Powhatan grinds one out against Albemarle

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For video of this game, click here.

Putting a finger on exactly what kind of a runner Powhatan’s Logan Allen is isn’t an easy task, even for his head coach.

“He’s a tough nut,” said Powhatan’s Jim Woodson. “I’m trying to figure out and I’m trying to get him straight on what kind of runner he is. Is he a scat back or a power back? When he does the power stuff he’s just so much more effective, he’s real quick and real fast.”

Friday against Albemarle, he was more closer than runner as he shut the door on Albemarle with a pair of second half touchdowns as the Indians pulled away for a 21-7 victory highlighted by Allen’s 211 yards on the ground.

A week after the Indians’ senior tailback was hobbled against Louisa, Powhatan put the gameplan in his hands with the weather making passing tough. Outside of a 73-yard sprint on the opening play of the game though, the first half wasn’t particularly explosive for Allen or the Indians, who carried a 7-0 lead into halftime built on the 7-yard Jonathan Caporale touchdown setup by Allen’s long sprint.

“We have to tip our hats to Albemarle defensive front did an excellent job on us (in the first half),” Woodson said. “We were just patient with it.”

The Patriots’ defense even held up after Powhatan unleashed a clock-grinding drive to open the third quarter. The Indians drove to the one before getting backed up a bit and Albemarle forced a field goal attempt that sailed wide. Still, that drive had the desired effect of shortening the game and giving Albemarle few chances to rally.

“We’re trying to keep it out of their hands and with the conditions we were just trying to get two scores on the board,” Woodson said. “We didn’t get it, but we did eat a lot of time.”

But while Albemarle’s defense was on point until the fourth (when Allen and the Powhatan offensive line’s physicality seemed to take over), the offense was sputtering as Powhatan’s defensive line shredded the Patriots on key plays and a series of drops and mistakes at crucial points kept cutting Albemarle off at the knees.

“The plan has not changed and I’m just going to keep telling those guys we’ve just got to keep working,” said Albemarle coach Brandon Isaiah. “I’m just challenging the guys individually to make sure they’re going to do their part because we’re right there at the door.”

Even after three quarters, the Patriots were trailing by just seven points, thought a 1-yard plunge by Allen in the opening minute of the fourth put Albemarle in a two-score hole. But for three quarters they were one big play away from a tie ball game and couldn’t come up with a breakthrough on that side of the ball.

On their final drive, trailing by 21, the Patriots got moving and scored with under three minutes to play, with D.G. Archer hitting Ethan Blundin for a touchdown. It was too little too late though as Powhatan easily recovered the ensuing onsides kick attempt and then milked the clock.

“I just keep telling them, there’s all this bad stuff going but don’t let it fake you out or let it trick you,” Isaiah said. “Because eventually we’re going to get through it and we’re going to do it together.”

Albemarle will take on Charlottesville Friday night in a key game if the Patriots want to stay in the playoff hunt while Powhatan hosts Orange County.