Colonials Beat Writer Michael Anderson
Sep 13, 2021
Even with the explosion in points, quarterback Akeem Taylor wasn’t satisfied. “We had a really good game.” Taylor said. “The offense showed out. The defense showed out. But we left a lot of points on the field. But all around, we did a good job as a team.”
The Colonials received the opening kickoff, and Antonio Rawlings picked up where he left on in the pre-season with a 21-yard return. The Colonials wasted no time in scoring as Linwood Walker, the backup quarterback turned receiver, took what presumably was an end around. But after clearing the box, he pulled up and found Michael Bauer for an uncontested 50-yard touchdown pass.
After holding the Pitbulls on a couple of series, Jarleel Jones intercepted his first pass of the season and returned it 80-yards to the house for the first of two defensive scores. During the ensuing kickoff R.J. Curtis had a monster hit on the Pitbulls returner, welcoming him to the game.
Aside from the interception return for a touchdown and an end-around pass from Walker to Bauer, the Colonials ended the quarter on a high note with their running game as the backs combined for 40 yards on six carries for a hefty 6.67 yards per carry average
Early in the 2nd quarter, the Colonials defense once again showed why they are going to be a force to reckoned with this year as several players blocked a Pitbulls punt that the Colonials recovered on the Pitbulls 15. It took quarterback Akeem Taylor all of one play to increase the Colonials lead with a 15-yard strike to Michael Bauer.
The Colonials tried a fake point after attempt with kicker Josh Soske tossing a pass to normally sure handed receiver Linwood Walker. But the ball glanced off Walker’s fingertips and fell incomplete. “Usually, he doesn’t have that much time to throw it.” Walker said of Soske. “I looked back and saw that he put more on it than I thought, and I tried to catch up to it and couldn’t get my hands underneath it. But if we could run that play again it is definitely a catch.”
While the 2-point attempt fell incomplete, an encroachment penalty by the Pitbulls moved the ball half the distance to the goal line, giving the Colonials another chance. This time Taylor called his own number with a quarterback sneak. It appeared that Taylor fumbled the ball before he crossed the goal line, but it was recovered in the end zone by a teammate, making the conversion good.
During the ensuing kickoff it looked as if Soske missed the kicked but hitting it enough to cause it to squibble down the field with the Pitbulls recovering. “It was an intentional squib kick.” Soske admitted. “They were playing off the ball and we found an open gap. We tried to get it back, but it (the kick) just happened to go right to them.”
The Pitbulls completed a 20-yard pass, finding some success against a defense that bent all day but didn’t break. But the pass was called back for holding. On the next play, Tramaz Tynes lowered the boom on the Pitbulls quarterback after his pass, injuring him enough to be replaced. On the next play, Jarleel Jones intercepted his second pass and returned it 25-yards for another Colonials defensive score. “Skittles.” Jones stated, matter-of-factly. “I feel like I had a good game today because I ate some skittles this morning, and I was like ‘I am going to ball out like Marshawn Lynch.’” His favorite Skittles are the red ones, “of course.”
Things got a little interesting for both the Colonials and Pitbulls during the 2nd quarter after the Jones pick-6. The Pitbulls started finding success with a 40-yard run finally stopped by Jarleel Jones. The Pitbulls moved the ball close enough to attempt a field goal, but it was blocked by Trabion Tynes.
Later during that drive, the Colonials marched down the field until Taylor found the end-zone with a 25-yard completion, but it was nullified by a penalty. The Colonials eventually turned the ball over on downs with the Pitbulls starting their drive deep in their own territory. An altercation between Pitbulls and Colonials players ended the 1st half with the Colonials leading 34-0.
Because of a continuously running clock and because the Colonials special teams scored on a 65-yard punt return for a touchdown by Timothy Strawn, the Colonials offense didn’t make it onto the field but once during the quarter. During that series of downs, the Colonials moved the ball well and culminated the drive with an 18-yard end-around touchdown run by Linwood Walker to end the 3rd quarter. During the quarter the Pitbulls crossed the 50-yard line only once, and that was because the on-side kick attempt by the Colonials after the punt return touchdown did not cross the 50.
The final quarter wasn’t much different than the first three. The Colonials defense made stop after stop, led by Prince Graves and Isaiah Smith, and the offense moved the ball at will with both Taylor and backup quarterback Brent Shackleford throwing touchdown passes to Bauer and Strawn respectively. The final score was 56-0.
“We played good, and our defense was on fire.” Head Coach Willis said after the game. “Our offense didn’t really get a lot of time out there because the defense was just scoring at will. But it was a good team win.”
“We played a nice all-around game.” Defensive captain Prince Graves said. “I appreciate the defense really doing what I asked them to do, and that’s score points this year. We got it in the endzone three times, I think, today and we pulled it out. It was a good team effort.”
There is no doubt the Colonials defense continues to live up to the preseason hype. But Taylor thinks the offense, as good as it is, still has some work to do. “On the offensive side of the ball we need to work on our passing game.” Taylor noted. “We still have a passing game but it’s not “there.” I need to get more connections with my wide receivers and drop passes into them when its needed. We need to put more points on the board. But overall it was a good team win.”
Come out and support your hometown Williamsburg Colonials next week as they open their home season 9/18 at 7pm at Cooley Field against the Virginia Ducks.