There was no shortage of weapons or play-makers on display for the Vashon Wolverines in their Public High League football game against the Soldan Tigers last Saturday afternoon at Sumner’s Tuskegee Airmen Field. The Wolverines were coming fast and furiously in their eventual 50-14 wipeout of the suddenly-overmatched Tigers.
“They came at us harder than we expected,” remarked Soldan quarterback Ronald Crower, an accomplished three-year starter. “The coaches had given us a scouting report on them, but we just didn’t put ‘two and two together’ to see how tough they were.”
Indeed the Wolverines played defense like hungry ‘wolves’ in recording eight sacks on the afternoon: two by Charvon Lewis on blitzes, two each from Levi Stockard and Tate Ward on the line and single sacks by Charvez Lewis on a blitz and Davion Stockard on the line. Additionally Anthony Durant came up with a pick in the secondary.
However, Vashon’s real game-changing damage transpired on special teams, as Davion Stockard and Charvez Lewis returned blocked punts for touchdowns on consecutive possessions. That was afterward Vashon opened the scoring with an 88-yard drive capped off by a 17-yard touchdown run by Lewis about midway through the opening frame.
“Too many big plays,” said Tigers coach Jarrett Kendall in summarizing the loss. “But when you give up two blocked punts you can’t expect to win.They were a much better team than us on offense, defense and special teams. This was shocking how well they handled us”
Up next for the Wolverines, now 5-1, will be their ultimate PHL test when they take on the 6-0 Gateway Jaguars in a 6:30 p.m. on Friday right back at Sumner. But in dismantling of the Tigers, a perennial winning program of late, Vashon coach Reginald Ferguson acknowledged his club showed
“Overall I thought it was a great effort,” said Vashon coach Reginald Ferguson. “We moved the ball well on offense. The defense made big plays. The special teams were great.”
The victory was sullied afterwards only by the fact that Vashon will likely be without starting quarterback-defensive back Clifton Dickens for the Gateway game because he was ejected late in the third quarter of the Soldan game.
As the quarterback Dickens was splendid against Soldan, in completing 16 of 25 passes for 284 yards and three touchdowns to bring his season numbers to 1,135 yards. But Dickens, the aggressive defender, not the controlled quarterback, was flagged and ejected for slamming Soldan’s Maxwell Webber on the turf and then celebrating it. (Webber had picked up over 40 yards on a run from scrimmage until Dickens tracked him down.) Missouri State High School Activities Association rules mandate a player or players ejected from a game must sit out the next game as punishment.
“We have told him about doing that kind of celebrating before,” said Vashon offensive assistant Ronald Rodgers, minutes after the infraction. “Now we won’t have our starting quarterback for the biggest game of the year so far.”
But while Ferguson was upset with Dickens’ actions and his pending absence this week, he won’t concede that his club will be at a disadvantage because of it.
Ferguson is also probably more aware of how deep his club is this year, which gets back to all the weapons he, Dahlen Jones, or Dickens have at their disposal. Charvon Lewis has emerged as a productive running back and the group of pass catchers, for whomever is throwing the ball, seems endless.In addition to Jones as a receiver, the Wolverines can also trot out Anthony Durant, who caught five passes for 134 yards against Soldan, or Darren Huntley, who caught a 21-yard touchdown strike from Dickens late in the third quarter or Larry Shelton, who looked dazzling in amassing 71 yards on two catch-and-run passes. In limited duty, Shelton looks impressive enough to play full-time and star on many other teams.Then for good measure, as it were, the Wolverines use the 6-8 Levi Stockard as a tight end on offense and he showed how big of a mismatch he can be to defenders when he snagged a two-point conversion by merely extending his reach.
Meanwhile the Vashon offensive line Myles Reed (6-1,320), LaMonte Woods (260), Davonte Hughes (250), Tate Ward (240) and Davion Stockard (240), which has been so effective at run blocking that the Lewis twins have each averaged near 10 yards a pop: Charvon has rushed for 449 yards on 45 carries, at 9.9 and Charvez at 160 yards on 16 carries.
In reference to that defense, Levi Stockard and his cousin Davion Stockard have helped lead the way with fellow lineman Tate Ward and linebackers Jaylin Wayne, and Kristen Grover spearheading the attack. The Lewis twins, Durant and Kevin Oliver are others who have had their moments for a stellar defense, which has three shutouts of its own. But the play of the Stockard cousins has been a key component to the club’s success on the defense.
“”Our line just couldn’t block their line and they were able to get through,” said Kendall. Those blocked punts were momentum killers. We couldn’t handle them. They were just a much more physical team this year.”