Skyhawks ground Monarchs’ running attack 33-7 for the first win in the Tony Nicely era.
It was a new coach, new season and plenty of new starters, but the Lloyd C. Bird Skyhawks didn’t skip a beat as they traveled west on Route 10 to defeat the Meadowbrook Monarchs 33-7 in the season opener for each team.
Bird won the toss and deferred their choice to the second half. Meadowbrook took the kickoff and marched deep into Skyhawk territory, only to have Greg Fong-Wilson’s passed picked off at the Bird 15 by Davion Mundin. On the third play from scrimmage, Marcus Banks hit JeMouri Le Pierre at about the 25 and he turned on the jets and took it in for an 85 yard scoring play which gave the Skyhawks the early lead with 7:45 left in the first quarter, a lead they would not relinquish.
On the ensuing kickoff, Meadowbrook let the short kick bounce around, and Bird recovered on the Monarchs 15 yard line. Good old fashioned Bird football followed with C. J. Donaldson getting his first TD of the season on a three yard run and with 6:25 left in the first quarter, Bird led 12-0.
There was no scoring in the second quarter. although Meadowbrook did mount a couple of long drives, only to see them end on downs and a missed 30 yard field goal from Jacob Grabham.
Bird received the second half kickoff and methodically ran the ball down the field with Donaldson doing most of the heavy lifting. With 5:15 remaining in the third quarter, Donaldson scored his second touchdown on a 15 yard run off left tackle. Meadowbrook again mounted a great drive and had the ball on the Bird 3 as time expired in the third quarter.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Greg Fong-Wilson hit Kristopher McNeil in the corner of the end zone for the Monarchs first and only score of the night. Grabham added the extra point and BIrd led 18 to 7 with 11:53 left in the game.
Not to be outdone, BIrd returned the kickoff deep into Meadowbrook territory and on the first play, Jeremiah Carter took it in from 33 yards out to push the Skyhawks lead back to 19 after the successful 2 point conversion.
After an exchange of punts, Medowbrook picked off a Banks pass inside their 5 yard line. On the snap, Meadowbrook fumbled and the Bird defensive line fell on it in the endzone to finish the scoring for the night.
Leaders for BIrd was C. J. Donaldson with over 100 yards rushing and two TDs, Marcus Banks with over 100 yards passing and a touchdown pass and the new look Bird defense that exhibited a great quality of bending but not breaking against a powerful Monarch running attach.
Next Friday, Meadowbrook travels to Highland Springs to take on the two time defending State Champion Springers while Bird continues on the road, this time in the opposite direction on Route 10 to take on the Thomas Dale Knights in annual renewal of the Battle of Chester. Kickoff for the Bird – Dale game is 7:00 pm.