GOOCHLAND, Va.- The Clarke County Eagles run for a second consecutive shot at the VHSL 2A Football Championship fell 2 games short when were defeated 28-14 by the Goochland Bulldogs in the state quarterfinal round on Friday. We all want to be in Salem for the finals but I'm very proud of the players and the senior class that led them."
Trailing 21-14 the Eagles had their chance to tie the game in the fourth quarter after driving the length of the field only to have Goochland defender Calvin Martin pick off a Chris Davis pass in the end zone. That was as close as Clarke could get in the second half.
"It's tough to lose. I hate to lose, these players and coaches hate to lose." Eagles coach Chris Parker said, "I told our team to win this game or to lose this game you had to of had a great team to get to this point. There are a lot of teams that would love to get to the State quarterfinal and have a 10-3 record."
It was a classic tale of two halves. As the Eagles held a 14-7 lead at the half and seemed to have things going their way when Goochland running back Cordell Mattox got behind the Eagle secondary but stepped out of bounds on his way to a touchdown on the last play of the half.
"We both stuck to our game plans." Parker said, "They made plays in the second half. We knew this was going to be a heavyweight fight. We made a handful of plays on both sides of the ball we would like to have back. They came out in the second half and got the ball and made a statement."
Clarke County (10-3) took the lead on their first drive with a ball control drive that went 80 yards and consumed 7 minutes. Daniel Braithwaite raced around the left end for a 16 yard touchdown run. Nick Bahamonde's extra point gave the Eagles a quick 7-0 lead.
Goochland (13-0) came back down the field and tied the game on a Tanner Bradshaw 2 yard run. Both teams exhibited a power running, smash mouth type offense.
The Eagles got their second score with less than a minute remaining in the first half when quarterback Chris Davis scrambled to his right and found Brett McDonald in the back of the endzone. McDonald jumped over the Goochland defender to grab the ball and it looked like it might be the Eagles night going into the half. McDonald ended his career as Clarke's leading receiver this season with 9 receptions for 239 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Goochland scored three times in the second half, with two scores coming in the third quarter. Marcus Burton scored on a 10 yard run and Bradshaw got his second score of the game on a 1 yard run.
Goochland iced the game late in the fourth quarter when Mattox went in from 7 yards out.
"We knew that they were going to make a lot of corrections." Davis said, "We just had a hard time adjusting to their corrections. What we were doing in the first half was working and they made adjustments. We knew coming into it that it was going to be a one or two score game, and they came out on top, they played a phenomenal football game."
Hunter Rogers, the Eagles all time leading rusher ended his career with 117 yards on 33 carries. Rogers led the Eagles this season with with 2410 yards rushing and 31 touchdowns. Rogers was 2nd in receptions with 7 receptions for 113 yards and a touchdown.
"Obviously it was a great season, to make it to the third round of the playoffs, you can't complain about that." Rogers said, "Both teams are great, we're hear for a reason."
The Eagles won their fourth consecutive Bull Run District championship this year and made their tenth consecutive season in the playoffs .
Game highlights and post game interviews with Chris Davis, Hunter Rogers and Coach Parker can be seen below on the Clarke County Sports Game of the Week.