Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

September 26, 2013

Bulldogs to take on Maroons

TAZEWELL, Va. — It isn’t exactly homecoming — that’s next week — but more than a month into the regular season the Tazewell Bulldogs will finally get to play at home.

The Bulldogs (0-4) are fresh from a 45-43 loss at Chilhowie and return to Tazewell tonight to entertain defending single-A state champion George Wythe (3-1).

Tazewell has played in Virginia, Tennessee, and West Virginia in a month-long odyssey away from the friendly confines of Bulldog Stadium/Witten Field. Now comes the challenge of facing another strong opponent with a history of success.

Coach H.S. Ingo’s Maroons finished 14-1 last season, finishing with a 17-10 title victory over Honaker. GW opened this year with four returning starters — two each way — but have maintained a solid pace.

Relying on a solid running game, Wythe has beaten Radford (21-14), Marion (27-20), and last week topped Floyd County 28-6. The only blemish was against Fort Chiswell which hammered GW 36-7 in the annual rivalry contest.

Tazewell has shown flashes of being a quality team in the four defeats, and and seem to need only to learn how to win to turn things around in T-Town.

“Every team has to learn that (how to win),” says Allen. “George Wythe, no matter how many starters they opened this season with, is a great example of that. Coach Ingo and his staff have a program going over there. They expect to win. Any team playing them is in for a battle. It’s up to us to be ready to meet that challenge.”

With somewhat of a flex version of the Wing-T, similar to Tazewell’s offensive set, the Maroons have piled up some impressive numbers. Rolling along to some 37 straight Hogoheegee District wins, GW has already opened a good power game with a newly-developed lineup that rolled up 358 yards against Marion and 335 on the ground against Floyd County.

Trey Skeens had touchdown runs of 34 and 56 yards against Marion, while Elijah Oaks contributed 215 yards and two long scoring runs against the Buffaloes. Monterick Phillips is also a key cog, as is kicker John Smith, who had a 37-yard field goal last week.

“They (Wythe) are well coached,” Allen said. “Coach Ingo makes sure his players have the right objectives in mind. They have not rebuilt after the state championship, they are just reloaded and already having another good season.”

Tazewell, with five of the next six games at home, is poised to turn its own season in a new direction. The Bulldogs scored 30 points in the fourth quarter alone, nearly overcoming a three-touchdown deficit in less than five minutes, led by Malik Davis, who had 367 yards of offense, including 239 yards and three scores through the air, and 128 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.

Jesse Mountain caught a pair of TD strikes and notched 130 yards receiving, including two touchdown catches of 49 yards each. Nick Blankenship had six runs of at least 10 yards and finished with a team-high 85 yards on the ground. The offensive line had perhaps its best game of the young season as well.

“We proved some things to ourselves,” says Allen. “We know if we put four quarters together, and not just one, we can be a good team. We have the ability. These streaks of good and bad play don’t get the job done.

“We have to be consistent. It is not the great play, but the consistent play that leads to wins over the course of a season. If we keep our minds focused on the next play as the most important one we will make some good things happen.”

 

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