Kent upsets Snow Hill; gets 1st playoff win since 2016

SNOW HILL — The numbers are staggering and, quite honestly, a little surprising.

Junior Jonah Somerville, in only his third start under center, led an explosive offense that totaled nearly 500 yards as Kent County ousted host Snow Hill, 34-18, in the opening round of the Class 1A state football playoffs on Nov. 2.

The 34 points are a season high for the Trojans.

Yup, Kent County beat Snow Hill — six days after Snow Hill (5-5) in the regular-season finale pummeled KCHS in its homecoming game, 47-6.

“It was our best game of the season. Everyone did their part,” KCHS head coach Harold Somerville said in an interview out on the field during practice Tuesday.

“That first game (Oct. 27), we shut down,” he added.

In the rematch, “We were mentally prepared,” Somerville said. “And we switched up the offense, the defense, personnel.”

This was Kent County’s first playoff win since 2016, when then-head coach Brendon Ireton and do-it-all Marcquan Green engineered a 28-22 upset of Cambridge-South Dorchester in the 1A East Region title game.

The Trojans (2-8) went with a 4-3 defense — four linemen and three linebackers — and additional help downfield with two safeties.

On the other side of the ball, with a spread Wing T, they relied heavily on running backs Scottie Ford, Tyrell Fennell and Taion Johnson, who led the trio of ball carriers with 120 yards.

Somerville rushed for 140 yards.

“We stuck with the (option) toss almost all night long and only went to the air when we knew we had it,” coach Somerville said.

The Trojans were most successful when they ran to the left, which was the Eagles’ weak side. The O-line platooned Wesley Townsend, Harrison Gibby, Trice Moore, Ryan Myers, Wyatt Toulson and Dylan Schauber.

At 6-foot-5 and north of 250 pounds, Townsend is an intimidating presence in the middle.

He showed up at Snow Hill, a two-way standout at center and nose guard.

Unlike the first Kent-Snow Hill encounter, when you needed both hands to count the number of Trojan turnovers, this time the locals lost the ball only once, on a strip fumble.

Slot receiver-turned-quarterback Jonah Somerville threw for 160 yards and two touchdowns, and was not intercepted. He went to the air only when the receivers had beaten their coverage on the outside.

Larry Steward, a senior playing high school football for the first time, continued to be Somerville’s favorite target. Steward finished with just under 100 yards and a pair of touchdowns, each for 40-plus yards.

Somerville’s 46-yard strike to Steward gave the Trojans a lead they never relinquished.

The advantage was 14-0 after Somerville raced into the end zone from 15 yards out and JySir Valentine bulldozed his way up the middle on a successful try to two extra points.

Steward and Somerville each scored a second touchdown and Valentine tacked on another two-point conversion to make it 28-18 at the midway point.

Scottie Ford’s rushing touchdown was the only scoring of the second half. He finished with about 50 yards on the ground.

The Trojans dressed only 21 players, with many going both ways.

On defense, Steward (safety) led the team with nine tackles, followed by Moore (middle linebacker) with seven and Fennell (cornerback) with six.

Steward and Johnson both intercepted Snow Hill QB Justin Shipley; Johnson’s pick came inside the red zone.

Townsend deflected a pass.

Valentine and Moore recovered fumbles, and Dylan Cole forced a fumble.

NEXT UP: The Trojans are headed to Cambridge on Thursday, Nov. 9 for a 6 p.m. kickoff in what on paper looks like another mismatch.

In Week 5, Cambridge handed Kent an old-fashioned beatdown, 52-0.

Cambridge advanced to the second round of the 1A tournament after walloping winless Washington, 51-6.

“We’ve got something for them. We’ll have things switched up,” coach Somerville said in Tuesday’s interview, but would not elaborate.

“It’s a winnable game,” he said. “If the same team that showed up for Snow Hill shows up Thursday night, it’s more than a winnable game.”

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One Response

  1. WOW!!! What an impressive turnaround. Well done Trojans.
    And what a great write up as usual Trish.

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