By BOB REDD
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
The Bluefield Beavers rolled up more than 500 yards of offense unofficially and held the James Monroe Mavericks to 91 yards and claimed a 60-14 win on Senior Night, Friday at MItchell Stadium.
The Beavers rushed for 433 yards with 14 different ball carriers and passed for another 91. Meanwhile the Bluefield defense held James Monroe under the century mark in total offense and more than half of the Mavericks output coming on a single play late in the game.
BHS head coach Fred Simon said, “We’ve worked on our defense and right now we’re starting to get our offense, our defense, and special teams in gear. I want to see our kickoff team improve a little bit, but other than that, I feel pretty good.”
Bluefield reached the end zone in each of its first nine possessions of the game. Taking the opening kick it took four plays before D.J. Stewart crossed the goal from 10 yards out. Francisco Desiderio’s kick made it 7-0.
On its second possession Bluefield went 94 yards in just under three minutes for the score. A 17-yard pass from R.J. Bourne to Justin Carter and a 30-yard run by D.J. Edwards were big gainers and a 22-yard pass from Bourne to Brandon Lilly gave Bluefield a first-and-goal. Corey Coppola got the score from one yard out.
James Monroe got its only first down of the half on its next possession, but while driving the Mavericks fumbled and D.J. Sims recovered at the James Monroe 27.
Bourne’s four-yard keeper made it 20-0 on the last play of the first quarter. A bad snap forced holder Edwards to run for the conversion and he was stopped short of the goal.
The Beavers’ next drive lasted only seven seconds and consisted of Coppola running 44 yards for the score. Stewart moments later ran 27 yards for his second touchdown of the game midway through the second quarter.
A seven yard punt gave Bluefield the ball on the Mavericks 14 yard line and on the first play Charles Ross raced 14 yards around left end for the score.
After another James Monroe punt, Bluefield had its third one-play scoring drive when Brennan Wheeler raced 63 yards for paydirt. Dakoda Smalls recovered a loose ball for the Beavers at the James Monroe 38 and on the next play Jordan Masterson took it to the house with just under a minute left in the half.
Bluefield lead 54-0 at the intermission and the Beaver defense held James Monroe to one first down and -12 yards of offense in the first 24 minutes of play.
“We played well early and continued on throughout. Hopefully we can build on that,” Simon said. “I’m very proud of them for the effort they made tonight.”
James Monroe punted to Bluefield and pinned the Beavers at their own six early in the third period. Andrew King rushed 12 yards on a quarterback keeper, then freshman Carlos Reed turned on the jets and ran 82 yards for another Beavers touchdown with 9:10 remaining in the third quarter. It would be the final points of the night for the Beavers.
James Monroe got two fourth quarter scores. Reed McNeer connected with Brian Young on a 22-yard touchdown pass and with just under three minutes left, freshman Evan Beasley on a quarterback keeper ripped off a run from his own 42 and was tackled on the Bluefield one. He lost the ball and Parker King pounced on it in the end zone for the touchdown.
Mavericks’ head coach John Mustain said, “We saw why they are No. 1. I’ve never felt like these kids have given up. I feel like they have worked hard all year. Sometimes hard work doesn’t always guarantee you’re going to get on top, but you’ve got to keep plugging away and we’ve got another big one coming up next week.”
James Monroe managed only two first downs against the Bluefield defense which gave up 51 yards on the ground, 58 of them coming on Beasley’s long run late in the contest.
Reed led Bluefield’s rushing attack with 78 yards. Stewart finished with 76, Wheeler 60 and Coppola 58. Stewart ran six times, Coppola four and Wheeler had just one touch.
Bourne completed six-of-seven passes for 91 yards and King was 0-for-1. Carter and Edwards each had two receptions, Carter for 29 yards, Edwards for 25.
Beasley had 56 yards to lead James Monroe. Jeffrey Lewis caught a pass for 18 yards, and Young for 22. McNeer was two-of-six passing for 40 yards.
“We’ve got to get better participation in the weight room in the off-season,” Mustain said. “They (Bluefield) have got a lot of talent but they’ve got a lot of kids that work hard in the off-season too and that’s where you win a lot of ball games.”
James Monroe wraps up regular season play next week as they host Princeton. Bluefield, rated No. 1 in the WVSSAC this week, will host No. 2 Wayne in its season finale.
At Mitchell Stadium
James Monroe (3-6)...........0 0 0 14 — 14
Bluefield (8-1)...................20 34 6 0 — 60
B - D.J. Stewart 10 yard run (Francisco Desiderio kick), 9:12
B - Corey Coppola 1 yard run (Desiderio kick), 4:17
B - R.J. Bourne 4 yard run (run failed), 0:00
B - Coppola 44 yard run (Desiderio kick), 9:27
B - Stewart 27 yard run (Desiderio kick), 6:47
B - Charles Ross 14 yard run (Desiderio kick), 4:01
B - Brennan Wheeler 60 yard run (Desiderio kick), 1:59
B - Jordan Masterson 38 yard run (knee taken), 0:58
B - Carlos Reed 82 yard run (knee taken), 9:10
JM - Reed McNeer 22 yard pass to Brian Young (McNeer run), 6:51
JM - Parker King fumble recovery in end zone (pass failed), 2:54
RUSHING: JM - Jeffrey Lewis 6-1, Reed McNeer 13-(-9), Samuel Boggess 12-(-5), Brian Young 2-7, Jarred Boone 1-0, Steven Pack 1-1, Evan Beasley 2-56, Totals 37-51. BLU - D.J. Stewart 6-76, Corey Coppola 4-58, Charles Ross 4-29, D.J. Edwards 1-30, R.J. Bourne 1-4, Brennan Wheeler 1-60, Jordan Masterson 1-38, Carlos Reed 4-78, Andrew King 7-20, Gage Pennington 1-2, Marcus Mitchell 3-15, Bryan Morris 1-(-2), Christian Oster 5-17, John Neece 7-38, Totals 46-433.
PASSING: JM - Reed McNeer 2-6 40 yards; BLU - R.J. Bourne 6-7 91 yards, Andrew King 0-1.
RECEPTIONS: JM - Jeffrey Lewis 1-18, Brian Young 1-22, Totals 2-40. BLU - Justin Carter 2-29, D.J. Edwards 2-25, Brandon Lilly 1-22, Charles Ross 1-15, Totals 6-91.
FIRST DOWNS: JM - 2, BLU - 12.