By Bob Redd
For The Register-Herald
CLEAR FORK —
The first road game of the year for the Bluefield Beavers didn’t start well, but it was a happy ending as the Beavers topped the Westside Renegades 54-14, Friday night on the Westside campus.
Montel Leggett rushed for 247 yards and three touchdowns, while Corey Coppola returned a fumble for a score, intercepted a pass and ran 44 yards for a score.
On the second play from scrimmage the Renegades’ Mike Mullens took a handoff from quarterback Justin Cogar, bounced it outside, and ran 65 yards for the first score of the game. Cogar called his own number on the two-point conversion, and 45 seconds into the game Westside held an 8-0 lead.
“Mullens is a nice runner, for a sophomore he’s pretty good and so is their quarterback (Cogar),” said Beavers head coach Fred Simon. “A score shouldn’t kill us. We’ve got to overcome things like that and we did a nice job bouncing right back down the field to score. I’m proud of our players. They’re playing hard and I think doing better all the time.”
Bluefield answered on its first possession, going 65 yards but using seven plays and taking up 2:44 of clock time. Johnny David finished the drive with a 37 yard run off left tackle. Justin Mariotti booted the PAT and the Beavers were on the board, trailing 8-7.
Westside went three-and-out on its next possession and after a 17 yard punt that gave the Beavers the ball on the Renegades 40, D.J. Stewart covered 40 yards for the score on the first play of the drive. Mariotti’s point was true and Bluefield was on top 14-8.
On Westside’s first play from scrimmage after the kickoff, Cogar lateralled to Morgan who failed to cover the loose ball and Coppola scooped up the ball and the Renegades 10 and carried it into the endzone. Mariotti’s PAT made it 21-8.
Defense came to the fore again for the Beavers as Justin Carter picked off a Cogar pass at his own 44. Bluefield then embarked on its longest drive, time-wise, of the half, chewing up 3:01 on eight plays before Stewart scampered 14 yards for his second score of the night. Mariotti’s kick gave Bluefield a 28-8 advantage.
Westside added a late touchdown, Justin Kennedy snagging a 15-yard pass from backup quarterback Larry Cook with 6:38 left in the contest. The conversion pass failed.
Bluefield tallied 571 yards unofficially on the ground, led by Leggett with 247. David carried 14 times for 100 yards, Stewart 7-for-77 and Coppola 5-for-60. Edwards completed 3-of-7 passes for 25 yards.
Mullens led Westside with 160 yards on 14 rushes. Cogar was 1-of-7 passing for one yard with two interceptions. Cook was 2-of-2 for 12 yards and a touchdown.
B 28 14 6 6 — 54
W 8 0 0 6 — 14
W - Michael Mullens 65 run (Cogar run), 11:15
B - Johnny David 37 run (Justin Mariotti kick), 8:34
B - D.J. Stewart 40 run (Mariotti kick), 7:06
B - Corey Coppola 10 yard fumble recovery (Mariotti kick), 6:56
B - Stewart 14 run (Mariotti kick), 2:06
B - Montel Leggett 13 run (Mariotti kick), 10:12
B - Coppola 44 run (Mariotti kick), 4:39
B - Leggett 49 run (kick failed), 11:15
B - Leggett 75 run (run failed), 11:29
W - Larry Cook 15 pass to Justin Kennedy (pass failed), 6:38
Rushing: Bluefield - Montel Leggett 18-247, D.J. Edwards 5-30, Johnny David 14-100, D.J. Stewart 7-77, Corey Coppola 5-60. Westside - Michael Mullins 14-160, Justin Cogar 13-6, Dylan Newsome 2-13,.
Passing: Bluefield - Edwards 3-7 25 yards. Westside - Cogar 1-7 1 yard, 2 INT, Cook 2-2 12 yards, 1 TD
Receiving: Bluefield - David 2-10, Stewart 1-15. Westside Fox 1-(-3), Kennedy 1-15, Mullins 1-1.