By GARY DOVE
for the Daily Telegraph
The Bluefield Beavers flexed their muscles on Friday night, scoring on their first seven possessions of the game, while ending with 554 total offensive yards in a 50-6 capturing of the host River View Raiders.
When told of the frequency his team scored, veteran Beaver head coach Fred Simon exclaimed, “Wow! I didn’t know that but it’s sure nice to do. I think our line must have done a pretty good job.
“They’ve been getting better each week. The backs ran pretty good. Anytime you can do that, you’re doing pretty good. I’m pleased.”
The Beavers, who used thirteen different backs to carry the football 41 times in the contest, featured five different players advancing the football on their initial six plays.
After fielding the opening kickoff, junior quarterback R. J. Bourne connected with senior D. J. Edwards on first down. Senior Brandon Wheeler rambled for nine yards and a first down, followed by junior D. J. Stewart’s one-yard carry.
After Charles Ross added one, freshman Carlos Reed dashed for 11 before the Bourne-to-Edwards combination reached the end zone from 31 yards out with only 2:30 elapsed off the first quarter clock.
Junior Francesco Desiderio booted the first of his six PAT kicks for an early 7-0 Bluefield advantage.
Corey Coppola, the Beavers’ 233-pound fullback capped a second six-play march that covered 84 yards with a two-yard burst with 5:33 showing in the opening frame.
Stewart had the big play in that drive, with a 30-yard pickup that carried from the Raider 38 to the 8.
Bourne engineered a three-play scoring series for a 21-0 advantage after one period.
Facing a third-and-one at his own 45, Bourne went under center, took the snap for a drawn-up quarterback sneak that not only picked up the first down, but ended 55 yards later with a touchdown. That bellringer came with 1:53 left in the first.
Stewart found paydirt on a 13-yard jaunt around left end at the 8:54 mark of the second, capping a seven-play, 54-yard drive.
The Beavers, ranked fifth in the latest Class AA state SSAC ratings, extended the lead to 35-0 on just a two play drive with 6:16 remaining before the break.
After the Bluefield defense forced a three-and-out, the visitors had great field position at their own 44 following a View punt.
On first down, Bourne passed to senior Brandon Lilly for a 42-yard gain to the Raider 14 before Ross negotiated the final yards.
Of his team’s defense, that picked off a pair of passes and forced three RV punts in the opening half, Coach Simon continued, “We missed a couple of assignments early, but once we figured out the assignments we did fine.”
Reed scored the final opening half score on a 19-yard burst around right end with 1:43 showing before intermission, as the Beavers took a 42-0 lead into the locker room at the break.
For the half, Bluefield amassed 411 total yards, including 320 rushing and another 91 through the air, on 4-of-6 passing.
The second half, both coach Simon and Raider head coach Gehrig Justice played their non-starters, allowing them to get valuable game experience.
The change of personnel had little effect on Bluefield’s offense, as senior Christian Oster capped a 7-play, 55-yard drive with a 29-yard ramble around left end for the final score by the visitors. The run came with 2:17 remaining in the third and extended the score to 50-0 after sophomore quarterback Andrew King ran the extra points.
Raider junior Austin Keen brought the hometown faithful to their collective feet by taking the ensuing kickoff and heading up the middle of the field before bearing right to complete a 73-yard kickoff return for the touchdown at the 2:04 mark.
Remarked Coach Justice, “They (Beavers) have one of the better teams in West Virginia offensively. Defensively they’re have a bunch of speed.”
He continued of the second half, “The young kids played pretty good. We have a talented group of freshmen.”
Coppola paced the Bluefield ground attack with 113 yards on only six carries, while Marcus Mitchell netted 72 and Stewart added 71 on five runs.
Junior Jordan Wilson finished as the View’s top rusher with 33 yards on nine attempts.
Bluefield, now 5-1, will return home to host Westside Friday night, while the now 3-3 Raiders will entertain PikeView in the final home game of the season at the Ravine.
Bluefield..............................21 21 8 0 — 50
River View.............................0 0 6 0 — 6
BF—D.J. Edwards 31 pass from R. J. Bourne (Francesco Desiderio kick) 9:30
BF—Corey Coppola 2 run (Desiderio kick) 5:33
BF— Bourne 55 run (Desiderio kick) 1:53
BF—D.J. Stewart 13 run (Desiderio kick) 8:54
BF—Charles Ross 14 run (Desiderio kick) 6:46
BF—Carlos Reed 19 run (Deskderio PAT kick)
BF—Christian Oster 29 run (Andrew King run) 2:17
RV—Austin Keen 73 kick return (run failed) 2:04
First Downs: BF 20; RV 11. Rush-Yards: BF 41-463; RV 38-66. Pass-Yards: BF 91; RV 65. Comp-Att-Int: BF 4-6-0; RV 4-13-2. Fumbles-Lost: BF 4-2; RV 3-1. Penalty-Yards: BF 9-65; RV 2-10. Punts-Avg. BF 0-0; RV 4-32.0.
Rushing: BF Corey Coppola 6-113, D. J. Stewart 5-71, R. J. Bourne 3-52, Marcus Mitchell 7-72, Christian Oster 2-45, Carlos Reed 3-39, Charles Ross 4-36; RV Jordan Wilson 9-33.
Passing: BF R. J. Bourne 4-6-0 int-91-1 td; RV Ryan Blankenship 4-10-2 int-65-0.
Receiving: BF Brandon Lilly 2-51, D. J. Edwards 2-40; RV Dee Duff 1-19, Austin Keen 1-17, Tyree Baker 1-15, Jordan Wilson 1-14.