Sherando preparing for undefeated Dinwiddie
WINCHESTER — Sunday was no day of rest for the residents of Frederick County, as people were forced to shovel away as much as 6.5 inches of snow in some parts.
But for Sherando football coach Bill Hall, Sunday was almost the calm before the storm. Because that’s when he realized just how much work was going to have to be put in to get Sherando ready for what might be its biggest challenge yet.
The Warriors (13-1) will attempt to win their first state title in four attempts when they take on Dinwiddie (14-0) in the Group 4A state championship game at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Liberty University in Lynchburg.
“Sunday was the first time I had ever seen video on them, so that became the reality of what I’ve heard about,” said Hall, who was forced to move Monday’s practice inside to the Sportsplex because of the snow. “Obviously they’re a really good team. You can tell they’re a well-coached ball club. Great team speed. They play snap to whistle. That’s the recipe they’ve used for success .... they’re really good.”
Dinwiddie looks pretty good on paper, too. The Generals are outscoring foes by an average of 47-8 and are averaging 438 yards per game (279 rushing). Defensively, Dinwiddie has 53 sacks, an average of 3.8 per game.
The Generals have yet to win a game by fewer than 21 points, and led by ninth-year head coach Billy Mills — who could not be reached for comment Monday — Dinwiddie seems to be playing its best ball of the season in the playoffs.
After posting one shutout during the regular season, Dinwiddie posted three consecutive shutouts to start the playoffs — the Generals beat Jamestown 63-0 in the South Region first round, Norcom 42-0 in the quarterfinals, and 2012 Group AAA Division 5 state champion Lake Taylor 28-0 in the semifinals. In last week’s South Region final against Heritage (Newport News), Dinwiddie built up a 46-0 lead before giving up two touchdowns in the final four minutes of the game in a 46-14 win.
Primarily, Dinwiddie is a spread team on offense and a 4-3 team on defense.
Dinwiddie is a member of the Central District and located about 20 miles south of Petersburg. The Generals will be playing for their first state title since 2008, when they lost to Phoebus 37-13 in the Group AAA Division 5 final. Dinwiddie is making its third state final appearance and looking for its first title. Before this year, the Generals last won a playoff game in 2010.
As Hall points out, the Generals have strong skill position players. Dinwiddie is led by senior 5-foot-10, 200-pound running back Sadarius Williams (188 carries for 1,872 yards for just under 10 yards a carry, and 21 touchdowns rushing; 16 catches for 214 yards and four touchdowns receiving) and dual-threat senior quarterback Ronald Kearney (112 of 192 for 1,787 yards, 22 touchdowns and five interceptions passing, 74 carries for 586 yards and 12 touchdowns rushing). Senior wide receiver Ja’quan Porch has 26 catches for 491 yards and a touchdown.
The offensive line features players who weigh 290, 225, 245, 260 and 225 from right to left.
Defensively, Dinwiddie is led by defensive back Rashaad Goodwyn (101 tackles, 13 for loss), who has verbally committed to William & Mary. Linebackers John Branch (14 sacks), Rashard Hicks (108 tackles, 13 for loss) and defensive back Denzel Williams (91 tackles, six interceptions) are some of the other notable players on that side of the ball. The defensive front features four players between 185 and 230 pounds.
Dinwiddie has impressive credentials, but so did Courtland and Salem, and Sherando took care of them both. The Warriors have every reason to believe they can win based on how they’re playing.
“I was watching film the last few days on them, and we’ve heard about them too, because everyone’s been talking about them lately,” said Sherando senior running back and linebacker George Aston. “We know they’re a great team, but we’re a great team also.
“We know it’s going to be one of the toughest games of the year, but we look forward to it.”
Note: Pre-sale tickets for the game will be on sale for $10 at the school no later than Thursday, and at the earliest Wednesday. Sherando coordinator of student activities Jason Barbe said those interested in purchasing tickets should call the school (540-869-0060) for more information.
— Contact Robert Niedzwiecki at email@example.comFollow on Twitter @WinStarSports1