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Meadowbrook football snaps 34-game losing streak with wild ending in win over J.R. Tucker

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The last time the Meadowbrook football team won a game prior to last Thursday was Nov. 3, 2017, a 13-6 victory over eventual state champion Hopewell.

Head coach Recharde Goodwyn, a Petersburg High alumnus who played linebacker at Delaware State and was part of the George Wythe staff that helped the Bulldogs break a seven-year losing streak in 2011, took over the Monarchs’ program in 2021, becoming its fourth coach in five seasons.

As he sought to revitalize the program, Goodwyn used the Hopewell win as an example to show his players what the team was capable of. And he worked to instill in his squad the same resilience he helped foster at Wythe.

Last Thursday, those efforts came to fruition.

The Monarchs (1-2) snapped a 34-game losing streak in a 12-6, overtime victory over J.R Tucker (1-2) behind eight carries for 92 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner on the first play of OT, by junior running back and safety Donovan Jefferson.Jefferson popped a 52-yard run on an inside zone play during regulation, making a few Tigers defenders miss on his way to the end zone for the Monarchs’ first touchdown.

”He has great vision, great balance and great footwork,” Goodwyn said of Jefferson.

”The O-line came off the ball, did a good job of occupying defenders and (Jefferson) made the rest of it happen.”

Tucker tied the game on a 27-yard touchdown pass with 1:53 remaining in regulation, and held on to send the contest to overtime. VHSL overtime rules dictate each team begin its first possession first-and-goal from the 10-yard line.

On the first play of OT, Jefferson carried in to put Meadowbrook up a touchdown, bouncing outside to get to the edge to break free after the Tucker defense bottled up the inside running lanes.

Tucker looked to have answered on their first offensive play of OT. But a screen pass for a touchdown was called back for a holding penalty.

The Tigers proceeded to run four pass plays, and the Monarchs defended each one, but were called for a roughing the passer penalty on fourth down, negating an interception that would have ended the game.

With a new set of downs, Tucker ran the ball three times to set up fourth-and-goal on the 1-yard line.

“And we came up with the stop, and the rest is history, that was the ballgame,” Goodwyn said, adding that senior tackle Corey Bingham and junior defensive back Caleb Bishop combined on the game-ending tackle.

Goodwyn said his immediate emotion upon hearing the final whistle was relief.

“I’ve really been happy for the seniors. We’ve got a group of seniors who have been through all of the coaching changes, and they deserved it,” he said.

“We put our heads down, worked all offseason and all summer, and we earned it.”

Moving forward, Goodwyn’s message to his team is to not be satisfied. Meadowbrook plays at No. 3 Thomas Dale (2-0) Friday.

”We have to come out and keep working like we haven’t won, like we haven’t achieved anything,” he said.

”That game is the past. We’re glad we won, but we’ve got to take it one day at a time, one play at a time.”

ZJoachim@timesdispatch.com

(804) 649-6555

Twitter: @ZachJoachim

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