RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - 2014 marked a memorable year for Monacan football featuring many bright spots, along with a few disappointments. Overall, it will go down as the season that flipped the script for the Chiefs' program.
Jim Henderson entered his second season at the head of the Monacan sideline in 2014, coming off a 5-6 record during his first campaign that included a first-round playoff loss. A lot came together for the Chiefs, who finished the regular season 8-2, their most wins since 2003.
The postseason would see Monacan gain more momentum. Lopsided victories over Smithfield and Phoebus, followed by a nail-biting win at Heritage earned the black and orange a region title and sent them to the state semifinals. It marked the first time since 1985 the program had reached that level of the playoffs and just the second time in school history.
That state semifinal showdown took place at perennial power Lake Taylor. The Chiefs and Titans went back and forth on both sides of the ball, and Monacan held a slim 14-12 lead late in the fourth quarter. Lake Taylor put together a drive and lined up for a game-winning field goal attempt with 14 seconds left. Monacan would successfully block the field goal try, but as the Chiefs celebrated, the ball was still live, as it had not advanced past the line of scrimmage on the block, and the Titans picked up the ball and scored for the 19-14 win.
Of course, it was a heartbreaking ending to a monumental season, one that saw many lessons learned, and even though the team did not accomplish its ultimate goal, there were far more bright spots highlighting the 2014 campaign than any negatives.
Henderson credits the 2014 squad for laying the foundation for the program today. Since that campaign, the Chiefs have won at least eight games and made the playoffs each year. In 2017, they made more history, finishing the regular season a perfect 10-0 for the first time ever.
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