Story & Photos by Erica Wall and Layne Robbins, Knightly News Staff Reporters
Thomas Dale’s varsity football team pulled together to beat last year’s number one team, Hermitage 35 to 7 on Friday, Sept. 7.
During the first half the Knights were determined to end the half with a lead over Hermitage. They left the field, at halftime, with a lead of 12-0.
After coming off flat in the third quarter, the course of the game would soon take a drastic turn.
The Knights were able to build a lead of 28-7 at the early start of the fourth quarter. With eight minutes remaining in the game, senior lineman Rick D’abreu suffered an ankle injury.
The stadium that was once thundering with excitement quickly fell quiet.
As D’abreu was carried off the field, he gave a thumbs up which ignited the stadium. This not only brought a smile to his mother and to D’abreu’s face, but also brought a fire into the teams’ stomach.
Once the players returned to the field, the Dale defense was able to force a safety onto Hermitage. This meant the world to D’abreu and the players.
This injury is a season ending injury for D’abreu. Though he has an injury, D’abreu will return and coach from the side lines.
This encouraged the Dark Zone Defense to push themselves to do their very best, and play for D’abreu. This allowed the Knights to shut down Hermitage for the remainder of the game.
D’abreu is not only the team leader but also the glue that holds the team together. Coach Tucker described that D’abreu has touched people outside of the football team including students and teachers.
The seniors on the football team have stepped up and filled in these leadership roles.
Underclassmen on both JV and Varsity look up to seniors including, Konstantine Sannikov, Adam Hall , Rick D’abreau , Jacob Grabham, Garret Graves, and Eric Rice.
When asked how they believe the season will be, Coach Crenshaw said, “The sky’s the limit.”
Hurricane Florence shut the team down early. The team will be back Monday preparing for the Matoaca game, another big game of the season.