By LARRY HYPES
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
TAZEWELL, Va. —
On senior night, a junior nearly stole the show in a thriller at the Dog house.
Malik Davis sparkled in the season finale with 90 yards passing, 71 rushing and three touchdowns for the Bulldogs, who came up just short as Lebanon topped Tazewell 35-27 Friday.
Tazewell seniors Jacob McReynolds, Carter Rasnick and Austin Allison finished their careers for the Dogs.
Nick Agri was the powerful workhorse for the victorious Pioneers (5-5) with 130 rushing yards and a pair of six-pointers. Andrew Stoots directed the Lebanon attack, adding a 62-yard touchdown scamper on a quarterback sneak and also had an interception on defense that led to a score.
Tazewell (2-8) got 93 yards rushing and a touchdown from senior runner Jacob McReynolds in only two quarters of play. McReynolds, a senior, was plagued by injuries in mid-season but bounced back quickly before being dinged again early in the third stanza.
With both McReynolds out, Brandon Coxton stepped up and gained 90 yards on 10 carries including the last series of the third period and the fourth quarter for the Bulldogs.
Agri put Lebanon ahead with a seven-yard run in the opening quarter but the pass was batted away by Tazewell’s Diante Cecil and the Pioneers led 6-0 with 10:22 on the clock.
Davis bolted over on the next series from a yard away and Carter Rasnick’s PAT pushed Tazewell in front 7-6 at the 5:34 mark to cap a 10-play, 60-yard march.
McReynolds bounded over, breaking a pair of tackles to tally a touchdown from yards out on fourth-and-5 for the Dogs with 10:24 remaining in the half. The extra point was bobbled before the kick could be attempted and Tazewell led 13-6.
Lebanon then scored twice in the second stanza.
Stoots broke loose for a 62-yard score down the right sideline and then rolled to his left to loft a two-point conversion toss to Chris Helton with 8:49 left before halftime as the Pioneers edged in front 14-13.
Stoots intercepted a pass at the 12, returned it to the 37 and Lebanon marched the rest of the way with Agri scoring from 10 yards away on the final play of a 63-yard drive. Trevor Owens’ PAT made it 21-13.
Early in the third period, Lebanon recovered a Tazewell fumble near midfield and Stoots finished the series with a 21-yard TD pass to Helton. Owens kicked the point after to give the Pioneers a 28-13 advantage.
Davis fired a 28-yard pass to Juwan Jordan, Coxton had a 10 yard run and then Davis powered in for another Tazewell touchdown with 2:29 to go in the third quarter. Davis drilled a two-point conversion to Jesse Mountain to trim the margin to 28-21. That 80-yard drive took 12 plays.
Lebanon answered early in the forth quarter when Stoots got a 1-yard score and Owens kicked the point after for a 35-21 lead at 10:09 in the fourth quarter.
Behind strong running by Coxton and 20-yard pass to Giovante Tucker from Davis, Tazewell’s final touchdown was a two-yard bolt by Davis. It came with 7:03 left but the kick was tipped and missed, leaving the Dogs down 35-27.
“We have a lot of potential but we are going to have to turn that talent into wins,” said Tazewell coach Shane Allen. “Several players stepped tonight but we have to have that extra something to get victories. We’ll hit the weight room soon and get started preparing for next year.”
Coxton finished with 72 yards in the fourth quarter alone and Jordan led the Dog receivers with 6 catches for 65 yards.
Overall, the Bulldogs had 20 first downs to Lebanon’s 15. The Pioneers led 348-345 in total offense with 255 yards rushing and 23 passing. Lebanon was flagged 5 times for 45 yards and Tazewell drew 3 penalties for 35 yards.
Tazewell concluded its season.
At Bulldog Stadium/Witten Field
Lebanon...........................6 14 7 7 — 35
Tazewell.............................7 6 8 6 — 27
L – Agri 7 run (pass failed)
T – Davis1 run (Rasnick kick)
T – McReynolds 5 run (no pat)
L – Stoots 62 run (Helton, 2-pt. catch)
L – Agri 10 run (Owens kick)
L – Helton 21 pass from Stoots (Owens kick)
T – Davis 2 run (Mountain, 2-pt. catch)
L – Stoots 1 run (Owens kick)
T – Davis 3 run (kick failed)