, 2014

Former coach here leads Chargers in upset of Lancaster

by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi

Former coach Billy Jarvis was greeted with smiles on his return to Lancaster High last Friday night…until the fourth quarter when fans started to frown. Jarvis returned to the Lancaster field as Middlesex High’s new head coach and his Chargers gave the Red Devils more than they could handle in a 32-23 upset

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Lancaster’s DeVante Stewart rushed for 80 yards and a touchdown last Friday against Middlesex. Photo by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi

Jarvis left Lancaster seven years ago after a successful run and went to Warhill High School in Williamsburg. He returned to Group A coaching this fall and took over a struggling Charger program. Middlesex High, which has broken ground on a new athletic complex, is playing all of its 10 games on the road this season. 

Marques Holmes rushed for 176 yards and scored two times in a fourth-quarter comeback for the Chargers, who improved to 2-1. 

The loss was Lancaster’s first of the season as the Devils dropped to 2-1.

In the early going, the game was shaping up to be like Lancaster’s last two — a blowout. The Devils took a quick 14-0 lead off a 12-yard run by DeVante Stewart, a 22-yard keeper by quarterback Ricky Gibson and a pair of PAT kicks by Jack Kelley in the first four and a half minutes.

Middlesex got on the board with 3:54 to go in the first on a one-yard TD run by Holmes that seemed to just spark the LHS offense. The Devils answered with a 51-yard drive in six plays that included a 46-yard run by Gibson. However, the Chargers put up a stand deep in their own territory to bring up a fourth and eight for the Devils. On came Kelley to split the uprights on a 32-yard field goal kick that would have been good for another 10 yards. That kick put Lancaster up 17-6 to end the first quarter.

The Chargers battled back in the second with two straight TDs, including a 29-yard scoring pass from Holmes to Brett Carter and 20-yard run by Holmes. Carter set up that score with an interception at the MHS 33 and a 25-yard return. The Chargers also converted a fourth and one to keep the drive going. Middlesex converted three fourth downs in the game.

Middlesex was leading 19-17 at the half but Lancaster regained the lead, 23-19, late in the third when Gibson scored on a one-yard run to cap a 41-yard drive.

But the fourth quarter belonged to the Chargers, who took the lead for good on a 36-yard carry by Holmes just 50 seconds into the period. After one incomplete pass and another deflected one, Middlesex went for it on a fourth and five and got the big run by Holmes.

Middlesex capped the scoring with four minutes to play after stopping Lancaster on a fourth and six at the MHS 45. Six plays later, Holmes fumbled the snap backwards but scooped it up and went 12 yards for a TD.

Offensively, Middlesex had 412 total yards and Lancaster 347. Holmes led the Charger rushers while Gibson led the Devils with 170 yards on 19 carries to score twice. Stewart had one TD on 19 rushes and 80 yards. Gibson also completed four of 14 passes for 89 yards but had one interception. Holmes completed eight of 22 for 102 yards and a TD. 

On the receiving end, Lancaster’s Tyrell Henderson caught two for 69 yards and Stewart grabbed one for 15. D’Angelo King had six catches for the Chargers for 86 yards and a score. 

Devonte Haskins led the LHS defenders with four solo tackles. He got in on six and a half and had five assists.

The Red Devils will head to the Eastern Shore tomorrow night to face Northampton in a non-conference game. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

Middlesex............6  13  0  13—32

Lancaster............17  0   6    0—23 

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