By BOB REDD
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
The defense was stellar. No, wait, the offense was superb.
Those could have been comments from Bluefield fans leaving Mitchell Stadium after the No. 3 rated Beavers shut out the Westside Renegades 61-0.
The Bluefield defense held the Renegades to 100 total yards of offense. The state’s leading Class AA rusher, Mike Mullens, who came into the game with 1,283 yards in seven games with 13 touchdowns, was held to 19 yards on seven carries. Westside completed 5-of-13 passes for 23 yards.
Bluefield head coach Fred Simon said, “I’m proud of them. We’ve played pretty good defense in every game but one and I think we’re getting better. I’m proud of our kids, proud of getting after them like we did.”
Offensively, the Beavers scored on seven of eight possessions. The only time they did not score was on their eighth and final possession when they took a knee in Westside territory to run out the clock and end the game.
The Beaver offense dominated from the onset, taking the opening kick and driving 63 yards in 1:21 seconds for the game’s opening score. Big plays were a 19 yard run by D.J. Stewart, a 12 yard gain by Charles Ross, a 28 yard pass from R.J. Bourne to D.J. Edwards, and the drive was capped with a two yard touchdown run by Corey Coppola. Francisco Desiderio’s kick made it 7-0.
Westside had its best offensive drive on its first possession. The Renegades went from their own 15 to the Bluefield 47 before a sack, short gain by Mullens and an incomplete pass forced a punt.
Bluefield’s second possession saw the Beavers go to the air. Bourne completed an eight yard pass to Edwards, connected with Justin Carter on a 31 yard strike to move the ball into Westside territory. Runs by Stewart and Coppola moved the ball to the fringe of the redzone before Bourne connected with Edwards from 12 yards out for the score.
Westside then began a string where they had five straight three-and-out possessions and did not pick up another first down the remainder of the half.
“We couldn’t block their down guys,” said Westside head coach Larry Cook. “Their linebackers are pretty good. Their inside six controlled our running game. With Justin (Cogar) just back, we’re not up to snuff on our passing yet.
“A lot of it is confidence. Bluefield is Bluefield. Our kids know that and they come into the game sometimes a little bit intimidated, a little bit defeated. It’s just something we have to battle against.”
Meanwhile, the Bluefield offense continued to pound away. Bourne went deep and connected with Carter on a 53 yard scoring play to end the first quarter.
Bluefield made it 28-0 after Carlos Reed returned a Breyer Morgan punt from the Westside 45 to inside the one yard line. Bourne carried it in on a keeper and Desiderio booted the PAT.
Starting its next possession on the Renegades 45, runs by Coppola, Stewart and Ross moved the ball to the 27. Stewart then took the hand-off on a jet sweep left and scampered down the far sideline untouchded for the score.
Starting from its own 20 after a touchback, Westside gained five yards before a five yard punt gave Bluefield the ball at the 30. On the first play from scrimmage Ross ran for an apparent touchdown, but the play was called back due to a Beavers’ penalty. The Beavers drove to the 22 from where Brennan Wheeler charged through the line and scored. Desiderio’s point after made it 42-0 with 4:29 to go in the half.
Desiderio’s kickoffs proved to be a weapon for Bluefield as he pinned Westside on the eight. After a punt the Beavers started from the Renegades’ 31 with just under three minutes to play before halftime. The long play of the drive was an 11 yard pass from Bourne to Edwards that gave the home team a first down on the three. Coppola then took it to the house with 35 ticks left on the clock.
Bluefield took a 49-0 lead into the intermission.
By mutual agreement of both teams, the third and fourth quarters were shortened from 12 to eight minutes.
Bluefield got touchdown runs from Reed and Christian Oster in the second half to round out the scoring.
The Beavers’ starters played only the first two quarters, reserves taking over after the second half kickoff.
Stewart led all rushers with 93 yards on 10 carries. Oster added 74 on a pair of runs. Coppola had TD runs of two and three yards, while Stewart, Oster, Ross, Reed and Wheeler all ran for scores.
Bourne was 7-of-9 passing for 152 yards and two scores. Edwards caught five passes for 67 yards and a touchdown and Carter hauled in two passes for 85 yards and a score.
Bluefield finished with 503 yards of offense, 351 on the ground and 152 in the air.
Anderson was Westside’s leading rusher, running five times for 29 yards.
The Beavers, now 6-1 will play at Class AAA No. 8 Oak Hill next Friday. Westside, 3-5, next plays at Mount View.
At Mitchell Stadium
Westside.............................0 0 0 0 — 0
Bluefield.............................21 28 6 6 — 61
B - Corey Coppola 2 yard run (Francisco Desiderio kick), 10:30
B - R.J. Bourne 13 yard pass to D.J. Edwards (Desiderio kick), 2:08
B - Bourne 53 yard pass to Justin Carter (Desiderio kick), 0:00
B - Bourne 1 yard run (Desiderio kick), 11:00
B - D.J. Stewart 27 yard run (Desiderio kick), 6:43
B - Brennan Wheeler 22 yard run (Desiderio kick), 4:29
B - Coppola 3 yard run (Desiderio kick), 0:35
B - Carlos Reed 42 yard run (run failed), 2:55
B - Christian Oster 67 yard run (run failed), 7:47
Rushing: W - Mike Mullens 7-19, Justin Cogar 10-1, Trevor Anderson 5-29, Anthony Bragg 6-9, Non roster player 2-19, Total 30-77. B - D.J. Stewart 10-93, Corey Coppola 9-45, Christian Oster 2-74, Charles Ross 7-27, Carlos Reed 3-46, Andrew King 6-23, Brennan Wheeler 1-22, Marcus Mitchell 4-21, Total 42-351
Receptions: W - Breyer Morgan 3-16, Corey Bowles 2-7, Totals 5-23. B - D.J. Edwards 5-67, Justin Carter 2-85, Totals 7-152
Passing: W - Justin Cogar 4-12 16 yards, Anthony Bragg 1-1 7 yards. B - R.J. Bourne 7-9 152 yards.晦