In the second quarter of Thursday night’s rivalry clash between Albemarle and Monticello, Albemarle’s Jake King fielded a punt at midfield, and scurried deep into Mustang territory.
King fumbled the ball around the 15-yardline, but teammate Jacob Terry promptly picked it up and ran it in for six.
The millisecond that the ball was loose was about the only thing that Albemarle had to worry about all night.
The Patriots scored in seemingly every way imaginable in a 62-0 thumping of rival Monticello.
“We took a tough loss against a good team [against Patrick Henry on September 10), so this week was just about getting back on a good foot and playing good football as a team,” Albemarle head coach Brandon Isaiah said. “This is a tough district and a tough region- everything that we face is going to be tough this year…it’s going to come back to small details.”
Ebenezer McCarthy led the total team effort with 177 rushing yards and two touchdowns, all coming in the first half of play.
After a blocked punt and a long return from lineman Malekye Hicks, McCarthy rushed 13 yards for a touchdown to put the Patriots ahead 14-0. McCarthy later found the endzone again to cap off a 34-point fourth quarter for the Patriots.
The senior watched the second half from the bench, but not before he racked up 64 yards on just four carries on the final drive of the second quarter.
“[McCarthy] is a special player- I think he’s as good as any running back in the state,” Isaiah said. “Selfishly, as a team, we want to get him his due, so whenever we can get him to have a good night, we’re going to be extra focused on that.”
Noah Grevious also scored a pair of rushing touchdowns, from one and nine yards out. The one-yard walk-in came on the heels of a 32-yard gain by Grevious on the previous play.
The Patriots were equally deadly through the air as they were on the ground.
On the fourth play from scrimmage, AHS quarterback Amaje Parker hooked up with Christian Humes for a 58-yard TD before many fans had even taken their seats.
Eight minutes later, Parker lobbed one up in the right-hand corner of the endzone, and King reached out for a 19-yard grab, which put Albemarle ahead 20-0.
Already leading by five touchdowns, the special teams fun began for the Patriots in the second quarter. After yet another stop for the Albemarle defense, King notched his best return of the night, only to fumble, and have Jacob Terry finish off the last 15 yards for a score.
The scoop-and-score put AHS ahead 41-0 and created a memorable moment in an already highlight-filled night for the home team.
“To be honest, I just saw the ball on the ground, and I just went straight for the endzone. I’m grateful that he fumbled, but either way we still scored,” Terry said with a laugh.
King did manage to score on a punt return later in the second half.
The senior juked out the initial gunner, reversed direction, and raced 65 yards to the house, which lifted Albemarle to a 55-0 lead.
Every special teams unit was nearly perfect in the win, including placekicker Wyatt Raymond. Raymond connected on eight of nine extra point attempts in his first game as the team’s starting kicker.
The Albemarle defense responded to the stellar play of the offense and special teams by pitching the program’s first shutout since a 13-0 win over Fluvanna this past spring.
The Mustangs (0-4) did not cross the midfield line until late in the second quarter, when Dallas Barnes recorded a catch for eight yards. The drive stalled on the next play, as Alex Freire turned the visitors away on fourth down. It was the most lopsided loss in Monticello’s history, surpassing a 54-0 loss to Amherst in 1998, the Mustangs’ first season.
The AHS secondary notched a pair of interceptions in the win. Terry snagged a one-handed INT out of the air in the first quarter, while Kevontay McClendon turned in a 30-yard pick-six just before halftime.
“We’ve had a lot of guys injured… When you lose to a team like Patrick Henry and you get some of those guys back, it’s just a good feeling to see them all back together,” Isaiah said of his defense. “We’ve had some tough practices this week, but to see them come out and see the way that they’re capable of is a good feeling.”
Albemarle will travel to Orange next week for a pivotal Jefferson District showdown, while Monticello will look for its first win of the season against Louisa on October 1.