Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

November 30, 2013

Indians eliminate Beavers in semis

By BOB REDD
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BRIDGEPORT — The Bluefield Beavers’ hopes for a state championship came to an end Friday night at Wayne Jamison Field as the Bridgeport Indians used an overwhelming running game and a swarming defense to claim a 42-21 win and advance to next week’s championship game in Wheeling against the Wayne Pioneers.

“We made it a step further than we did last year, which was an improvement,” said Beavers head coach Fred Simon in the locker room following the game. “We’re still not where we’d like to be. I’m proud of them for making it a step further.”

The Indians won the coin toss, received the opening kick and marched from their own 33 for the game’s first score. 13 plays, all on the ground, capped by Anthony Bonamico’s four yard run. Brennan Duarte kicked the point and with 5:16 to play in the first Brideport was ahead 7-0.

The Bluefield offense had it tough. On its first three plays they managed to lose 20 yards and punted back to the Indians. After a Bridgeport punt the Beavers got the ball for the second time with just under two minutes to play in the first. The quarter ended with Beavers punting again to Bridgeport and the Indians starting at the Bluefield 40. Eight plays later Bonamico took a handoff running right, reversed field and carried it to the end zone from six yards out. The kick made it 14-0.

There were a couple of interesting plays in the quarter, one involving a Bridgeport fumble recovered by Bluefield where the runner was ruled down, another on a Bluefield punt where it appeared the Bridgeport returner muffed the ball deep in his own territory and the ball recovered by Bluefield. In both instances the ball remained with the Indians.

Bridgeport carried a 14-0 lead into the half. In the first two quarters Bluefield ran 13 plays and gained 19 yards while Bridgeport ran 35 plays for 151 yards.

Carlos Reed returned the second half kick out to the Beavers 43 and a 27 yard pass from R.J. Bourne to D.J. Edwards gave Bluefield a first down at the 30. However, the drive stalled and Bourne was intercepted on fourth and 10, the Indians taking over at their own 41.

Two dead ball unsportsmanlike conduct penalties saw the Simon ejected from game and took the ball from the Bluefield 49 to the 19 with 8:40 to play in the third. Bridgeport made it 21-0 on an A.J. Caldera yard run with 7:20 to go. “I was on them (the officials) pretty hard on the fumble I thought we got, on the punt,” Simon said. “I’m not sure about the other one, but the punt I saw. It definitely hit his chest. It was a big play in the game and they were there to see it.

“When I feel like I’m in the right I fight for my players. I felt like it wasn’t a very good call and I kept pointing it oug to them. It was a crucial play in the game.

“Then I thought we had a bad mark, but I wasn’t crazy about it. I said, ‘Hey, I don’t think that was the right mark,’ and he threw the flag. I said, ‘Hey, that wasn’t the right mark,’ and he threw the other flag. It wasn’t like I cussed and went crazy on it. I was just trying to fight for our team in a fair way.”

Less than a minute later that score and after another Bluefield turnover, Caldera ran six yards for a score to make it 28-0.

Abandoning the ground game, Bluefield went to the air. And Bourne connected with Edwards for a 15-yard scoring strike with 4:32 to play in the quarter.

Bridgeport added to its lead on a 12-yard Caldera run with 10:37 left in the game. Bourne and Edwards then capped a 65 yard Beavers drive with another 15-yard touchdown connection to make it 35-14.

Again it was Caldera who took it in for Bridgeport, this time from 10 yards out, his fourth score of the game. Bluefield’s final score came on a 35 yard run by D.J. Stewart with 51.9 seconds left in the game.

Caldera led Bridgeport with 141 yards rushing on 27 carries. Bonamico ran 23 times for 109 yards. Caldera was 0-for-2 passing.

Stewart finished with 95 yards rushing on eight attempts while Bourne compeleted 16-of-30 pases for 201 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Edwards hauled in eight passes for 81 yards and two scores.

Bridgeport will face Wayne in the finals. Wayne defeated Robert C. Byrd for its 36th consecutive win, tying Anstead for the state record for consecutive wins. Anstead managed the feat in the early ‘70s.

Indians head coach Josh Nicewarner said, “We played traditional Bridgeport football, right up the middle, pound it, and that was our game plan. They were just too fast to do anything else, so we put it on the shoulders of our front seven guys, our blocking backs and went from there. They stepped up and responded.”

Bluefield finished the season with a 10-3 record, while Bridgeport improved to 12-1.

 

At Wayne Jamison Stadium

Bluefield…....0  0    7  14 — 21

Bridgeport.....7  7  14  14 — 42

First quarter

Bri – Anthony Bonamico 4 yard run ( Brennan Duarte kick), 5:16

Second quarter

Bri – A. Bonamico 6 yard run (Duarte kick), 8:07

Third quarter

Bri – A.J. Caldera 4 yard run (Duarte kick), 7:20

Bri – Caldera 6 yard run (Duarte kick), 6:22

Blu – D.J. Edwards 15 yard pass from R.J. Bourne (Francisco Desiderio kick), 4:35

Fourth quarter

Bri – Caldera 12 yard run (Duarte kick), 10:37

Blu – Edwards 15 yard pass from Bourne (Desiderio kick), 8:35

Bri – Caldera 10 yard run (Duarte kick), 1:50

Blu – Stewart 35 yard run (Desiderio kick), 51.9

———

Individual Stats

Rushing: Blue – Stewart 8-95, Coppola 2-4, Edwards 2-1, Bourne 1-(-10), Totals 13-90. Bridge – A. Bonamico 23-109, D. Bonamico 5-22, Caldera 27-141, Thorn 9-41, Totals 64-319.

Passing: Blue – Bourne 16-30-201-2, 2 Int.; Bridge – Caldera 0-2-0.

Receiving: Blue – Edwards 8-81, Lilly 2-29, Carter 3-27, Stewart 2-25, Reed 1-49, Totals 16-201.