Patience is Ty–Shaun Colbert’s virtue. Even if there are times when Spotsylvania coach Jeremy Jack believes his running back is a bit too virtuous.
“He’s very Le’Veon Bell-esque,” Jack said, alluding to the two-time NFL All-Pro. “Sometimes as a coach, it can be a little frustrating because you want him to punch it.”
Delays notwithstanding, Colbert delivered plenty of haymakers in the Knights’ 40–13 romp over Culpeper on Friday night. The junior finished with 157 yards and two scores on the ground as Spotsylvania avenged a loss in last year’s Region 3B championship game.
“When they came in, they gave us no respect,” Colbert said. “So we tried to earn their respect back by beating them in our homecoming game.”
It wasn’t just Colbert who danced through the Exodus-sized gaps parted with regularity by Spotsylvania’s offensive line. Junior DeAnthony “D.A.” Pendelton had nine carries for 109 yards and a pair of rushing touchdowns. Jake Naccarato and Braden Knop also found the end zone.
Stopping Spotsylvania’s single-wing, an attack predicated on misdirection, is already a daunting task. But these Knights aren’t just smoke and mirrors.
“Holy crap, those kids can run the football,” said acting Culpeper coach Brandon Utz, filling in while first-year coach James Ford undergoes treatment for leukemia.
Culpeper didn’t run an offensive play until it trailed 14–0, the result of a gaffe on the kickoff following Spotsylvania’s first touchdown. Blue Devils senior Dejour McCray exploded for 52 yards on his first carry, prompting a Spotsylvania linebacker to shout: “No. 1 is good, we have to tackle him.”
Ultimately, though, the Knights (3–0) didn’t have to. McCray left the game with an undisclosed injury late in the first half and didn’t return. Utz said the running back is “week to week,” and should be back when Culpeper (1–1) travels to Liberty on Sept. 27. Austin Lentz (103 rushing yards) scored both Culpeper touchdowns.
“I’m glad we have the bye week—because I’m not going to lie—they took it to us a little bit,” Utz said.
With McCray sidelined, Spotsylvania’s 3–3–5 stack defense flawlessly executed a gameplan dubbed “revenge week” by coordinator Kevin Sparks. Last November’s playoff loss muddied a breakout season for Spotsylvania, and the letdown clearly affected players’ mindsets entering Friday’s rematch.
“Our linemen are crazy, our linebackers are crazy,” said sophomore linebacker Ty Steinmetz. “It’s awesome.”
Sp—DeAnthony Pendleton 29-yard run (kick fail).
Sp—Ty’Shaun Colbert 1-yard run (Jake Naccarato run).
Sp—Pendleton 3-yard run (Corbin Skebo kick).
Cul—Austin Lentz 9-yard run (kick)
Sp—Naccarato 5-yard run (Braden Knop kick).
Sp—Colbert 16-yard run (pass fail).
Sp—Braden Knop 7-yard run (kick fail).
Cul—Lentz 4-yard run (end game).
RUSHING: Culpeper—Austin Lentz 14-103, 2TDs; DeJour McCray 3-56; Riley Harrison 8-35. Spotsylvania—Ty’Shaun Colbert 20-157, 2 TDs; DeAnthony Pendleton 9-109, 2 TDs; Jake Naccarato 10-53, TD; Jacob Dingus 3-18; Braden Knor 2-27, TD; Shaun Moore 1-(-2)
PASSING: Culpeper—Lentz 4-6-0, 79 yards. Spotsylvania—Colbert 0-2-1.
RECEIVING: Culpeper—Armani Hoffman 4-79 . Spotsylvania—none.