Battlefield defensive backs Josh Newman (9) and Parker Baddley (25) can't keep up with Hylton wide receiver Yannis Nguetta (1) to put them closer to the Bulldogs 28-13 at the end of the first half of football in Woodbridge, Va. on Tuesday, October 2, 2014. (Jeffrey Mankie/for Prince William Today)

Having one of its main offensive weapons limited to 61 yards in the first half, committing 175 yards in penalties and turning the ball over three times turned out to be nothing but a few blips on the radar for the Hylton Bulldogs and that figured.

  • Click here for a photo gallery from the game

After all, the Bulldogs have averaged of 43.7 points through their first five games, although when Hylton fell behind 28-7 late in the first half, it may have seemed as if the Battlefield Bobcats would be able to slow them down.

Then came the drive Hylton coach Tony Lilly said was the turning point.

Bulldogs quarterback Donovan Williams found Yannis Nguetta on a 27-yard scoring pass with 15.2 seconds left in the second quarter to pull Hylton within two touchdowns at halftime.

According to Lilly, the confidence that drive instilled was huge and the proof was in the pudding. Battlefield was held scoreless the rest of the way, Hylton was finally able to hold on to the ball, and Hylton’s option-oriented offense began to click, allowing the Bulldogs to hand visiting Battlefield its first loss of the season, 40-28, in a non-conference football game Thursday night.

That Battlefield (5-1), which was averaging 32.5 points per game, went scoreless in the second half was as much a testament to Hylton’s defense, which sacked quarterback Matt Gallagher three times, as it was to injuries. Defensive back Corey Parker rolled his ankle early in the first half and did not return, while running back Sam Drzal apparently suffered a broken foot, according to Battlefield coach Mark Cox.

“Parker may miss one to two weeks, but Drzal’s injury is one we’re concerned about,” Cox said.

With one of its key defenders and a player Cox called “one of the key players on our team” out in the second half, Battlefield was forced to use sophomore running back Chris Ferrill more than he has been used this season. The injuries also caused Gallagher to move out of the pocket and left him more susceptible to being sacked or hurried.

Two misplays by Hylton cost them dearly in the first quarter.

After Battlefield turned the ball over on downs on the opening possession, Hylton moved the ball past midfield before D. J. Wright fumbled and Battlefield’s Brett Reid recovered at the 33.

The Bobcats took advantage with an 8-play, 67-yard drive that ended when Gallagher ran it in from the 1 to make it 7-0. A 33-yard connection with Kerxton preceded the short scoring run.

A bad snap that led to a 13-yard loss on fourth down by Hylton gave Battlefield possession again at the Bobcats’ 36. Two plays later, Kerxton hauled in a 47-yard scoring pass from Gallagher to make it 14-0.

Three Hylton penalties helped Battlefield on its next drive which ended when Kerxton hauled in a 63-yard pass from Gallagher as the Bobcats took a 21-0 lead with 11:47 left in the half.

Hylton finally got untracked late in the first half. After an 8-yard scoring run by Ricky Slade was nullified by a penalty, Williams ran it in from the 7, to pull Hylton within 21-7.

Gallagher threw a 7-yard scoring pass to Kerxton with 5:20 left in the half. Battlefield was driving late in the quarter before fumbling to Hylton. Williams led a furious drive that was highlighted by two catches from Nguetta, including the 27-yard scoring pass with 15 seconds left in the half.

Hylton scored twice in the third quarter, once on a 3-yard run by Williams, who set up the score with a 17-yard run from scrimmage, and again on a 24-yard run by Slade, in one of the few times Slade was able to reel off a big run.

Slade, who tied a state record by scoring eight touchdowns last week against Patriot, was contained fairly well by Battlefield’s defense, Cox said. Slade finished with 150 yards on 22 carries.

“The little guy got his yards, but I was pleased with how the defense on him overall,” Cox said. “We had opportunities to win the game.”

Gallagher had a good game, throwing for 359 yards and three touchdowns (three passing), but 11 of his 13 incomplete passes came in the second half.

When Jake Ward scored on a 31-yard run with 5:40 left to play to give Hylton a 33-28 lead, Battlefield had one last opportunity, but Gallagher missed completing two passes to Kerxton (including one with just more than a minute to play) and one to Matt Scott. Hylton added a late touchdown when Jared Austin recovered a fumble after Gallagher was sacked in the end zone.

For his part, Williams appeared more confident in the second half. According to Lilly, it was more a case of Williams (and the rest of his teammates) having fun than being confident.

“We came out flat in the first half,” Lilly said. “I told them [the players] at halftime, ‘If you want the game, you can get it. It’s there for you to take.’ In the second half, it was like [they said],’Enough of this. Let’s have some fun and play some football.”

Williams said he enjoyed playing in the option oriented offense the Bulldogs employed. Williams completed passes to six different receivers.

“Our talent level is there. We have a lot of weapons,” Williams said. “[Playing the option] gives us opportunities to showcase the talent we have.”

Cox said the game showed the Bobcats could compete at a high level, while Lilly said the Bulldogs learned they could overcome adversity.

