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Eastern View falls to James Monroe in tough contest

In the shadows of nearby Cedar Mountain and Kelly’s Ford’s hallowed ground another battle raged last Friday night when the James Monroe High School Yellow Jackets met the Eastern View High School Cyclones.

Plenty of grunts, growls and groans echoed in the cool night air.

It was a night where you had to be tough to be a player, coach or official with so many emotions invested in victory.

Depth, speed, big plays and the ability to weather a determined Cyclones onslaught helped the visiting Yellow Jackets earn a 24-9 victory in both team’s Battlefield District opener.

Following the game, James Monroe coach Rich Serbay felt like his team had weathered the battle  but at a high cost. Injuries plagued the visiting Jackets. 

“This was a real gut check for our team. At halftime we were up by a single point and we were being outplayed in some areas and out-coached,” said a relieved Serbay. “We had to readjust our coaching, deal with a bunch of injuries and find a way to overcome this very good Cyclones team. I thought their corners played us better than anyone we faced this year.”

Serbay’s Jackets have had a revolving door at quarterback this season due to injuries.

James Monroe even began its season with its second string quarterback Julian Bumbrey, due to a preseason injury to projected starter DeMontaz Brown.

Bumbrey so far had played well for the Jackets tallying three victories. He scored the Jackets' lone first half touchdown on a 5-yard run before being injured in the second quarter.

Third-string quarterback Jay Scroggins took over at quarterback in relief of the injured Julian Bumbrey and in the second half the Jackets took control of the game.

In the first half the Cyclones (2-2 overall, 0-1 district)  matched the Jackets(4-0, 1-0)  in big plays and intensity. Neither team scored until late in the first quarter due to the hard-nosed play of their defenses.

Following Bumbrey’s rushing touchdown the Cyclones struck back when Eastern View’s quarterback Brandon Settle (12-27-2 125, TD) connected with Justin Gardiner on a 45-yard scoring strike. The Cyclone’s did not make the extra point.

The Jackets' placekicker David Dit, hit a 33-yard field goal in the second quarter to go up 10–6.  Minutes later the Cyclones once again responded with a 20-yard field goal from Chase Bailey, to go into the half down 10–9.

“I thought we played a great half,” Eastern View coach Greg Hatfield said. “James Monroe’s not going to give you anything. You got to show up and play.

“We were in it. We took a couple punches and stood up and fought back. And then we just kind of ran out of gas there at the end. We’ve played two very good teams in our last two games. It’s a tough part of the schedule.”

As coach Hatfield put it the “gas” ran out and the Jackets made adjustments to fend off the Cyclones.

James Monroe scored two touchdowns while its defense held the Cyclones scoreless in the second half.

In the third quarter, She’Mar Ellis found the end zone on a 53-yard pass from Jay Scroggins and Sean Bates had an 18-yard rushing touchdown to cement the victory.

It was a rough night of attrition for James Monroe’s running backs as well.

Seven different players had carries for the Jackets due to injuries to running backs Adrian Boone and Glenn Taylor during the game.

Jackets tailback Sean Bates was the most productive leading the walking wounded with 92 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown.

Following the game many of the Jackets were limping across the small bridge that leads to the parking area.

“We’ve had our share of injuries. We have a good JV quarterback, and he got hurt in the JV game,” Serbay added. “We were stuck. If Scroggins would’ve got hurt, we would’ve had to go to the Wildcat formation and put Ellis in, and just run left and right.”

Serbay even found time to speak with Cyclones head coach Greg Hatfield in the aftermath of battle.

“Your team played a very tough game. You have a very good team here,” said Serbay. “I just wanted to say that.”

Over its short history Eastern View has gone 0-4 against James Monroe, one of the Battlefield District’s top teams.

Eastern View will travel to Caroline this Friday.
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