Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

October 26, 2013

Blankenship guides Bulldogs past Wave

TAZEWELL, Va. — Grundy picked a bad night to let the Dogs out.

Nick Blankenship scored on two touchdown runs, returned an interception 30 yards for a six-pointer, recovered an onside kick and hauled in a 41-yard scoring pass from Malik Davis in a dazzling effort Friday to help pace Tazewell to a 47-8 victory over Grundy.

The  Bulldogs (2-6) scored in every quarter against the outmanned Golden Wave (3-5), piling up 449 yards in total offense to grab the easy win. Tazewell had three touchdowns negated due to penalties including two runs by Davis, who still finished with 133 yards rushing including a 15-yard scoring scamper and 126 more passing, punctuated by a 57-yard scoring strike to Jesse Mountain.

“I think we came out tonight with our stingers on,” laughed Davis. “We were tired of hitting each other in practice after a week off. Everybody played hard tonight on both sides of the ball.”

Blankenship raced in from 10 yards out and Carter Rasnick booted the extra point as Tazewell jumped in front 7-0 on a 7-play, 87-yard march with 5:57 remaining in the opening stanza. The sizzling sophomore, however, was just getting started, as he bounded downfield to recover Rasnick’s onside kick and set up the Dogs at Grundy’s 45-yard stripe.

Davis handed him the ball twice, for four yards and then fired a pass that went 41 more for the touchdown. Rasnick again drilled the extra point to make it 14-0 with 4:28 on the clock.

Not willing to slow down, Blankenship ignited the happy home crowd again when he halted Grundy’s next drive by intercepting Golden Wave quarterback Charles McCoy’s pass at the 30 and dashing in for another score, his third touchdown of the half. The extra point kick was stopped by a fierce Grundy rush, leaving Tazewell ahead 20-0 with 8:39 to go in the half.

Davis finally got a score of his own that counted, going in for a 15-yard touchdown run with just 2:19 remaining in the second stanza. Once again, the kick attempt was halted when the ball got loose in the snap exchange and Tazewell held a 26-0 advantage.

Davis set up the next score with a dramatic defensive play, sacking the quarterback on fourth down at the 43. It was a prelude to the big play.

The junior Bulldog quarterback then turned around on the very next snap and fired a perfect spiral to fleet-footed Jesse Mountain who cradled the ball over his left shoulder at the 30 and never broke stride en route to a 57-yard touchdown catch. Rasnick’s PAT pushed the score to 33-0 at halftime.

Blankenship, recharged at the break, broke loose again with 10:08 on the third quarter clock and bolted 52 yards for yet another tally as he eluded hot pursuit down the left sideline. Rasnick hit the extra point kick right down central and the Dogs led 40-0.

“We meant to win this game,” said Blankenship. “We had a shot to beat Richlands and we were determined not to let something like that happen to us again. Coach (Steve) Mitchem told us ‘We are climbing the mountain’ and even though we have not quite got to the top yet, I think we are beginning to see it and we like the view.”

Grundy finally scored on a 15 yard pass from McCoy to a wide-open Trey Smith in the fourth stanza. Cody Puckett barreled in for the two-point conversion run, making it 40-8 with 4:21 to play.

“We got a good effort tonight,” laughed Tazewell mentor Shane Allen. “The kids came out ready to play and did what we asked of them. There was no letdown anywhere on the field. We played hard for four quarters.”

Freshman quarterback T. J. Kitts put the icing on the cake for Tazewell as he set sail and outran everyone to notch a 65-yard touchdown scamper with only 3:28 remaining. Rasnick’s final kick was the 47th point for the happy Bulldogs.

Puckett finished with 31 yards rushing for Grundy and Baylen Dillow led the Golden Wave with 48 yards on the ground. McCoy had 78 passing yards with a TD and an interception. Grundy had 82 yards rushing.

Davis completed six pass for  two touchdowns with no interceptions.

Defensively, Andrew Collier had a solid effort along the line, ably aided  by the reliable Rasnick. Bubba Asbury had a fumble recovery for the Bulldogs. Diante Cecil, J.P. Marinus, and Josh Hayes were also among the hard hitters.

Tazewell led 15-7 in first downs. Grundy had only two penalties for 10 yards while Tazewell was flagged 7 times for 75 yards including three penalties which took touchdowns off the board.

Tazewell travels to Abingdon on Nov. 1.

At Bulldog Stadium/Witten Field

Grundy...............................0    0   0   8   —  8

Tazewell............................14  19  7   7   —  47

First Quarter

T – Blankenship, 10-yd. run (Rasnick kick)

T – Blankenship, 41-yd. pass from Davis (Rasnick kick)

Second Quarter

T – Blankenship, 30-yd. Int. return (kick failed)

T – Davis, 15-yd run. (kick failed)

T – Mountain, 57-yd. pass from Davis (Rasnick kick)

Third Quarter

T – Blankenship, 52-yd. run (Rasnick kick)

Fourth Quarter

G – Smith, 15-yd. pass from McCoy (Puckett 2-pt. run)

T – Kitts, 65-yd. run (Rasnick kick)

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