Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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August 31, 2013

River View gives new coach a debut win

Raiders victorious in McDowell rivalry

WELCH — When the dust had settled and the cheering came to a halt, River View had captured the McDowell County bragging rights for another year in Battle of the Views, Chapter 4, just at the Raiders had done the three previous seasons.

Another by-product of this year’s 28-0 victory Friday night at Vic Nystrom Stadium was the first football coaching win for new Raider mentor Gehrig Justice, who took over less than a month ago after longtime River View and Iaeger head coach Mitch Estep retired.

“We started out really well as far as offense goes,” Justice said.

River View was able to hold Mount View on the opening possession, and then started at the 31. Raiders’ quarterback Ryan Blankenship engineered a 10-play, 69-yard march that featured an equal number of runs and passes, and was capped when the signal-caller rolled around right end with 6:32 left in the opening chapter for a five yard score. Blankenship ran the conversion for the early 8-0 advantage.

That initial score came five plays after junior speedster Jordan Wilson skirted left end for an apparent 25 yard TD, but the score was nullified by an offensive holding call. It happened again on River View’s next possession when a scoring pass to Tyree Baker was negated by another penalty.

Mount View then took after a punt at their own 6, and a Knight runner tried to elude Chris Mullins on the next play, but senior Greg Marshall recorded a safety by tackling the ball carrier in the end zone to make the score 10-0 at the break.

“With the penalties, we sort of got frustrated,” Justice said.

River View’s defense continued to sparkle, with the Golden Knights reaching Raider territory only once, on their final series of the half, and that was stopped on downs at the River View 25. Despite seven first half penalties, Mount View didn’t turn the ball over.

That all changed late in the third quarter, as the Knights fumbled the football away on successive possessions, leading to two Raider scores within a 3:43 span to pretty much seal the victory.

L. T. Horne recovered the first miscue at the River View 25 to set the stage for a seven-play, 75-yard drive that saw Wilson pick up 50 yards on the ground on only four carries. Blankenship went untouched around right end for his second score of the evening with 2:13 left in the third.

River View took advantage of another turnover when Mount View’s Chris Muncy’s arm was hit, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Horne. Not only did the Raiders get the ball, but Muncy was lost for the rest of the game.

Wilson capped a six-play march from the 25 with a one yard blast on fourth down only 1:30 into the final stanza for a 22-0 River View lead. Horne scored on a 3-yard run at the 4:39 mark to conclude the fireworks, capping a four-play, 37 yard march.

“The big thing was when the offense struggled, the defense held strong…,” Justice said. “The defense was in position all night.”

The Raiders also sustained an injury that saw senior Joseph McClanahan have to be carried across the field to his sideline, not to return.

The injury, characterized as an injury to a nerve, perhaps a pinch, by his coach, was followed by a great exhibition of sportsmanship, as Knights Paco Bonds, C. J. Lester and Andrew Hazzard carried McClanahan from in front of the Knight bench, across the field to River View’s bench, after trainers from both teams had given the go-ahead for him to be moved.

A most fitting gesture to remind everyone there was more going on out on the field than two teams trying to win at all costs.

“We just flat didn’t do it,” Mount View second year head coach Todd McCoy said. “We got out-played. We’ve got to fix the problems with our offensive line...There weren’t any holes up there (for runners to go through). We’ve got to fix things on the line first.”

Penalties were a huge problem for both teams, as the Golden Knights were flagged 15 times for 100 yards and River View drew 11 penalties for 77 yards. Out of 20 possessions in the game, only five did not involve a penalty and two of those five series were only one play possessions.

Wilson concluded his night’s work with 19 carries for 135 yards and one score. Blankenship, in his first varsity start at quarterback, rushed nine times for 29 yards and scored twice, plus added a two point conversion, and completed six passes for 48 yards.

Senior LaQuell Martin ran the pigskin 14 times for 44 yards for Mount View, as the ground game lost 33 yards in the final two quarters.

A bright spot for Mount View was a 76-yard pass late in the game from freshman quarterback Steven Brown, who took Muncy’s place, to Marquis Bonds that carried from the Knight 22 to the Raider 2.

River View will return home Friday night to host Buffalo, while the Golden Knights will remain at home to entertain Man.

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