The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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High School Sports

October 26, 2013

Bluefield wins big

Class AAA No. 8 Red Devils no match for Class AA No. 2 Beavers

OAK HILL — Bluefield coach Fred Simon says his team likes to score on its opening drive.

With this offense, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

In a matchup that had the look of a potential shootout, the Class AA co-No. 2 Beavers controlled from the outset. They scored on all five of their first half possessions, and the defense bottled up Oak Hill senior Jalen Jones in a 51-15 victory Friday at frigid John P. Duda Stadium.

Bluefield (7-1) went methodical on the very first series of the game, using 15 plays and more than six minutes of clock. D.J. Stewart’s 5-yard touchdown put the Beavers ahead 7-0 with 5:27 left in the first quarter before the Red Devils had even touched the ball.

“Coach told us that if we come out fighting and score first, that does something to (the opponent),” said Stewart, a 5-foot-7, 160-pound junior. “It gets to them. So we knew we had to score first. Don’t let them score first, because if they score first they get momentum. We score first, we have momentum on our side.”

That was never an issue.

Bluefield forced Oak Hill, rated No. 8 in Class AAA, into a three-and-out on its first series. This time, the Beavers didn’t need as much time to score.

A 50-yard run by Stewart to the Oak Hill 26-yard line on the second play of the drive set up Charles Ross’ touchdown run from there for a 14-0 Bluefield lead.

“We like to score on the first drive, and I think we did a nice job of calling the plays,” Simon said. “My son (Freddy III) is the offensive coordinator and did a nice job of mixing up the run and the pass and getting us down there (in the end zone).”

The Beavers, who scored 50 points or more for the third straight week and sixth overall, led 28-0 on a 1-yard sneak by quarterback R.J. Bourne and a 76-yard catch-and-run by D.J. Edwards in the second quarter.

A 67-yard kick return by Jones set Oak Hill up at the Beaver 20. The Red Devils needed seven plays, but K.K. Goodman scored the first of his two touchdowns from a yard out to make it 28-7 with 2:55 left before the half.

That was the only highlight of the game for Jones, Oak Hill’s senior running back who has been battling an ankle injury most of the year. He was held to 20 yards on 10 carries and was kept out of the end zone.

Jones was injured on his first run of the second half and came out of the game, favoring his left leg. He returned later but carried just once more.

Bluefield’s defense dominated as much as the offense, limiting Oak Hill to 165 yards of offense. Jarrell Green ran 12 times for 56 yards and Goodman had 53 yards on 15 carries.

Oak Hill coach Eddie Souk refused comment after the game.

“We needed (the win),” Simon said. “We played a really good football team.”

The Devils turned the ball over on their last three possessions, two resulting in touchdowns for Bluefield.

Bourne was 10-of-15 for 230 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for a pair of scores. Edwards caught five passes for 126 yards, while Brandon Lilly had three receptions for 79 yards.

Oak Hill will renew its rivalry with Woodrow Wilson next Friday in the teams’ first meeting since 2003. The game will be played in Oak Hill at 7:30 p.m.

Bluefield will host James Monroe next Friday before closing out the season Nov. 8 against Class AA No. 1 Wayne.

Stewart knows how important it will be not to overlook James Monroe in anticipation of the showdown with the two-time reigning state champion.

“We just take it one game at a time,” he said. “Take practice day-by-day, practice hard, lift hard. Just take it game-by-game.”

— E-mail: gfauber

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