By LLOYD COMBS
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
CLINTWOOD, Va. —
Saturday was the day Clintwood proved its much-heralded running tandem was really a talented trio.
Gavan Meade still, however, took center stage.
The senior tailback scored five touchdowns and became what’s believed to be the first 2,000-yard rusher in Clintwood history in a 45-0 thrashing of Haysi in the second round of the Group A, Division 1 Western Section playoffs at Ralph Cummins Stadium.
Meade ran 22 times for 146 yards and caught one pass for 65 yards to set up a score, but when it came to big plays the senior shared the stage with the man who often escorts him onto it and the man who directs play after play for the Greenwave.
Fullback Robbie Mullins ran for 77 yards and two TDs on just six carries and quarterback Dylan Dahley had a hand in setting up all six Clintwood touchdowns with 126 passing yards and 69 more on the ground.
A 12-yard run by Dahley on a third-and-three play helped set up the first Meade touchdown, another 12-yard run. Mullins then flashed more speed than your average fullback when he rambled 58 yards for a score on the next Greenvave series.
“Robbie can move,” Clintwood coach Rick Mullins said. “If he gets a little crease he’s gone. There aren’t too many people who can run him down from behind and Gavan’s the same way.
“And Dylan can run, Dylan’s got some speed. It kind of makes it tough on a defense when you’ve got two or three guys that can run and two or three guys who can catch, too.”
Meade’s long pass reception set up Mullins’ second score, a 5-yard run that staked the Greenwave (11-1) to a 21-0 lead over its Dickenson County rival late in the opening period.
Meade, who added a touchdown run of three yards in the second quarter and two and eight-yard scores, respectively, in the third, sounded as happy after the game for his teammate’s success as his own.
“They told me last week I was close (to 2,000 yards), they didn’t tell me the exact yardage. And they told me last week I broke the single season rushing record (at Clintwood),” Meade said.
“Some teams want to key on me but when they key on me, like today, Robbie will have a big game. Robbie and Dylan open stuff up for me and I open stuff up for them two so it works out well for everybody.”
Mullins was also one of the leaders of a Clintwood defense that limited Haysi at every turn. The Tigers (8-4) managed just 86 total yards and picked up a mere four first downs, two in each half.
“I thought our defense just played lights out,” Rick Mullins said. “(Haysi) didn’t have a whole lot of room to run or pass. Robbie flew to people on defense and made some really good sticks in the open field, and that’s always good to see.”
Even when Haysi got stops, such as when sophomore linebacker Tristan Yates followed a sack with another tackle for loss, Dahley completed an 18-yard pass to Chandler York and followed it with an 11-yard run for a first down.
The Greenwave didn’t score on that series, but it typified the day for the Tigers, who suffered a lopsided defeat at the hands of their county rival for the second time this season.
“They’re a good football team,” Haysi coach James Colley said. “Offensively, defensively, they get after you. We got stops a few times but we couldn’t get anything going. We were just dominated.”
Jeffrey Bowen finished with 44 rushing yards on 13 attempts for Haysi, which had little success running the ball or passing it downfield. The Tigers netted just 71 yards on the ground and had just 15 passing yards on seven completions.
Whether it’s against an arch-rival or next week’s opponent in the state quarterfinals, George Wythe, it’s just a matter of playing hard and doing what you practice, said Meade after a sometimes physical game.
“We come in and work hard whether we’re playing Haysi or the New York Giants,” Meade said. “We do exactly the same things (on offense) and we got to tackle well on defense.”
Haysi.....................0 0 0 0 — 0
Clintwood............21 7 17 0 — 45
C-Meade 11 run (Brooks kick)
C-R. Mullins 58 run (Brooks kick)
C-R. Mullins 5 run (Brooks kick)
C-Meade 3 run (Brooks kick)
C-Meade 2 run (Dak. Dahley pass to Dal. Dahley)
C-Safety (O’Quinn tackled in end zone)
C-Meade 8 run (Brooks kick)
First Downs: H 4, C 19; Rushes-Yards: H 22-71, 42-309; Passing Yards: H 15, C 126; Comp-Att-Int: H 7-15-1, C 7-10-1; Fumbles-Lost: H 0-0, C 1-0; Penalties: H 7-37, C 5-45; Punts-Average: H 4-36.5, C 0-0.