MECHANICSVILLE – In its first home game of the season, Mechanicsville football, led by junior quarterback Jordan Callahan and running backs Colby Messe and Cole Varner on offense, had battled back to tie Powhatan at 14-14 and force overtime.
But after the Mustangs scored on their first drive in the extra period and were held out of the end zone on the attempted two-point run, Powhatan tied the game on quarterback Dylan Trevillian’s 4th-and-16 pass to senior running back Mitchell Johnson, and with Tucker Thomas’ point-after, the Mustangs were dealt a heartbreaker as the Indians narrowly squeaked past them 21-20.
“I thought we played good defensively the entire game,” said Mechanicsville head coach Ryan Turnage. “We didn’t make a play there at the end. We cut a guy loose in coverage and they found him.
“We felt like we had a chance. We didn’t execute well in special teams in our extra points,” Turnage said. “It is what it is. Our kids played hard. I think we’re a better football team than we were in the past, so one loss isn’t going to define us.”
For Mechanicsville, Messe, a junior, and Varner, a sophomore, combined for more than 30 carries, with Messe exceeding 110 yards rushing and Varner surpassing 80 in regulation.
“Those guys did a great job running the football. They both ran hard,” Turnage said of Varner and Messe. “Our offensive line did a great job. We were a little bit out of sync in the first half, found some things in the second half, and we went to work with those things.”
Mechanicsville’s ground game gained steam following Powhatan’s missed field goal in the latter stages of the third quarter. Varner and Messe combined to carve out 73 rushing yards in an 11-play, 80-yard drive that was capped by Varner’s explosive run up the middle for an 11-yard touchdown.
The Mustangs, however, were unable to tie the game on the extra-point attempt, and Powhatan padded its lead early in the fourth. Trevillian aired a 35-yard pass out to Ethan Dowdy to march the visitors inside Mechanicsville’s 20, and Johnson, facing fourth-and-4 from the Mustangs’ 11-yard line a few plays later, caught a pass from Trevillian and powered past the Mustangs’ defenders on a slanted run to his right for the score.
But the home team’s offense picked up right where it left off. Starting from their 32, the Mustangs were led by Messe’s 48 yards in the 12-play drive, and also by Callahan’s crucial 2-yard pass on fourth down from Powhatan’s 20-yard line for the first-down conversion. Varner opened the drive on an 8-yard run and ended it with a 5-yard touchdown carry.
After a pass interference call against Powhatan shortened the distance of Mechanicsville’s two-point conversion try, Messe powered across the goal line on the short run to tie the game at 14-14 with 4:04 remaining in regulation.
Mechanicsville struck first in overtime as Callahan hit tight end Hunter Ostein for a 12-yard score. But Powhatan held Callahan out of the end zone on the attempted two-point run. On the final play, Johnson burst into the open, and Trevillian, facing fourth-and-16, put the ball in his hands, with Johnson diving the final few feet across the goal line to tie the game. Thomas’ PAT kick ensured Powhatan’s victory.
Powhatan in the first half allowed three turnovers, with the Mustangs recovering two fumbles and Max Bidou interrupting Trevillian’s pass when he jumped up and hauled in the interception. The Mustangs’ depth on the defensive line hounded Powhatan’s pass protection as they sacked Trevillian three times in the first half.
Mechanicsville (1-1) will look to bounce back and get a better result in its second consecutive home game versus Douglas Freeman Friday at 7 p.m.
Atlee shuts out Deep Run
The Raiders wasted little time taming the host Wildcats Thursday, scoring 20 first quarter points en route to a 48-0 beat down.
Both teams ran approximately 50 plays from scrimmage, 51 for Atlee, 48 for Deep Run. But the Raiders amassed 400 yards total offense compared to just 109 for the Wildcats.
Running back Caleb Warren led Atlee with 21 carries for 215 yards and two touchdowns. Keith Green added five carries for 47 yards and two more touchdowns.
Mechanicsville Local sports editor Dave Lawrence contributed to this report.
Nick Vandeloecht is sports editor of Powhatan Today and Goochland Gazette. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.