Thursday, 07 November 2019 11:06

Cordova routs Sandy Grove, earns West division co-championship

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Richard Kerekes (left) and Andre Ellerbe (right) helped lead the Cordova Cavaliers to a West division co-championship. Richard Kerekes (left) and Andre Ellerbe (right) helped lead the Cordova Cavaliers to a West division co-championship. Kyle Pillar — The Richmond Observer.

LUMBER BRIDGE — Richard Kerekes and Andre Ellerbe make quite a pair of coaches. The two Cordova Middle School football coaches helped the Cavs celebrate a West division co-championship on Wednesday following their 38-14 rout of Sandy Grove Middle School in the regular season finale.


The win moved the Cavs to 4-2 on the season, and it marked the second time Kerekes and Ellerbe have won a title in the past two seasons. During last year’s inaugural middle school wrestling season, the tandem led Richmond County’s team to a Southeastern Middle School Athletic Conference championship.

Also helping coach the Cordova/Ellerbe football team were Ellerbe’s Allen Adeimy and Tommy Shelton, James Tindall (Ashley Chapel School) and Sam Campbell.  

Cordova finished divisional play in a three-way tie with Anson and Rockingham middle schools. Per conference rules, a straw pull was used to determine which school would advance to the SEMSAC championship against Carver Middle School, and the Rockets won.

Wednesday’s game gave the Cavs a little revenge, as the Panthers defeated Cordova last season 14-0.  Cordova finished the season 2-1 against West division opponents, and it was the first football co-championship for Cordova or Ellerbe in recent memory. 

“It’s been a very fun season for us,” Adeimy commented. “This is the third year that we have combined schools and we have built a nice program, getting better each season. 

“Being able to celebrate a division co-championship and winning games against schools we have not beaten before is a testament to the kids’ hard work,” he continued. “We are disappointed that we don't get another shot at Carver, but we wish Rockingham good luck as the West representative.”

Sandy Grove (East division) received the opening kickoff and drove the ball 60 yards for a score, and tacked on the two-point conversion to take an early 8-0 lead. That made it the third game in a row that the Cavs went down early, but it would not last long.  

On the ensuing onside kick attempt, Jamarion Wall took the ball 60 yards down the right sideline into the Panthers’ red zone. Wall would punch it in a few plays later on a sweep to the right. Quarterback Isaiah Lockhart snuck in the two-point conversion to knot the game 8-8.  

Wall kept up his play on the defensive side of the ball when he intercepted a pass on Sandy Grove's next possession, and returned it to the 50-yard line. A Cavalier fumble gave the ball right back, but Wall again picked off a pass, this time taking it 50 yards to the house for a touchdown. Tykeem Ellerbe rushed in the two-point conversion to give the Cavs a 16-8 halftime lead.

Cordova got the opening kickoff in the second half and Ellerbe again found the end zone, taking in the points after as well for a 24-8 score. After a Kruz Kollermier interception, his second in the last two games, return to the Panthers’ 10-yard line, Lockhart took a QB fake to the end zone.  

With the Cavs leading 30-6, and the co-championship all but decided, Sandy Grove found the end zone once more on a long passing play. Ellerbe scored a final time for the Cavs and tacked on the two-point conversion to ice the big victory.

Konner Carter, Karson Thomas, Ellerbe and Freddy Hill all recorded tackles for loss. Johnny Lunceford and Hill had quarterback sacks, while Carter and Ellerbe recovered fumbles for the Cavs.  

In review of the season, Cordova's defense was stingy all year, allowing an average of only 13 points a game. The offense averaged 22 points a game, and removing the opening loss to Carver, Cordova averaged 26 points a game while only giving up an average of 10 points a game.  

"After the Carver game, we had to make some adjustments on both sides of the ball,” Kerekes said. “We placed Eric Greene at middle linebacker and moved Freddy and Tykeem to outside linebackers.  

“We utilized Marquan Martin and Isaiah at safety and it really changed the dynamic of our defense,” he closed. “Our defensive line was always strong with Carter, Lunceford, Adam Simpson, and our other bigs, so once we got speed on the outside we became a force to be reckoned with.”

Sports editor Kyle Pillar and coach Allen Adeimy contributed to this article.

Last modified on Thursday, 07 November 2019 11:10
Kyle Pillar

Sports Editor. IUP communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

Submit local sports scores to: kpillar@richmondobserver.com

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