Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

September 15, 2012

Beavers sink Spartans

Bluefield clamps down on East, gives Simon his 200th win

BLUEFIELD — Montel Leggett rushed for 153 yards and three touchdowns and the Bluefield defense held Greenbrier East to 250 total yards of offense as the Bluefield Beavers ran to a 54-19 win over the Greenbrier East Spartans, the 200th coaching victory for Beavers head coach Fred Simon.

“Our community is a great place I’ve grown up in,” Simon said following the game. “I’ve been around some super people all my life, been blessed to be around some very good people.

“I love living in Bluefield. It was Coach (Merrill) Gainer and Coach (John) Chmara that got it started and I was allowed to continue with that. The tradition helps so much and I’ve tried to work hard to compete with those guys, those two great men. We’ve had some great players that have bought into what I’ve tried to tell them and they have worked their butts off every game that I have been here, even the tough years. And our assistant coaches I’ve had over the years and the administration has helped me a lot. I’m just proud to be in Mercer County and coaching here in Bluefield, W.Va. It has just been great.”

Early it appeared that win No. 200 for Simon would not happen as it was the Spartans who held the upper hand. After a Bluefield three-and-out to open the game, East went on a nine play 52 yard drive capped by Isaiah Kinder connecting with Kamen Reynolds in the back of the end zone for a seven yard scoring play. Sean Myles’ kick made it 7-0 with 4:44 to play in the opening quarter.

Bluefield’s next possession ended after five plays and a punt and Greenbrier East picked right up where it left off. Kinder again took to the air and teamed up with Cole McClain on a 76-yard scoring play. The kick failed and  the Spartans led 13-0 at the end of the first quarter.

Beavers’ captain Danny Miller was critical of his team’s play early, but things did come around.

“I think we came out and played a little soft, didn’t come out hard those first two series,” Miller said. “We just had to wake up and play Beaver football.”

On its first possession of the second quarter, Bluefield showed its quick strike capability. On a third-and-eight D.J. Edwards motored his way 35 yards to the end zone for the Beavers’ first score. Justin Mariotti’s kick was true to make it 13-7.

Greenbrier East would again move the ball on the Beavers, but a holding penalty negated a touchdown pass and the Spartans gave Bluefield a short field with a 15-yard punt. Bluefield took the lead on a two-play 59 yard drive. The first 29 yards rushed by D.J. Stewart, and the next 30 by Leggett for the score. Mariotti’s point-after kick gave the Beavers a lead it would not relinquish and a 14-13 lead headed into intermission.

Simon said he really didn’t give a rah-rah halftime talk to his team, just urged them to go out and do their best in the second half.

“We just had to play,” Simon said. “We had to come out and play and things worked out for us. We were decent in the second half. I’m proud of them and we beat a good football team. We are a big play team and we capitalized. I thought our guys played hard.

Bluefield came out like gangbusters in the third quarter. Two touchdowns within 90 seconds, both runs by Leggett, one of 75 yards, another by eight were two of four, third quarter scores by the Beavers. Corey Coppola, playing his first game in a Bluefield uniform scored on a one-yard run, and Brandon Tabor raced 62 yards for another Beaver touchdown. At the end of three Bluefield was up 41-13.

Leggett talked of his runs. “Everybody was able to block and I was able to keep my feet going, avoid some tackles and get to the end zone to help Coach Simon get his 200th (win).”

East put more points on the board in the fourth on a 29-yard run by McClain. Bluefield then closed out the scoring with two more touchdowns, an 86-yard pass from Edwards to Coppola and a 15 yard run by Christian Oster, his first varsity score.

“We have to learn how to continue to play,” said Greenbrier East head coach Ray Lee. “We’ve got a young team, a new system and we’re trying to create a different culture here and we’ve got to teach guys how to win. Just because you get up on a team, especially like Bluefield, you just can’t think they are going to lay down for you.

“Those are things we have to work on, not taking anything away from Bluefield at all. They’ve got a good football team, but we’ve just got to know how to win games when we get people down.”

For the game Bluefield had unofficially 544 yards of offense. The Beavers defense, after falling behind 13-0, ended the game with five quarterback sacks.

The Beavers, now 2-1, host Charlotte Latin next Friday night at Mitchell Stadium. Last year the Hawks defeated the Beavers 31-17 in North Carolina.

“I think we have some more improvements to do and we have a couple more practices until we play Charlotte Latin. Hopefully we’ll get better.”

Greenbrier East is idle next week.

“It’s a good time to have a week off,” Lee said. “After a tough game like tonight it will give us a chance to recuperate and give us a chance to evaluate and see what we can do from here on out.”

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