SOUTH BOSTON — President George W. Bush was in the Oval Office the last time Halifax defeated George Washington on the gridiron in Danville back in 2005.
Ever since, the series has been all GW.
That trend didn’t change Friday night, as GW steamrolled Halifax, 45-7, to remain undefeated in Piedmont District play.
Junior quarterback Jackson Byrnes quickly got GW going in the right direction, punching the ball into the end zone on the ground on the Eagles’ second drive of the night.
Byrnes continued building his stock when he snuck into the end zone on the Eagles’ ensuing possession, making it 12-0 midway through the opening quarter and giving him his second rushing score of the night.
“Our first drive we didn’t get into the end zone, but then our defense punched the ball out and got us the ball right outside the goal line. It was a really easy run; I just followed my linemen, and they pushed me into the end zone,” Byrnes said. “Then for the second, we had the momentum on our side and just rolled down the field.”
Byrnes kept the scoring going with his arm, hooking up with senior Zavion King for a 13-yard reception that gave GW (2-1, 2-0 Piedmont) a 19-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
It was senior Willie Edmunds’ turn to punch the clock next, capping a three-play, 20-yard drive with a 13-yard scamper on a pitch to the right that upped he Eagles’ lead to 26-0 with 11:26 left in the opening half.
Halifax (0-2, 0-2) came up with a defensive stop on GW’s next drive, but the Comets’ offense couldn’t repay the favor. After a quick three-and-out, Edmunds scored his second of three rushing touchdowns on the evening. He sprinted down the right sideline for an 18-yard score that made it a 33-0 at the break.
Each of the Eagles’ first three scores came after the defense forced a turnover deep in Halifax territory. GW forced four total Halifax turnovers on the evening, including three fumbles and an interception by senior Sha’Kobe Hairston.
“It takes a lot of practice,” junior Ahmad Poole said. “We really push each other in practice and work hard, and that’s the effort and results that pour out onto the field.”
A week after shutting out Patrick County, it appeared GW may do the same Friday. The Eagles kept Halifax scoreless until late in the fourth quarter, when Dominic Chandler pulled in a 57-yard touchdown pass for the game’s final score.
Up until Chandler’s TD catch, the Eagles hadn’t surrendered a score in seven quarters.
“Our first week, we took a big L, so ever since then, we’ve been straight pushing it in practice every day, and now it’s helping us show out on the field,” Poole said.
Byrnes added, “I play scout team against the starting defense, and they give hard work on every single rep and make it hard for the scout offense to get anything, so they’re doing really well in practice.”
Edmunds’ third score of the night, a 36-yard run, gave GW a 39-0 lead with 11:51 left in the third quarter, and sophomore Razavier Carter found the end zone — marking the first TD of his high school career — on a 14-yard run down the right sideline that capped the scoring for the Eagles.
Byrnes finished with two rushing touchdowns to go with his passing strike to King. Edmunds paced GW’s running game, recording his second consecutive hat trick, and Carter also had a rushing TD.
GW is looking to fill a gap in its schedule next week, as its original matchup against Piedmont foe Bassett was canceled because of the Bengals’ COVID-19 protocols.