By TOM BONE
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
NARROWS, Va. —
For those who like hard-hitting defense, the first “War on Wolf Creek” was a dandy. For the homecoming crowd at Narrows, the final result was a cause for additional celebration.
The Green Wave limited Bland County to 82 yards of offense and withstood a two-point conversion try by the Bears late in the fourth quarter to take a 7-6 victory, and win the “War on Wolf Creek” trophy, on Friday night at Ragsdale Field.
The only touchdown for Narrows (3-3) came with 90 seconds left in the third quarter on a 33-yard pass-and-run play by a pair of seniors, quarterback Joe Hall and wideout Gavin Givens.
Bland County (0-6) answered with 1:29 left in the game when quarterback Mason Christian dashed to his right 18 yards to the front corner of the end zone.
The Bears tried rushing for two points to take the lead, but Christian was stopped half a yard from the goal line by four Narrows players — Rodney Perdue, Hall, Zach Skeens and James Scott.
“I’m playing with a sprained MCL right now,” said Scott, a senior. “I did it for my team, because they need me.”
“A two-point conversion would have won the game for them, but our defense was good enough to stop them.”
Bland County head coach Harris Hart said, “We wanted to go for the win. A few inches away, but — if we had to do it over again, I’d do exactly the same thing.”
“Our kids played hard. They bounced back and played really hard against a good football team, and I’m very proud of them.”
Narrows head coach Kelly Lowe said, Lowe said, “We never could get the ball going. I thought both defenses played pretty well in the first half. (Bland County) came out and really played inspired, and got after us.”
“We made some adjustments there at halftime, and got a couple of breaks, and had a good pass-and-catch on that touchdown. Gavin ran a great route, Joe made a great throw. And our defense ended up holding on that two-point conversion.”
Lowe said, “That’s how it ends in a storybook.”
Perdue had a storybook night — with some twists in the plot.
He ran for a game-high 78 yards on 22 carries, he was crowned homecoming king at halftime, and he was carried off the field with a painful injury on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Perdue was hit simultaneously on the outside and the inside of his left ankle, “and it just popped on me,” he said.
“I got over to the sidelines, and everybody came up to me and said, ‘We need you, Rodney. We need you.’ So I told them, ‘Give me my sock, give me my shoe.’ And I went back in the game.”
He carried four more times in the next series, which ended with Narrows losing a fumble on a snap its own 31 yard line with 2:48 left.
The Bears took over and went for it on fourth and 4 yards to go. Christian turned a busted play into a seven-yard gain for a first down.
He spiked the ball on the next play to stop the clock, then hauled the ball to the goal line, where Perdue caught up with him — a split second after the ball crossed the goal line.
Christian said, “We put that (run) in last week, just for this game. The center pulls, and I follow him to the end zone, if it works out right.”
In the first half, Narrows ran 33 plays for 91 yards and Bland County had 16 plays for 36.
Prior to intermission, the teams combined for six punts, and one turnover each — a Bland County fumble recovered by Jackson Blankenship, and a Narrows pass picked off by Andrew Pauley.
Perdue said at halftime, “Coach Lowe said, if we let them stay in this ballgame, they’re going to get excited and they’re going to come back and they’re going to beat us. Well, we got the mentality, like, it’s not going to happen.”
“We stepped it up, our defense stepped up huge for us, and we just pulled the win out.”
Lowe said, “We got pressure on the quarterback at times when we needed to.”
Hart said that at halftime, “We felt good. Our defense had played great. What really pleased me was, we had to shift a bunch of young men around to new positions, and they adapted over these two weeks, and adjusted during the game.”
Lowe said, “They’ve got a good team. Coach Hart does an excellent job coaching Bland. You know you’re going to get a tough game, every time you play them. I’m just real proud of the way our kids battled, hung in there and fought all the way to the end.”
Perdue said, “We couldn’t have done it without our line blocking for Joe.”
Hall was 3 of 12 passing, but his completions came at critical times. Narrows ran 48 times for 126 yards on a drizzly night.
For Bland County, Dylan Walker earned 32 yards on 11 rushes.
The Green Wave remains at home to play Fort Chiswell next Friday, while Bland County hosts Grayson County.
Hart said about the Bears, “Everybody’s on the same page. I just hope we can keep that up.”
— Contact Tom Bone at
At Ragsdale Field
Bland County.....0 0 0 6 — 6
Narrows.............0 0 7 0 — 7
Narrows – Gavin Givens 33 pass from Joe Hall (Terrance Martin kick), 1:30
Bland Co. – Mason Christian 18 run (run failed), 1:29
RUSHING — BC, James Miller 6-7, Dylan Walker 11-32, Andrew Pauley 3-14, Mason Christian 5-17, Jacob Parker 4-9. NHS, Terrance Martin 11-20, Joe Hall 9-15, Rodney Perdue 22-78, Drew Stowers 4-18, Austin Evans 1-3, Team 1-(–8).
PASSING — BC, Mason Christian 2-6-0-0-3 yds. NHS, Joe Hall 3-12-1-1-59 yd.
RECEIVING — BC, James Miller 1-(–1), Aaron Rose 1-4. NHS, Kyle Hall 1-14, Rodney Perdue 1-12, Gavin Givens 1-33.
First downs 4 11
Rushes-yards 29-79 48-126
Passing yards 3 59
Total yards 82 185
Penalties-yards 3-25 7-65
Fumbles-lost 1-1 2-1