Friday night the Monarchs of Meadowbrook came to Ed Karpus Stadium off of two straight wins after starting their season 0-3. They appeared to be on the upswing. Thomas Dale on the other hand was coming off a 28-0 shutout from the Dinwiddie Generals. The thought was we might get an entertaining game. The Monarchs have played Thomas Dale tough in previous seasons, if it did not always translate to a win. However that is not what we got on this night.
After one quarter of play, it was clear the Knights and Monarchs are more different than their records might show.
1st Quarter - Thomas Dale 9, Meadowbrook 0
Meadowbrook had won the coin toss and elected to defer to the second half. On the Knights first possession of the night we got a look at what the Knights would be throwing at the Meadowbrook defense all night... Colin Holmes, Chris Tyree and Elijah Burns all operating out of the Wing-T. The first possession however was one of the Knights least productive of the night.
Speaking of unproductive Knights... The Monarchs had the ball twice in the first quarter and had to punt both times going three and out each time. Rick D'Abreu of Thomas Dale had three tackles of the Monarchs in the first quarter alone. He was a menace all night long wrapping up Monarchs.
While the Monarchs struggled on offense, Thomas Dale did not. The Knights Chris Tyree carried the ball each time on the second possession of the night and moved the chains all the way to the Meadowbrook 3! However they could not get it punched it, the Meadowbrook defense kept them out of the endzone. The Knights settled for a Garrett Graves field goal instead.
They would not have to settle with their third possession. Tyree and Holmes again dominated on offense with the two combining for 18 yards with the Knights only having to cover 43 yards after the Meadowbrook punt. Holmes scored from 3 yards out for the first Knight touchdown of the night. The Monarchs however were able to block the PAT making it just 9-0 Thomas Dale.
2nd Quarter - Thomas Dale 18, Meadowbrook 0
As the second quarter began the Monarchs had the ball and they were actually have some success. For the first time on this night they were not held to a three and out. However the Monarchs success was stunted when a snap was fumbled on second down and Dusan Stjepanovick came in on the tackle. That effectively brought a halt to the Monarch threat.
To make matters worse, on their possession of the quarter Greg Fong-Wilson's pass was intercepted by Chris Tyree. Tyree moments prior had just scored a Thomas Dale touchdown with 24 yards on the ground and a short 4-yard toucchdown.
This however was one of the few moments in the game where the Knights were unable to get on the board. However it was not as much to the credit of the Monarchs as it was the refs. The Knights were flagged twice, the latter backing them up to their own 21 after Tyree had scored yet another touchdown. That touchdown was brought back but Tyree did find himself on the receiving end of a John Pierce pass for 15 yards! Tyree however came up a yard short of the first.
With the quarter coming to a close, Thomas Dale had the ball again, starting at the Monarch 30. The Knights continued to have no problems moving the ball against the Monarchs. Things however got a little chippy between the two teams as time expired. Meadowbrook was flagged giving the Knights a field goal opportunity.
That is how the second quarter came to a close, with the Knights Garrett Graves kicking a 23-yard field goal to make it 18-0 in favor of the Knights.
3rd Quarter - Thomas Dale 32, Meadowbrook 0
The Monarchs got the ball to start the second half and appeared to have something going on offense but just when it looked like the Monarchs might begin to threaten, disaster struck. Greg Fong-Wilson's pass was bobbled just enough by the receiver that Jamarkus Wilson was able to come in, scoop it up through the air and bring a halt to the driver!
Wilson's interception was the second of the night for the Knights but not the last. With the ball at the Meadowbrook 39 it took just three plays for the Knights to score their third touchdown of the night. Surprisingly enough it came in the air with John Pierce hitting Gynai James with a 21-yarder. To make matters worse for the Monarchs, after the kickoff, Fong-Wilson was intercepted again, this time by Chris Tyree who was able to return it for a 17-yard touchdown!
In a matter of thirty seconds the Knights had taken an 18-0 lead and made it 32-0 off two interceptions of the Monarchs.
The Monarchs struggles continued on offense with yet another three and out.
4th Quarter - Thomas Dale 39, Meadowbrook 0
As the fourth quarter began the Knights again had the ball moving it against Meadowbrook. The Knights were able to move the ball from their own 36 to the 20 of Meadowbrook. The Knights could not be stopped and apparently neither could John Pierce as he threw his second touchdown of the night hitting Zack Jones with a 20-yard touchdown.
Running clock going, ball control was beginning to plague the Monarchs. On the return the ball was fumbled but Meadowbrook was able to recover. They were unable however to recover from yet another interception! Brent Williams was the Knight intercepting this time around.
That made it 4 interceptions on the night by 3 different Knights.
At this point of the game you were seeing more second stringers on offense for the Knights than first stringers. That is one reason why the Monarchs were able to hold Thomas Dale to 3 and out on their final possession of the night.
Meadowbrook had one last opportunity to put points on the board, their last possession but despite crossing the 50 and pushing to the Thomas Dale 29, the Monarchs could not reach the endzone.
Thomas Dale 39, Meadowbrook 0 - Scoring Summary
Garrett Graves 27-yard field goal.
Thomas Dale 3-0
Colin Holmes 5-yard run. PAT Blocked.
Thomas Dale 9-0
Chris Tyree 4-yard run. PAT Blocked.
Thomas Dale 15-0
Garrett Graves 23-yard field goal.
Thomas Dale 18-0
John Pierce 21-yard pass to Gynai James. PAT good.
Thomas Dale 25-0
Chris Tyree 28-yard interception returned for touchdown. PAT good.
Thomas Dale 32-0
John Pierce 20-yard pass to Zack Jones. PAT good.
Thomas Dale 39-0
Players of the Game
With a 39-0 shutout, there is no shortage of players you could give props to in a win like this. As I watched this one unfold however one name kept ringing in my head and that is sophomore Chris Tyree. The sophomore running back and cornerback had himself a big game against Meadowbrook. Running the rock, he had a modest 80 yards and a touchdown. However his presence was felt most on defense where he intercepted two Meadowbrook passes. The second interception he returned for a touchdown! Tyree made plays all night long to help his Knights shutout the Monarchs.
As for the Monarchs... When you are dominated like Dale did Friday, bright spots are few and far between. The one that stood out for me however was Brett Hall who I show with 10.5 tackles on the night. His defensive prowess might not show on the scoreboard but he was making plays for the Meadowbrook defense all night long.
This was the first shutout in the series since 2005 and the first for the Knights since 2002!
Ironically enough it was the first time the Knights were shutout in 1 game(last week) only to comeback and post a shutout of their own in the next game. In 1999 Thomas Dale was shutout 33-0 by Petersburg and the next week shutout Meadowbrook 28-0.