Fredericksburg, VA (November 27, 2016) – Potomac Falls could not stop top-seeded Massaponax in the first half of Friday night’s 5A North semifinal game, and the Ponax Panthers scored touchdowns on five straight possessions to build a 35-0 first-half cushion that pushed them over the Potomac Falls Panthers and into the 5A North finals by a score of 42-29.
The two teams traded punts early in the first quarter, before Massaponax QB Kamrin Jackson burst free on their team’s second possession, outrunning the PFalls secondary to score from 82 yards away. Potomac Falls’s offense went three-and-out on the ensuing possession, and RB Trey Watkins needed only one play to add to Massaponax’s lead, going 74 yards to make the score 13-0. Massaponax added a third touchdown on a short run by RB Roosevelt Colvin, capping a seven-play drive highlighted by Jackson’s 31-yard run down to the Potomac Falls goal line. A Potomac Falls fake punt on the next possession was stopped well short, and Massaponax again needed only a single play, with Jackson again squirting through the line and outrunning the secondary to score from 36 yards out. A Potomac Falls interception led to the final Ponax scoring drive of the half, with Colvin going over from six yards out.
Despite the deficit, and to their credit, Potomac Falls did not quit, forcing a turnover on downs and a punt before breaking into the scoring column late in the third quarter. Panther QB Hunter Lawall ran the ball in from 23 yards out to make the score 35-7. Massaponax took advantage of the ensuing squib kick and a short field to score its sixth touchdown, on a run by QB Jackson. Potomac Falls answered with a nine-play, 80-yard drive highlighted by a 38-yard pass from Lawall to WR Kaevon Chase. RB Kash Jackson walked in behind a strong offensive line push for a 1-yard TD that made the score 42-14.
After forcing a Massaponax three-and-out, Potomac Falls showed its own quick-strike ability, as Lawall hit Chase in stride for a 73-yard touchdown. Potomac Falls then recovered the ensuing onside kick and marched down the field again. Jackson stretched for the goal line at the end of the ten-play drive, but the ball was knocked free — into the waiting arms of RB Josh Legarda, who scurried around the left side of the scrum to score. Holder Matt Macioce ran the ball in for a two-point conversion to close the gap to 13 with a little over a minute to play, but Massaponax recovered the subsequent onside kick and ran out the clock.
The loss brings a close to what has probably been the best campaign in Potomac Falls football history. In head coach Paul Barnes’s inaugural season, the 2016 Panthers finish at 10-3, tying the school record for wins in a season and making the third round of the playoffs for the first time.
M: Kamrin Jackson 82 run (kick blocked), 3:52
M: Watkins 74 run (Kim kick), 1:58
M: Colvin 2 run (Colvin run), 9:10
M: Jackson 36 run (Kim kick), 6:09
M: Colvin 6 run (Kim kick), :32
PF: Lawall 23 run (Nemer kick), :37
M: Kamrin Jackson 2 run (Kim kick), 10:56
PF: Kash Jackson 1 run (Nemer kick), 6:42
PF: Chase 73 pass from Lawall (Nemer kick), 3:21
PF: Legarda 2 fumble return (Macioce run), 1:23
PF: Lawall 7 – 56, Kash Jackson 13 – 51, Mpanya 5 – 29, Raqi 9 – 15, Ferguson 1 – (-4)
M: Kamrin Jackson 19 – 207, Watkins 6 – 99, Carson 11 – 93, Peebles 1 – 9, Flowers 2 – 5, Wallace 3 – 4, Mason 1 -4, Morley 1 – 3
PF: Lawall 9 – 20, 188 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
M: Kamrin Jackson 1 – 4, 18 yards
PF: Chase 7 – 148, 1 TD; Nemer 2 – 40
M: Lewis 1 – 18
Mark Sheppard, Special to Viva Loudoun