Bluefield-Independence Game

COAL CITY — The Bluefield Beavers have fallen short in their bid for another state championship.

Atticus Goodson led a second-half comeback by the Independence Patriots for a 34-20 win over Bluefield in the Class AA state semifinal game at Coal City.

Bluefield led 20-7 at the half, a score that included a defensive touchdown by the Beavers.

However, a hard-nosed Independence defense held Bluefield scoreless in the second half, with multiple Bluefield playmakers showing signs of wear, tear and fatigue from absorbing the Patriot's physicality.

Bluefield quarterback Ryker Brown tore his calf in the second half, but played with his injured leg wrapped. This limited his mobility in the face of increasingly unstoppable Patriots' pressure, however.  Brown gave up two interceptions. 

Bluefield running back Amir Hairston was injured on a defensive play and wide receiver Jacorian Green played through the apparent discomfort of nicks and dings incurred during the first half.

Led by Goodson, who briefly came out in the first half after having been slightly shaken up on a play, Independence scored 27 unanswered second half points en route to earning a berth in next week's Class AA state title game in Wheeling.

Goodson carried the ball 35 times for 257 yards and three touchdowns, scoring twice in the third quarter.

His younger brother, Cyrus Goodson,  returned an interception 48 yards for a score to give the Patriots their first lead of the game. Atticus' third touchdown came with 5:25 left and cemented the program’s first title game appearance.

Bluefield (7-4) barely squeaked into the playoffs due to COVID-related setbacks. The Beavers made it into the post-season fray as the No. 14 seed, having played each week on the road. Independence (12-1) was the No. 2 seed.
 
The Patriots will play either Fairmont Senior or Poca in next week's WVSSAC Class AA state championship game at  Wheeling Island Stadium.
 

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