TAZEWELL, Va. — In 2019, the Richlands football team had one of the best placekickers in the state.
Friday night at Tazewell’s Witten-Field-Bulldogs Stadium, the Blue Tornado had reason to be pretty pleased with the one they’ve got now.
With 57 seconds remaining in regulation, Isaiah Bandy capped a 1-yard Sage Webb touchdown plunge with his third point-after-touchdown kick of the night, giving Richlands the decisive margin to reclaim the Backyard Brawl trophy with a 27-26 victory over the talented-yet-dismayed Bulldogs.
In addition to the steady leg he lent to Richlands’ extra point efforts, Bandy initiated overall scoring with a 30-yard field goal in the first period and a 26 yard field goal that tied the game at 20 with 5:23 remaining to play.
Trailing by one point on its last possession, Tazewell (2-4) kept the final countdown interesting. The Bulldogs got a 34-yard completion of a Carter Creasy pass to Cassius Harris that shortened the field for the Bulldogs’ final, desperate drive with 33 seconds remaining. But the drama finally faded after Creasy’s last throw of the night intended for Ethan Mills fell incomplete.
Creasy had previously connected with Mills for a 50-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs getting a 2-point conversion run from Jared Mullins that put the home team ahead 20-17. The Tazewell signal-caller subsequently hit Mills with a 44-yard completion that set up Creasy’s 2-yard scoring sneak that put the Bulldogs up 26-20 with regulation waning. The subsequent 2-point conversion attempt failed.
A flag for a late hit occurring during Tazewell’s following squib kick set the Tornado up at the Bulldogs 19-yard line. After a 10-yard reception of a Gavin Cox pass to Webb, the Richlands offense pushed its way inward to Webb’s final carry at 4th and goal and Bandy’s kick for the coup de grace.
Webb scored Richlands first touchdown of the night on a 25-yard completion by Gavin Cox that put the Tornado up 10-6 at halftime on Bandy’s kick.
Dylan Brown initiated third quarter scoring with a 19-yard touchdown scramble that put Richlands up 17-6 on Bandy’s kick.
Tazewell will host Bluefield on Friday. Richlands (2-4) travels to Marion.