By BOB REDD
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
David Woodrum returned two interceptions for touchdowns and D.J. Edwards tossed two TD passes to lead the Bluefield Beavers to a 49-12 homecoming victory over the River View Raiders, Friday night at Mitchell Stadium.
“He just threw it up and it was a duck so I just went and got it,” Woodrum said of his first interception. “I was hyped.”
Beavers head coach Fred Simon said, “It’s nice for a player to get an opportunity and he (Woodrum) took advantage of it. I am proud of David, two interceptions. He did a good job, the whole team played well tonight. We beat a team that I thought tried very hard against us.”
For the first time in two games, the Beavers did not have the opening kickoff returned against them for a score. However, five plays into the game Woodrum, starting his first game at left corner for the Beavers, plucked an Austin Walker pass out of the air and returned it 25 yards for the first score of the game. Justin Mariotti’s kick was true and the Beavers were up 7-0 with 8:51 remaining in the first quarter.
River View, on its second possession went for it on fourth and about half a yard, but Walker was sacked and the Beavers took over on the Raiders 41.
Bluefield struck quickly. On the Beavers first offensive play of the night Johnny David carried the ball to the one yard line, and on the next play Montel Leggett bulled over from one and out. Mariotti’s kick made it 14-0.
The Raiders, unable to get their offense moving, had a three-and-out. The punt gave Bluefield the ball on its own 38. The Beavers drove 62 yards in seven plays, taking only 1:29 off the clock, capped by D.J. Stewart’s seven yard scamper to the end zone. Mariotti’s kick made it 21-0 with 1:29 to go in the first.
River View found a groove on its next possession. Jordan Wilson ran 30 yards and Walker connected with Wilson on a 30-yard screen pass to take the ball to the Beavers five. Wilson later carried it across the goal from two yards out to put the Raiders on the board. The two-point conversion failed,
Bluefield added three more scores in the second quarter. Shadeed Fitzgerald capped a two-play 50-yard drive with a 35-yard run for a score. River View then drove from its 19 to the Bluefield 34 before Woodrum stepped in front of another Walker pass at his own 20. The Beavers junior weaved his way down the field, followed his blockers and found the endzone 80 yards away for his second score of the night. Mariotti’s kick made it 35-6.
“I didn’t think I was going to return it, but they just blocked for me, I got down field and into the endzone,” Woodrum said of his second pick of the night. “It’s an awesome experience. I want to thank my teammates, my family and God. It has been a great experience and this is my first year (playing football) too.”
The Beavers final score of the half came after Daniel Barker recovered a Joseph McClanahan fumble at the River View 22. On the next play Edwards connected with Stewart for a 22-yard pass-catch-run that ended in the north endzone. Again Mariotti’s kick split the uprights and Bluefield carried a 42-6 lead into halftime.
Bluefield took the second half kick and drove from its own 22 to the River View one, before Corey Coppola lost the ball and Demetrius Duff covered the pigskin at his own two. River View, however, could not move the chains in three downs and Bluefield took over at the Raiders’ 42 after the punt.
Showing its quick strike capability once again, on the first play of the drive Edwards tossed a screen pass to Leggett who carried it 42 yards to the house for Bluefield’s final score of the night. Mariotti booted his seventh PAT of the night and the Beavers were on top 49-6 with 5:43 to play in the third.
River View would score again minutes into the final quarter when Wilson capped a five play, 45 yard drive with a six yard run. The kick failed.
Bluefield closed the game driving from its own 31 deep inside River View territory, using 14 plays and taking 6:15 off the clock before giving the ball over on downs with 19 ticks remaining on the clock.
River View coach Mitchell Estep gave his thoughts on the game.
“There is no doubt they (Bluefield) are explosive offensively, pretty physical defensively and they kicked the ball real well. They’ve got a good football team,” Estep said.
“I thought our kids played with some intensity, gave an effort, something we haven’t seen in a while from our kids, so we will take some positives from here.”
Wilson was the game’s leading rusher with 100 yards on 18 carries. McClanahan added 85 for River View, who as a team rushed 50 times for 241 yards.
David was Bluefield’s leading ball carrier with 79 yards on five rushes. The Beavers ran 35 times for 289 yards as 12 different runners carried the ball.
“We love having a team and that’s what we’ve got, a good team,” Simon said. “We’ll just keep working, keep getting better day-by-day and see where it takes us.”
Edwards was three-for-four passing with two TDs for 64 yards. Walker was five-for-13 with two interceptions.
Estep concluded, “I wish them (Bluefield) the best. I’m a Beaver fan, I hope they’d win them all but tonight, but it didn’t happen (for us) tonight. I’m proud of our team. This (Bluefield) is a class team right here and I enjoyed the opportunity to play them and I hope they win the rest of them and hope we see them in the playoffs.”
River View is open next week, while Bluefield plays at Westside. It will be the first game of the year away from Mitchell Stadium for the Beavers.
On Westside and going on the road for the first time this season, Simon commented, “It’s uncharted territory. We’ll have to find out. Their kids play well, they are well-coached, were in the playoffs , it will be tough down there. It will be different (playing away). It’s time to go. We’ll see what happens.”
At Mitchell Stadium
River View (4-3)........0 6 0 6 — 12
Bluefield (5-1)............21 21 7 0 — 49
B - David Woodrum 25 interception return (Justin Mariotti kick), 8:51
B - Montel Leggett 1 run (Mariotti kick), 4:57
B - D.J. Stewart 7 run (Mariotti kick), 1:29
RV - Jordan Wilson 2 run (pass failed), 10:24
B - Shadeed Fitzgerald 35 run (Mariotti kick), 9:45
B - Woodrum 80 interception return (Mariotti kick), 5:27
B - Edwards 22 pass to Stewart (Mariotti kick), 4:27
B - Edwards 42 pass to Leggett (Mariotti kick), 5:31
RV - Wilson 6 run (kick failed), 9:41
Rushing: River View - Jordan Wilson 18-100, Austin Walker 6-(-2), Joseph McClanahan 18-85, Sammy Brewster 3-10, Jamie Mills 1-6, Ryan Blankenship 3-14, Jeremy Crigger 1-4, Total 50-241. Bluefield - Montel Leggett 8-45, D.J. Edwards 2-15, Johnny David 5-79, D.J. Stewart 4-39, Shadeed Fitzgerald 1-35, Corey Coppola 4-13, Marcus Santoro 2-16, Marqi Dowell 3-19, Charles Ross 2-5, R.J. Bourne 3-4, Christian Oster 1-4, Bryan Morris 1-15, Total 35-289.
Passing: River View - Austin Walker 5-13-0 (2 INT) 31 yards. Bluefield - D.J. Edwards 3-4-2 (0 INT) 64 yards.