Trojans Remain Undefeated After 52-14 Win

Special Teams Lift Essex To Rout Of Franklin

The Trojans’ Zion Darby (53) and Avari Walker combine to bring down Franklin QB Jordan Myrick following a short gain. The Essex first team defense held the Broncos to two yards rushing during the opening half.

The Trojans’ Zion Darby (53) and Avari Walker combine to bring down Franklin QB Jordan Myrick following a short gain. The Essex first team defense held the Broncos to two yards rushing during the opening half.

Essex needed all of 16 seconds to take the mystery out of the outcome of its non-district football encounter with Franklin Thursday night in Tappahannock.

Dorian Harris returned the opening kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown and the Trojans were never threatened thereafter as they rode their special teams to a 52-14 romp over the Broncos.

The result kept Essex unbeaten at 4-0 as they await a major contest with unbeaten King and Queen Central Friday night. Franklin lost for the first time in three outings.

The Trojans got a 41-yard punt return for a touchdown from Kamren Robinson and also forced miscues by Franklin’s punt team that gave the home team short fields for two of its six scoring possessions.

“We spend a lot of time on special teams in practice and field position was big for us tonight,” Essex coach Todd Jones observed afterward. “When you can play on the other team’s side of the 50 that’s a big advantage. Our special teams have helped us do that kind of stuff.”

The Trojans’ Mekhi Allen prepares to haul in a 46-yard scoring strike from Michael Brimmer.

The Trojans’ Mekhi Allen prepares to haul in a 46-yard scoring strike from Michael Brimmer.

Franklin’s Derrick Perry entered the contest fresh off a 384-yard rushing performance the previous week against Colonial Beach.

Thursday night, the Trojans’ first team defense held him to just 23 rushing yards. He managed an additional 41 yards on the ground against Essex reserves during the second half.

“Our main goal was to shut down (Perry),” Essex linebacker Javione Garner-Rich said. “He’s quick, but our defense stuck in there.”

Garner-Rich also praised Harris and Robinson for their special teams contributions.

“That’s just athletes making plays,” he remarked. “We practice that 24-7.”

“We went out there and did our defensive assignments,” added defensive back Avari Walker whose fumble recovery set up the Trojans’ initial offensive touchdown.

Essex unleashed its rushing attack for the first time this season as the Trojans amassed 161 yards on the ground.

Harris led the way with 55 yards, while Malachi Thornton rushed for 35 yards, and Walker gained 20 yards.

Essex’s Amarjae Veney puts the wraps on Franklin running back Derrick Perry.

Essex’s Amarjae Veney puts the wraps on Franklin running back Derrick Perry.

Quarterback Michael Brimmer had another standout performance as he connected on 5-of-6 aerials for 144 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also posted a rushing touchdown.

It was Javione Garner-Rich’s 4-yard TD run that capped the Trojans’ initial possession which covered 54 yards in nine plays.

Robinson’s 41-yard punt return hiked the Trojans’ advantage to 19-0 with 2:56 still left on the first quarter clock.

A botched punt snap led to a short field for Essex’s ensuing possession as the Trojans covered 24 yards in 4 plays with Brimmer doing the scoring honors on a 6-yard run.

A 5-yard Franklin punt set up the Trojans’ next scoring series as Brimmer teamed with Robinson on an 18-yard pass play to cap a 43-yard possession.

Brimmer’s 45-yard scoring strike to Jordan Howard ballooned the Trojans’ lead to 39-0 at the break.

In the second half, Brimmer tossed a 46-yard TD pass to Mekhi Allen and Jaden Holmes’s 9-yard yard run finished off the Trojans’ scoring.

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