By HARRISON HAMLET
(CHATHAM, Va.) – Heading into the final 12 minutes of Friday night’s contest in Chatham, Martinsville’s football team was in position to claim their first win of the season, tied 21-21 on the road. Unfortunately for Bulldog fans, it was the Cavaliers that made the most of late opportunities, leading to a 35-21 Chatham win.
Martinsville head coach Bobby Martin said fourth-quarter turnovers killed the momentum his team built in the second and third frames.
“We were down 14-0 after the first quarter, then tied it up and got the ball at the 50 and we had momentum and we just couldn’t do anything,” Martin said. “We had three fumbles and an interception in the fourth quarter. It could have been a different game if a few mistakes, a few plays had gone a different way.”
Martin went on to explain that most of the turnovers occurred near midfield, giving Chatham’s offense short fields, which they converted into the deciding points late in the game.
“All that was right around midfield and we could hold them but not on a short field that many times,” Martin said. “The Dan River game was almost identical, one big play away from turning the game around. We make some mistakes, but the players are trying. When you try so hard, sometimes you make mistakes.”
With injuries continuing to mount for the Bulldogs, struggles along the offensive line are playing a big part in the difficulties for the offense, according to Martin.
“We’re just having a hard time every week trying to block, we’re not great up front,” Martin said. “We have injuries everywhere. But, experience and numbers and injuries are combining along the offensive line to make it especially hard up front.”
Offensively, freshman quarterback Rashaun Dickerson and senior receiver Jahil Martin provided the highlights, connecting on a pair of scoring passes.
The other Bulldog touchdown came courtesy of a scoop-and-score following a sack.
With a trip to Magna Vista (3-1) up next for Martinsville (0-4), Martin joked that Magna Vista’s loss was “probably the worst thing that could have happened to us.”
“They’re going to try to take it out on us,” Martin said, laughing. “They’re good; they’ve got speed, size and strength. They’re really good. They have great coaches and a great team and are going to be really tough for us.”
CHS – 14 7 0 14 – 35
MHS – 0 14 7 0 – 21