By BOB REDD
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
WAYNE — The Wayne Pioneers proved that they are the No. 1 team in the state as they wrapped up regular season play with a 45-14 win over the No. 4 Bluefield Beavers, Friday night at Pioneer Field in Wayne.
Brandon Spurlock rushed for 166 yards and scored five touchdowns, including one on a fumble return, while the Wayne defense held the Beavers to 232 total yards. Wayne racked up 328 total yards of offense.
"They're a good team," said BHS coach Fred Simon. "They are a seasoned team, they've got a lot of seniors that are three year starters. They're a good football team. We got beat by a better team tonight. They played a little tougher than we did and they deserved to win."
Wayne took the opening kickoff and marched downfield in nine plays, covering 55 yards for the game's first score. Spurlock ran on five of the plays including the final eight yards for the score. He also tacked on the PAT to make it 8-0.
Bluefield, on its first possession, got a 14-yard run from quarterback D.J. Edwards, but a play later Edwards left the field with an apparent low blow delivered by the Wayne defense. He returned, but the Beavers were forced to punt. A high snap was mishandled and Justin Mariotti covered the ball at his own 40 where the Pioneers took over.
Wayne went the 40 yards in eight plays with quarterback Grant Ferguson taking it in from nine yards out for the score. Mason Hodge ran for the two-point conversion and the Beavers were down 16-0.
On Bluefield's ensuing possession D.J. Stewart ripped off a 20-yard run, but on the next play Johnny David was stripped of the ball and Wayne recovered at the Beaver 43. The Beavers then had their first stop of the game, but Wayne had moved to the 12 where they turned the ball over on downs.
Forced to punt from deep in his own territory, Mariotti's punt was blocked and covered on the Beavers five yard line. Spurlock, on the first play from scrimmage carried it to the end zone and Zach Damron ran for the point-after to make it 24-0.
Trailing by its largest margin of the season the Bluefield offense came to life, marching 78 yards in nine plays for a score. A personal foul on Wayne kept the drive alive as did a 30-yard pass from Edwards to Montel Leggett that put the ball on the six. Edwards would carry it across the goal from two yards out for the Beavers first score. Mariotti's kick was true to make it 24-7.
Wayne added a final score in the first half when Spurlock caried it two yards to paydirt. Ferguson passed to Zach Cassidy for the two-point conversion to make the score 32-7.
The final two minutes of the half saw chippy action as Wayne was flagged for personal fouls on three consecutive plays, not including a fourth play on which a personal foul was called on the Pioneers, but the Beavers were flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct, thus creating offsetting penalties.
Receiving the second half kick Bluefield went three and out. Wayne then punted to Bluefield after it failed to move and David returned the kick 45 yards to the Wayne 40. However, David lost the ball on a run later in the possession and Spurlock scooped it up at his own 47 and raced 53 yards for another Pioneer score to mek it 38-7.
After yet another Bluefield fumble, this one by Edwards on a fourth down attempt, Wayne again marched down field. Spurlock ran the final 19 yards untouched for the touchdown. Andrew Stamper kicked the point to make it 45-7.
The Beavers did not quit. Using seven plays, the big one a 43-yard run by David to the Wayne 10, David then took it the final 10 yards for the score. Mariotti's kick made it 45-14 and ended the scoring for the night.
Leggett led Bluefield with 63 yards rushing and David added 58. Edwards was two-of-five passing for 47 yards.
Wayne finished the season with a 10-0 record, while Bluefield completed the year 8-2, snapping an eight-game win streak.
Wayne coach Tom Harman said, "Sometimes people get spoiled and undefeated seasons don't come around very often. We're sure thankful we were able to complete the season winning all our games and get the highest seed possible for the playoffs.
"Our hats are off to Bluefield. We know they are a very dangerous team and a team nobody wants to play in the playoffs. We know if we don't play a good game you will get beat by them."
At Pioneer Field
Bluefield...............................0 7 0 7 — 14
Wayne.................................16 16 6 7 — 45
W - Brandon Spurlock 8 run (Spurlock run), 9:03
W - Grant Ferguson 9 run (Mason Hodge run) 4:10
W - B. Spurlock 5 run (Zach Damron run), 9:09
B - D.J. Edwards 2 run (Justin Mariotti kick), 6:34
W - B. Spurlock 2 run (Ferguson pass to Zach Cassidy), 2:15
W - B. Spurlock 53 fumble recovery (pass failed), 6:30
W - B. Spurlock 9 run (Andrew Stamper kick), 11:50
B - Johnny David 10 run (Mariotti kick), 8:36
RUSHING — Bluefield: Leggett 16-63, David 7-58, Edwards 9-23, Stewart 8-43, Coppola 5-8, Team 1-(-10), Totals 47-185. Wayne: B. Spurlock 19-166, Hodge 3-23, Ferguson 7-35, Egnor 10-24, Damron 2-14, N. Spurlock 7-50, Blankenship 1-1, Totals 49-311
PASSING — Bluefield: Edwards 2-4-0 47 yards. Wayne: Ferguson 3-5-0 17 yards.