Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

August 31, 2013

Turnovers costly in Tazewell's loss

By LARRY HYPES
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BRISTOL, Va. — For Tazewell coach Shane Allen, the only good “T” he saw Friday was the one on the Bulldogs helmets.

“We didn’t tackle and we gave up key turnovers,” said Allen after Virginia High took advantage of miscues en route to a convincing 48-7 season-opening victory over Tazewell Friday.

Bearcat senior scatback Justin Brown consistently turned the corner and finished with four touchdowns on 18 carries for 165 yards. Brown scored on runs of 30, 25, 3, and 52 yards to pace a 229-yard Virginia High ground game. He also had a pass interception for the Bearcats’ defense.

Tazewell battled gamely, turning to freshman quarterback T. J. Kitts in the second half after an early leg injury to starting signal-caller Malik Davis.

Kitts fired a 22-yard touchdown pass to Juwan Jordan in the fourth quarter for the Bulldogs score.

An early momentum shift with 9:56 left in the opening half helped turn the tide in favor of the home team. Trailing 7-0 after Brown’s first score, Tazewell had driven to  the Virginia Tech 13-yard line on consecutive runs by Malik Davis (18), Jacob McReynolds (16), and McReynolds again (6) before fumbling the pigskin.

Austin Daniels won the scramble for the loose ball and alertly broke through the pack as he raced 75 yards upfield for the touchdown. Gray Mumpower’s second of six extra point kicks pushed the ‘Cats ahead 14-0 and seized the energy for a 20-point second period outburst.

Brown turned the right corner for the 25-yard six-pointer at the 4:08 mark and Mumpower drilled the extra point, as the Bearcats moved to 21-0 advantage.

Ty McReynolds recovered a Tazewell fumble at the 46 on the next series, setting up the third touchdown of the quarter. Mixing the run and pass, Bearcat quarterback Ivan Moore directed Virginia High to the shadow of the Bulldog goal line.

Jeremiah Foster powered over for a one-yard touchdown with just 1:25 left before the break. Virginia High led 27-0 at halftime following Mumpower’s errant extra point try. Another Bulldog bobble was recovered by Virginia’s Chandler Davis on the 40 early in the third stanza, leading to Brown’s three-yard burst with 9:41 left.

Brown broke through for 52 yards and a touchdown at the 6:46 mark in the fourth quarter, and Caleb Stone closed the scoring in the final frame when he capped a long Virginia High march with a three-yard run. Mumpower finished 6-for-7 in PATs.

Some late fireworks helped to salve the hurt for Tazewell.

With McReynolds working hard on the ground, the Dogs drove inside the Bearcat 25 with less than two minutes to play. Kitts drifted back and found Jordan near the 20. Jordan made a dazzling move at the five, and broke into the end zone for the score with 1:40 on the clock. McReynolds booted the extra point.

Chris Hall made some impressive runs, especially on kick returns for Tazewell. Nick Blankenship also sparkled at times for the Dogs. Tazewell’s youthful linemen made some good plays, as well. Turning the ball over was too much for Tazewell to overcome.

“I’m disappointed. We weren’t prepared to make those (tackles) I guess,” sighed Allen. “That’s on me. I have to get everybody ready and we will work hard this week to turn that around. There is no substitute for blocking and tackling. We have to hang on to the ball. You can’t give a team — any team — and especially a good team like Virginia so many extra chances with turnovers.”

The Bulldogs travel to Mitchell Stadium to play Graham on Friday.

*****

At Gene Malcolm Memorial Stadium

Tazewell.........0    0    0   7  —  7

Virginia...........7  20  14  7 — 48

First Period

V – Brown, 30-yd. run (Mumpower kick)

Second Period

V – Daniels, 75-yd. fumble return (Mumpower kick)

V – Brown, 25-yd. run (Mumpower pick)

V – Foster, 1-yd run, (kick failed)

Third Period

V – Brown, 3-yd. run (Mumpower kick)

V – Brown, 52-yd. run (Mumpower kick)

Fourth Period

V- Stone, 3-yd. run (Mumpower kick)

T – Jordan, 22-yd. pass from Kitts (McReynolds kick)