Tough sledding...

Bluefield defender Gillis Walker reaches out to seize a loose football during the Beavers’ Class AA state quarterfinal game with North Marion at Mitchell Stadium, in Bluefield, on Friday night. Walker successfully recovered the fumble —one of two he recovered during the game. 

BLUEFIELD — The Bluefield High School football team forced four fumbles and recovered all of them to slow down the North Marion offense as the home team jumped out to a 19-7 lead after the first quarter.

The No. 2 Beavers scored twice more in the second half while the defense shut down the No. 10 Huskies to win 33-10 at Mitchell Stadium Friday night in the Class AA quarterfinals.

While the North Marion (6-4) defense slowed down the Bluefield offense (7-1), it was unable to force any turnovers it could exploit as the Beavers did.

On the third play of the game Jacorian Green stripped the Huskies ballcarrier of the ball after a long gain. Bluefield’s Jacob Martin scored from 24 yards out six plays later.

The Beavers have been a pass-heavy team this year with a number of playmakers at receive. Friday night, Bluefield used used an unbalanced front I-formation to run the ball successfully 30 times for 205 yards.

Less than a minute following Martin’s touchdown, Brandon Wiley returned a punt 48 yards for the score after the Huskies went three-and-out — giving all the momentum to the Beavers.

Bluefield’s Gillis Walker recovered fumbles on two of the next three drives to give good field position to the offense.

The lone touchdown for North Marion came in the final minute of the first quarter when Tariq Miller caught a jump ball from Brody Hall for a score. It was a 25-yard reception on fourth down.

Hall threw for 137 yards with 97 of them coming in the first half. Miller was the recipient of five catches for 96 yards.

After half the Huskies only managed 95 yards of offense, giving them 263 for the game. On the ground Hunter Kuhn had 67 yards rushing before exiting in the third quarter with an injury. Gavan Lemley rushed for 36 yards.

In the passing game, Deeb only had eight completions for 123 yards including a 50-yard catch and run score from Ryker Brown just 16 seconds after North Marion scored its touchdown.

Brown had 62 yards receiving and Green had 39 while the Huskies limited Wiley to only one catch for five yards.

A 10-play drive that only had one pass for the Beavers in the third quarter and chewed up a lot of clock ended in a 25-yard rushing touchdown for Jaeon Flack.

Martin led the Beavers with 94 yards on the ground and capped off the victory with a 6-yard score midway through the fourth quarter.

The fourth fumble Bluefield recovered came late in the fourth quarter by DJ Fuller. He returned it for a score which was called back for a block in the back.

Bluefield advances to the semifinals against No. 6 Fairmont Senior Saturday at 4 p.m. at Mitchell Stadium. It is the fourth consecutive season the two teams have met in the Class AA playoffs.


at Mitchell Stadium

North Marion… 7   0   0   3  — 10

Bluefield………19   0   7  7  — 33


First Quarter

B — Jacob Martin 24-yard run (kick missed) 7:18

B — Brandon Wiley 48-yard punt return (Jackson Wills kick) 6:06

NM — Tariq Miller 25-yard pass from Brody Hall (Malachi Funkhouser kick) 58.8

B — Ryker Brown 50-yard pass from Carson Deeb (kick missed) 42.5

Third Quarter

B — Jaeon Flack 25-yard run (Wills kick) 2:47

Fourth Quarter

NM — Funkhouser 20-yard field goal 6:58

B — Jacob Martin 6-yard run (Wills kick) 6:09


Team Statistics

First downs: NM 12; B 10. Rush-Yards: NM 33-126; B 30-205. Pass yards: NM 137; B 123. Comp-Art-Int: NM 11-20-0; B 8-19-0. Fumbles-lost: NM 4-4; B 0-0. Penalty-Yards: NM 1-100; B 8-80. Punts-Avg: NM 2-42; B 3-36.33.

Individual Statistics

Rushing yards: NM Hunter Kuhn 11-67, Gavan Lemley 13-36, Brody Hall 8-22, Tariq Miller 1-1; B Jacob Martin 7-94, Jaeon Flack 10-55, Brandon Wiley 5-26, Amir Hairston 6-24, Jacorian Green 1-7, Carson Deeb 1-2.

Passing: NM Brody Hall 11-20-1 td-137-0 int; B Carson Deeb 8-19-1 td-123-0 int.

Receiving: NM Tariq Miller 5-96, Garret Conway 3-16, Jakob Hunt 1-13, Hunter Kuhn 1-8, Jarrett Reed 1-4; B Ryker Brown 3-62, Jacorian Green 3-39, Juwaun Green 1-17, Brandon Wiley 1-5.


Turnovers: NM none; B Jacorian Green fumble recovery, Gillis Walker two fumble recoveries, DJ Fuller fumble recovery.

Field Goals: NM Funkhouser 20; B none.

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