1-4; Austin Lentz 3-2; JoJo Crenshaw 1-(-4).
PASSING: Kettle Run—Elijah Chumley 8-16-1, 130 yards, 2 TDs. Culpeper County—JoJo Crenshaw 8-26-0, 94 yards, TD.
RECEIVING: Kettle Run—Jacob Robinson 2-87, TD; AJ Williams 5-45, TD; Darian Lambert 1-(-2). Culpeper County—Dejour McCray 3-31; Josh Plaster 2-30, TD; Austin Lentz 1-30; Joseph Holland 1-6; Riley Harrison 1-(-3).