Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

November 9, 2013

Pioneers trap Beavers

Wayne edges Bluefield in Class AA showdown

BLUEFIELD — Everyone expected Friday night’s game between the No. 1 Bluefield Beavers and No. 2 Wayne Pioneers to be a battle and that it was as the outcome was not decided until the final seconds of play as the No. 2 Pioneers extended their winning streak to 33 games with a 29-27 win over the Beavers.

“They (Wayne) have got a good football team. Hopefully we will see them again, you never know,” said Bluefield head coach Fred Simon. “I hated to come up on the short end of the stick. We got down early and we kept battling, got down, still came back. We’ll keep going and see them again.”

The Beavers stormed out of the dressing room in new blue jerseys, changing from their maroon tops after pregame warmups, won the toss and elected to receive. Starting at its own 28 Bluefield moved backward on three plays then Bryan Morris punted and Wayne got its first possession from the 33.

Mason Hodge ran 33 yards on the first play for a first down at the Bluefield 25 and capped the opening drive seven plays later with a three yard run for the score. Drew Stamper’s PAT was good and with 6:06 to play in the first Wayne was on top 7-0.

Bluefield’s second possession started on the Wayne 47 after a squib kick. A quarterback keeper by R.J. Bourne was good for 27 yards and gave Bluefield a first down at the Pioneers’ 19 and a couple of short gainers moved the ball to the 14. Francisco Desiderio came on for a 41 yard field goal that got just inside the right post to put the Beavers on the board with 4:07 to play in first quarter.

Wayne showed off its speed. Starting the next set of downs on its own 19, Wayne quarterback Grant Ferguson faked a handoff into the line, tucked the ball and ran around left end untouched, 81 yards for the score. The PAT kick was wide right and Wayne took a 13-3 lead.

After exchanging punts the Beavers got the ball with just under a minute to play in the opening stanza. D.J. Stewart ran for seven yards and Bourne later completed a 12-yard pass to D.J.. Edwards on the final play of the quarter.

Bluefield, getting the ball later at its 30,  was recipient of a pass interference call that moved the ball up to the 45. Bourne and Edwards connected on a 12-yard pass for a first down at the Wayne 41. A quarterback draw by Bourne on third and four gave Bluefield a first down at the Wayne 20. Corey Coppola then bulled through the center of the line from 20 yards out for the score. Desiderio’s kick was true and the Beavers were within three at 13-10.

Bluefield got the game’s first turnover when Hodge fumbled and the Beavers pounced on the ball at the Pioneers 42.

The Beavers moved the ball inside the 10 before a loss and a fumbled snap brought on Desiderio who kicked his second field goal of the game, this one from 27 yards out and tied the game at 13 with 26 seconds to go before half.

Wayne received the second half kickoff and on its second play of the second half Cody Stiltner ran into the line and lost the ball. The loose pigskin was picked up by Daniel Barker who then raced 32 yards untouched for the score. Desiderio’s kick was good and Bluefield was ahead 20-13 with 10:24 showing on the third quarter clock.

The game turned into a defensive struggle. Wayne would move a bit then either punt or turn it over on downs to the Beavers. Bluefield failed to convert on drives and also punted to the Pioneers.

The Pioneers used a 10 play, 54 yard drive and chewed up 5:13 to retake the lead. Staying on the ground Wayne got runs from Hodge, Nathan Spurlock and Ferguson to march down the field. Steven Perry took the ball into the end zone from four yards out for the touchdown and then scored the two-point conversion to retake the lead, 21-20.

With 5:39 to go in the fourth Wayne got the ball on its own 33. Ferguson ran 12 yards for a first down and then after a short loss, Hodge ripped off another long run, this one 53 yards all the way down to the Bluefield 12. Hodge finished the drive later with an eight yard touchdown run.  Coach Tom Harmon set the PAT kick team on the field, but called time and later sent the offense out. Ferguson ran for the two-point conversion and Wayne moved further ahead, 29-20 with 2:38 remaining in the game.

“I reserve the right to change my mind at any time and I would just as soon us take our chances with a two-point play and don’t give them (Bluefield) the ability to tie it up. It was just a gut thing that just worked out.”

Bluefield did not quit. The Beavers started at their own 48 with 2:33 left on the clock. It took two plays and 23 seconds to get to the end zone. Justin Carter completed a flanker pass to a wide open Stewart to stumbled down at the Wayne 14. On the next play Bourne threw a fade to Edwards in the left corner of the end zone. Edwards out-jumped the Wayne defender and came down with the ball for the touchdown. Desiderio’s kick was good to make it 29-27 Wayne with 2:10 to play.

An attempt at an onside kick went out of bounds and Wayne got the ball at its own 40. The Bluefield defense, with one timeout, held and with 47 seconds left the Pioneers were forced to punt.

With no timeouts Bluefield took the ball at its own seven. Bourne completed a 27 yard pass up the right sideline to Edwards for a first down at the Wayne 34. Bourne spiked the ball to stop the clock with 26 seconds remaining. On the next play, Bourne was looking for Edwards on a crossing pattern over the center of the field, but Brody Lunsford stepped in front of the ball at midfield for the interception. Wayne took a knee to end the game.

“I hated that we threw that pick late,” Simon said. “I would have liked to have had a chance, but again, he (Bourne) was trying.”

Hodge led all rushers with 231 yards and Wayne rushed for 401 in the game. Ferguson added another 125 on the ground.

Wayne’s defense held Bluefield to 86 yards rushing. Coppola led the way with 48 and Bourne had 46.

Bourne completed 11-of-15 passes for 145 yards and a touchdown, but had two interceptions. Edwards hauled in  seven passes for 122 yards.

“We played pretty hard against them but they’ve got a good defense,” Simon said. “They execute very well and they’re a good football team, every bit as good as last year.”

Both Bluefield and Wayne will host playoff games next weekend. With the win, Wayne will be the No. 1 seed. Opponents and game times will be announced after playoff coaches meet Sunday morning in Parkersburg.

Wayne finishes the year 10-0 while Bluefield wraps up its season at 8-2.

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