There were times during Friday’s Region 4B semifinal game with visiting Dinwiddie where the Eastern View football team appeared to be a play or two away from seizing control.
Those plays never came for the Cyclones, but Cedric Drumgoole delivered plenty of them for the Generals.
Drumgoole hauled in a pair of key interceptions and caught a third-quarter touchdown pass that gave Dinwiddie a lead it never relinquished in a 25-17 victory.
The Generals (7-5) will play at Patrick Henry-Ashland, a 16-15 winner over Louisa in Friday’s other semifinal, for the regional championship next weekend.
“I’m going to enjoy this one until it’s time to get ready for [Patrick Henry],” Drumgoole said. “Eastern View is a good team, but we’re hungry for a state championship.”
Drumgoole’s appetite took center stage beginning late in the first half. With the Cyclones leading 10-7 and looking to go up by two scores from the Dinwiddie 11-yard line, he came up from his safety spot to pick off a Till Butler pass attempt in the end zone with 1:24 to go, keeping the Generals within striking distance heading into intermission.
“We worked on that route all week long in practice,” Drumgoole said. “It’s a crossing route to [Alex] Spangler that they run a lot, but I was in the right position to make the play there.”
Drumgoole’s second interception came on the opening possession of the third quarter, as he snatched an overthrown offering from Butler out of the air at the Dinwiddie 47 to halt another opportunity Eastern View (10-2) had to build momentum.
On the Generals’ next drive, Drumgoole caught a 36-yard scoring strike right down the middle of the field from Brenton Hilton on a fourth-and-12 play to give Dinwiddie a 13-10 advantage.
The senior said he felt added pressure to make that play, not only because the Generals hadn’t scored since the first quarter, but because he fumbled the ball back to the Cyclones while trying to pick up additional yardage following his second interception.
“I had no choice,” a smiling Drumgoole explained. “I had to make that play. We needed it, and I owed it to my team.”
Eastern View head coach Greg Hatfield said Drumgoole’s plays were a microcosm of his team’s overall performance.
“You have to take advantage of your opportunities in games like these, and we didn’t do that,” he said. “Dinwiddie did, and that’s why they’re playing for a regional championship next week.”
The Generals added a 3-yard touchdown run by Antonio Tucker with 2:14 to go in the stanza to go up 19-10, then Hilton plunged in from two yards out at the 10:29 mark of the fourth quarter to give Dinwiddie a commanding 25-10 edge.
“We played a lot of good teams this year, so I think a lot of people were fooled by our record,” Generals head coach Billy Mills said. “We were a pretty good 5-5 football team, and I think we proved that tonight.”
The Cyclones built a 10-7 halftime lead on the strength of a 24-yard field goal by Garrett Hutchinson and a 2-yard sneak by Butler.
Butler connected with Josh Logan for a 79-yard score with 10 minutes remaining in the game, but Eastern View’s two subsequent drives crumbled under the weight of a Dinwiddie pass rush that produced four sacks on the night, two-and-a-half of which came from Tucker.
|Eastern View||3||7||0||7|| —||17|
EV—Garrett Hutchinson 24-yard field goal.
Di—Robert Barlow 2-yard run (Justin Davis kick).
EV—Till Butler 2-yard run (Garrett Hutchinson kick).
Di—Cedric Drumgoole 36-yard pass from Brenton Hilton (kick failed).
Di—Antonio Tucker 3-yard run (kick failed).
Di—Brenton Hilton 2-yard run (run failed).
EV—Josh Logan 79-yard pass from Till Butler (Garrett Hutchinson kick).
RUSHING: Dinwiddie—Robert Barlow 15-121, TD; Brenton Hilton 10-45, TD; Marcus King 8-42; Antonio Tucker 3-10, TD. Eastern View—Raq Lawson 18-81; Ronta Robinson 4-19; Till Butler 9-(-28), TD.
PASSING: Dinwiddie—Brenton Hilton 8-17-0, 70 yards, TD. Eastern View—Till Butler 13-24-2, 215 yards, TD.
RECEIVING: Dinwiddie—Cedric Drumgoole 1-36, TD; Kelmari Brown 2-17; Khalid Hazelwood 2-11; Robert Barlow 2-4. Eastern View—Josh Logan 1-79, TD; Alex Spangler 5-41; Greg Bradley 3-39; Eli Harris 3-36; Ronta Robinson 1-20.