Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

September 21, 2013

Lights out as Mavs top Panthers

GARDNER — The James Monroe offense relied on the big play in the second half to defeat the PikeView Panthers 24-13, Friday night on the PVHS campus.

Touchdown runs of 76 and 42 yards within three minutes of each other sparked the Mavericks to their first win of the season and continued the school’s 19-game winning streak over PikeView.

“We tried the edge there in the first half and we weren’t getting it,” said James Monroe head coach John Mustain, who got his first win leading the Mavericks. “Then we started doing pretty good with inside runs and then we noticed they were starting to come back inside and that’s when we decided to go with the jet sweeps.”

The first half was a defensive struggle as both teams’ offenses had difficulty moving the ball.

Midway through the second period James Monroe took possession at its own 14 and started the march downfield. Isiah Clarkson ripped off a 24-yard run and quarterback Reed McNeer carried on a keeper out to midfield. McNeer later connected with Josh Dransfield to give the Mavericks a first down at the PikeView 30 and McNeer capped the 10-play 86 yard drive with a 25 yard run over left tackle for the score. The conversion pass failed but James Monroe was ahead 6-0 with 3:00 showing on the first half clock.

A power outage of lights on the press box side of the field occurred at the beginning of halftime, but the lights were restored in time for the teams to start the second half as scheduled.

PikeView came out in the second half and Chris McBride completed a 21 yard pass to Ryan Roberts to the Panthers’ and PikeView was on the drive until McBride lost the ball as he carried down to the James Monroe 46, the loose ball recovered by the Mavericks’ Steven Pack at the JM 47.

The teams exchanged possessions the remainder of the quarter and the final frame began with PikeView getting the ball at the James Monroe 21 after a bad snap on a punt attempt.

The Panthers proceeded to go on the prowl. McBride gained 11 on a keeper and a pass interference call against James Monroe put the ball on the seven. Moses carried to the four, and then went the final four yards for the Panthers’ first score on the game. Alex Testerman’s extra point kick split the uprights and PikeView moved on top 7-6.

The Panther lead would be short-lived, however. Getting the ball at its own 24. James Monroe’s first play was a jet sweep to left halfback Tyler Moore. Moore took the handoff from McNeer, scooted around right end and ran untouched down the sidelines 76 yards for the score, giving the lead back to the Mavericks. McNeer ran for the two-point conversion and it was 14-7 in favor of the visitors from Monroe County.

PikeView went three and out before James Monroe struck with lightning quickness once again. Getting the ball on its own 37, the Mavericks moved to the Panthers’ 42 before James Monroe ran another jet sweep, this one to Brian Young, who took it to the house from 48 yards away. McNeer passed to Jarred Boone for the conversion and the James Monroe lead grew to 22-7 midway through the final stanza.

The Panthers were not content and clawed back. Joseph Jennings on the first play of the series ran from the PikeView 36 to the James Monroe 20. Moses then took it down to the six before the Maverick defense made a stand, stopping Moses for no gain from the one on both second and third downs. The score came when McBride bulled his way over the goal from just inside the one. PikeView went for two and was stopped and James Monroe led 22-13 with four and a half minutes to go.

The PikeView defense dropped McNeer for a loss, held Moore to a zero gain and sacked McNeer for a loss before the lights went out a second time.

The delay was approximately 20 minutes during which time the teams remained on the field, stretching and running to keep loose.

When power was restored to the bank of lights on the press box side of the stadium James Monroe punted and PikeView took possession at its own 40, looking for a late rally. It would not materialize, however, as Parker King intercepted McBride’s pass at the PV 45 and returned it to the Panthers 14.

The Panthers’ defense kept the Mavericks out of the endzone and got the ball back on downs at their own 13 with 2:11 to play.

The final points of the game came on a bad snap, covered by McBride in the end zone for a James Monroe safety. The Mavericks took the ensuing free kick and ran out the clock for their first win of the season.

“The defense played really well,” Mustain said. “Offensively we’ve still got some kinks, but again, it’s still a long season, a long way to go. There’s chances out there, we still have an opportunity here.

“We have River View next week and we’ve still got Bluefield and Princeton down the road, but we can’t worry about that right now.”

Moore led the James Monroe rushing attack with 102 yards on seven carries. McNeer added 98 on 17 carries and Clarkson rushed 13 times for 67 yards. McNeer completed two of 10 passes for 20 yards.

Jennings topped the PikeView rushing department as he picked up 93 yards on six carries and Moses toted the pigskin 16 times for 73 yards.

McBride completed three of 15 passes for 44 yards.

Panthers’ head coach Bobby Wyatt said, “My fear going into this game was not playing the football team, but playing the name. We had a shot.

“We’ve played four pretty good football games, we’re 1-3, but we can’t figure out how to get over the top. We will keep fighting. I was disappointed in our fight tonight. When we took the lead, they came back with the perfect play to get us.”

PikeView (1-3) hosts Shady Spring next Friday, while James Monroe (1-2) hosts River View.

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