Homecoming wasn’t a very happy one for the members of the Mathews High School varsity football team, as the Blue Devils were shut out by the visiting Nandua Warriors, 42-0.
The loss drops the MHS record to 1-8 overall, with the Devils’ season finale to be held tonight at Middlesex High School. Nandua, meanwhile, improved to 7-2.
The Warriors put together a 72-yard drive for the team’s first score, culminating in a 17-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Smith. A couple of plays after that, a Mathews fumble gave Nandua the ball in Devil territory, with Smith capping off that drive as well with a touchdown reception of 20 yards. Nandua scored once more to take a 21-0 lead into halftime.
The Devils, meanwhile, proved to be their own worst enemy. MHS players coughed up the ball several times, once on the play immediately after a big pass play from Ryan Ewell to Deondre Foster.
The play that really took the wind out of the Devils’ sails was the second-half kickoff, as the Warriors’ Tyreim Blake took the ball all the way for the score and a 28-0 lead. Two more Nandua touchdowns, including one with just 10 seconds left on the clock, sealed the victory.
"We gave up a couple of easy scores to Nandua on blown pass coverages on third down and got behind early," MHS head coach Paul White said. "Later, we made an adjustment and ended up with a couple of interceptions by Deondre Foster and Ryan Ewell. I thought the kids played fairly hard, but we came up short."
A.J. White was the leading rusher for Mathews, picking up 83 yards on 19 carries. He also punted three times for a 46.2-yard average.