By MIKE DAVIS
for the Daily Telegraph
RICHLANDS, Va. —
The Blue Tornado had a game plan for playing host to Grundy Friday night and that was to score fast and often.
They executed that plan to perfection and beat the Golden Wave 56-6 with all the points scored in the first half.
“We’re just proud of the kids and they’ve worked really hard this year,” Mance said. “They battled through a lot of adversity and setbacks and we started a different group each week, but they kept coming back and battling and it’s special.”
It was Mance’s 150th win of his coaching career.
The Tornado offense was dominant, led by Colton Staten and River Michaels, who fueled 437 in total yards, and the Richlands defense held Grundy to 87 yards. including negative-1 yard rushing.
“We’ve been spoiled in the past that our backups have played as much, if not more than the starters and that’s really helped our program and helped us to keep on top year after year and this year,” Mance said. “We’ve had to battle down to the wire and tonight it was great to get some of the young kids in.”
Staten ran for 121 yards on eight carries and three touchdowns and Michaels completed 8-of-9 passing attempts for 176 yards and two touchdowns. Ben Brown caught two passes for 114 yards and kicked eight extra points.
Richlands started their scoring frenzy with eight minutes left in the first quarter when Staten ran in an 8-yard touchdown capping a 53-yard drive. Staten had opened the series with a 26-yard run at the Grundy 47-yard line.
Ben Brown kicked the first of his extra points and the Blues never looked back.
The Blue Tornado held Grundy to negative-10 yards on their next possession and then scored in three plays on a 31-yard drive when Michaels completed an 11-yard touchdown pass to Scotty Ball.
Michaels kept the Golden Wave at bay and aired out a long ball to Brown who caught it in stride and turned on the afterburners for a 73-yard touchdown pass. The kick put the Tornado in front 21-0.
Staten scored on runs of 2 and 44 yards before Michaels found Brown for his second touchdown hookup of the first half, putting the Tornado ahead 42-0 by the end of the first quarter.
Richlands scored twice in the second quarter when Benjamin Culpepper added a 3-yard touchdown pass and Griffin McCauley scored on a 32-yard touchdown.
Grundy managed to get on the scoreboard in the first half when Charlie McCoy completed a 63-yard touchdown pass to Cody Puckett, then, failed on the two-point conversion.
The Blue Tornado completed their regular season at 7-3 and will host a playoff game next week. The date and opponent will be released this weekend.
At Ernie Hicks Stadium/Emats Field
Grundy....................................0 6 0 0 — 6
Richlands..............................42 14 0 0 — 56
R – Staten 8-yard run (Brown kick)
R – Ball 11-yard pass from Michaels (Brown kick)
R – Brown 73-yard pass from Michaels (Brown kick)
R – Staten 2-yard run (Brown kick)
R – Staten 44-yard run (Brown kick)
R – Brown 41-yard pass from Michaels (Brown kick)
R – Culpepper 3-yard run (Brown kick)
G – Puckett 61-yard pass from McCoy
R – McCauley 32-yard run (Brown kick)