BATTLEFIELD (5-1) 14 14 0 0 – 28

HYLTON (4-1) 0 13 14 13—40


B—Gallagher 1 run (Feehan kick), 6:18

B—Kerxton 47 pass from Gallagher (Feehan kick), 3:45


B—Kerxton 63 pass from Gallagher (Feehan kick), 11:47

H—Williams 7 run (Thompson kick), 9:29

B—Kerxton 7 pass from Gallagher (Feehan kick), 5:20

H—Nguetta 27 pass from Williams (kick failed), 15.2


H—Williams 3 run (Williams run), 3:46

H—Slade 24 run (kick failed), 1:34


H—Ward 31 run (run failed), 5:40

H—Austin fumble recovery in end zone (Thompson kick), 1:02


Rushing, Battlefield, Drzal 11-40, Ferrill 12-39, Boney 4-2, Cephus 1-1, Gallagher 6-(minus 13);Hylton, Slade 21-150, Williams 7-52, Ward 2-36, Wright 1-7, Bowers 1-4, Carroll 1-2.

Passing—Battlefield, Gallagher 23-38-0-359; Hylton, Williams 11-19-0-165.

Receiving—Battlefield, Kerxton 10-234, Scott 8-93, Shablom 2-15, DeCosta 1-5, Ferrill 1-7, Parker 1-5; Hylton, Nguetta 3-67, Perez 3-39, Wright 2-27, Slade 2-12, Bowers 1-15, Carroll 1-5.


(16) comments


It's also all to common for a kid to go to college and graduate. I happen to be at the game and i saw Deon Butler. The last Hylton great to wear number 3 now being worn by Ricky Slade. Deon went on to Penn State broke records and graduated. Mr. Slade you're doing a great job with your son. He's a joy to watch and a very humbled young man. Let the haters hate!

Comment deleted.

Don't give this troll the satisfaction of a response. He's always making the most ignorant comments on stories.


Thanks Poppadoc! Appreciate it! Dude is ignorant. I won't respond to him again.


So you think you're the only one with a daughter in college?? I have a daughter in college and daughter that served this country! So don't talk about my son like you know him or our family. I'll be at every game. Come see me if you feel like you need to. Your nasty ass daughters are probably getting hit by the whole football team in college! You know its all to common for an ignorant man to have freak daughters.


Come see me at any game


I just want to know if this Slade kid actually lives in Hylton's zone, unlike some of the other players. I read an article that their QB lives in Potomac's boundary and another starter is supposed to go to Forest Park along with someone else. Rumors about the Bulldogs' off-the-field "tactics" are widely known throughout the high school football scene in Northern Virginia. Very strange how stuff like this goes unchecked by their administration and the VHSL. I guess their coaching staff must have some good connections and be pulling strings.


Doesn't matter where he lives as long as they live in Prince William county. They can apply to each school's specialty program. Hylton isn't the only school in the county with transfers. Forest Park has a kid that left Hylton and is now playing there and he lives in Potomac's zone. I guess it won't be an issue until he does something on the field that people start talking about.


Yea, we live in Bayview. A freshman like him does come a dime a dozen. He's a 14 year old kid and you're a grown man talking about him. Hiding behind your internet name. Since you're so tough put your real name out there or come see me and talk about it. I'm not mad. I think your actions describe what type of man you are.


Says the thin-skinned father who's obviously very insecure with all of his Internet bravado. Clearly bringing up such questions about Hylton's football program has struck a nerve. There must be plenty of truth behind them then. "They can apply to each school's specialty program." Yeah right! It's not much of an application process when it's fixed for certain players. But I digress, that football team must be riddled with International Studies scholars. My only question now is, what's the Bulldog recruiting budget for next year??


I'm reading some of these posts from PWC123 and they sound all too familiar... so familiar that... Wait, no. It couldn't be. Does he go by the possible alias of...

DUECE33!!!! [scared] [beam]


This is so very sad. So many football parents have worked to prove that we are not knuckle dragging neanderthals and Mr. Slade has undone all of that.


Who? I have been living in this area for the past 11 years and have had two children go through Prince William County schools and participate in athletics. What I've brought up is nothing more than what had been said while my kids were going to school and what people have spoken about in recent years. I'm not sure what duece33 is, but utilizing those little faces just tells me you're probably some local teenager.


I shouldn't have let that quys comments upset me so much. My apologies for responding to his ignorance. My responses were not towards anything pwc123 said. They erased the comments I responded to. Thanks.


Ricky Slade is a exceptional football player and he is going to have an outstanding high school football career. I wish him the best!


I think Hylton's journalism department needs to step it up, as a Battlefield lover wrote this article. As for all this recruiting conversation, a kid wants to play for a winner and go to a top ranked edcational school. Hylton delivers on both counts.


Why argue the recruiting...it is common knowledge. There are head coaches...yes head coaches, that visit middle school kids' homes to recruit. That is how comfortable they are and how long they have been doing it. Some day a reporter will realize what they can gain by breaking this very easy nut....Some day. Just speak to the families that sent their kid to one these schools with the promise of starting... only to realize once in the building that there are several specialty program kids at each position...and they can't go to their base school because the coach makes sure they have to sit 365...not only does it happen...it happens often.

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