Saturday, December 1, 2007

Vikings run by Spartans

Vikings run by Spartans
Southern cannot stop Hoggard

D. Clay Best, Correspondent
WILMINGTON - Standout junior Sean Sidbury had his usual show, rushing for three touchdowns and another tenth of a mile or so (176 yards on 34 carries), but Wilmington Hoggard senior receiver Luke Caldwell shined in his first appearance in the backfield -- at any level -- and helped spark the Vikings to a 21-6 victory on Friday in the 4-A eastern regional championship.
Caldwell ran for 74 yards on 10 carries out of a formation his teammates dubbed "Hokie 88" sometime late in the week. Caldwell's carries sparked all three of Hoggard's touchdown drives.

With quarterback Mark Crecco still recovering from an injury, Hoggard coach Scott Braswell turned to what he called a single-wing set, with Caldwell taking shotgun snaps from center to get the ball in his standout receiver's hands.

"We just had to figure out a way to get him touches with Mark out of the lineup and [backup quarterback] Brad Busbee struggling passing some last week," Braswell said. "We knew he wasn't going to get 10 touches in the passing game, so we came up with another way to do it."

Caldwell said the formation, which looks similar to the sets Arkansas uses with Heisman Trophy candidate Darren McFadden, debuted in Tuesday's practice, and he thought it was almost a joke at the time.

"But then we worked on it some more on Wednesday and even more on Thursday," Caldwell added.

The Vikings, 15-0 and scheduled to play Winston-Salem Mount Tabor next Saturday at BB&T Field in Winston-Salem, were able to tinker offensively in part because of the great field position they held for the majority of the game.

Hoggard started six drives outside of its 35-yard line or better. Southern started just one drive -- its only scoring drive -- inside of Vikings territory.

"Hoggard had great field position all night, and we never got any," first-year Spartans coach Adrian Jones said. "We tried to work our short passing game and see if we could make some things happen because I didn't want to try to throw deep with No. 7 [Sidbury] waiting back there to make a big play."

Sidbury also starts at cornerback for the Vikings and was part of a defensive effort that held Southern to just 92 yards passing on 16 completions (less 5 yards gained per completion).

Hoggard led 7-0 at the break on a 4-yard Sidbury run and seemed to be in control at 14-0 (after a 6-yard Sidbury TD run) with 38 seconds to play in the third quarter, but a rare miscue set up Southern Durham's scoring drive.

Sidbury lost the handle and Spartans senior Zak Blackwell covered the fumble at the Vikings' 40 with 6:42 to play.

Three plays after Southern quarterback Alan Lea scrambled for a 34-yard gain on third-and-10 to keep the drive alive, fullback Travis Savage bulled his way in on a 2-yard run. The missed extra-point left Southern down 14-6 with 5:08 to play.

"Other than the one big play [Lea's scramble], where they caught us on a middle linebacker blitz," Braswell said, "we did a great job of dealing with Southern's speed.

"Southern Durham, to its credit, did a great job of staying in the game given the problems they had with field position."

With Southern in dire need of the ball quickly, Caldwell got things going for Hoggard with gains of 6 and 13 yards, then Sidbury took over.

First, he squirmed his way for a first down on a crucial third down play with 2:22 remaining, then he scored his final, regional title-clinching third TD of the night three plays later.

Hoggard's ability to keep its offense on the field led to a 63-47 advantage in offensive snaps. Southern totaled just 74 yards rushing on the night to Hoggard's 254.

"I've given our kids nothing but credit," Jones said. "They had a great season for a bunch of sophomores and juniors, dealt with a lot of change, getting to know a new coaching staff, and I really feel like we'll be back here."

The News & Observer
215 South McDowell Street
P.O. Box 191
Raleigh, NC 27602

Playoff Battle of Two Single-wing Teams

Bearden defense gets the job done

Posted on Saturday, December 1, 2007

BEARDEN — Bearden Coach Mike Cox has been bragging on his defense for the better part of the season.

The Bears’ defense wasn’t exactly boast-worthy Friday. Just effective.

Bearden (13-0 ) will get a chance to play for its first state title since 1959 after beating Earle 37-14 at Rogers Field.

Quarterback Dewayne Watts was Bearden’s leading rusher, carrying 11 times for 73 yards.

The Bears were alternately on top of and crossed up by Earle’s Single Wing offense, a tricky misdirection-based scheme that made use of a four-man backfield, fake handoffs and direct snaps.

Twice, the Bulldogs (9-2 ) barged inside Bearden’s 10-yard line in the first half after putting together long drives that had the Bears’ defense at times looking confused.

Twice, Bearden regrouped to halt Earle on fourth down, allowing the Bears to go into the half with a 16-6 lead.

“That’s why our defense is ranked first in the state in stats,” Bearden Coach Mike Cox said.

Through 12 games, Bearden had allowed an average of 124. 7 yards per game.

Bearden scored on its first two drives of the game, with Watts rushing four times for 55 yards en route to a 1-yard touchdown run by Carlos Chambers on the Bears’ first possession.

Chambers later broke through with another 1-yard scoring run near the end of the first quarter.

Earle, which answered Bearden’s first touchdown with a 2-yard touchdown run by Derrick Jarrett, seemed poised to tack on two more touchdowns before halftime.

Instead, the Bulldogs were turned away on fourth-and-5 at Bearden’s 4-yard line.

Earle got the ball back after Steven Meredith intercepted Watts, only to drive the ball to the Bearden 8 before being stood up again.

Earle did not carry a kicker on its roster and did not work on field goals during pregame warmups.

Getting a pair of first-half defensive stops turned out to be crucial, since Bearden’s offense stayed dormant for most of the second half.

Earle stacked the box in the third quarter, containing the Bears’ rushing trio of Watts, Chambers and Michael Belin.

Forced into third-and-long situations, Watts wasn’t as sharp throwing as he was running, and was held to 0-for-4 passing in the third quarter.

Bearden reclaimed its early momentum through an unlikely source, when defensive lineman Clay Vaughan picked off a wobbly pass from Meredith and returned the ball to the Earle 28.

Chambers then took a direct snap for a 28-yard touchdown run. Minutes later, the Bears put the game out of reach when Kasey Moore intercepted a pass and went 58 yards for another touchdown.

“We sputtered [offensively ],” Cox said. “But I think we wore them down a bit.”

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette


SWS Note:

Bearden runs the single-wing and spread

Earle runs single-wing

ACH Warriors Win State

Almira/Coulee-Hartline turns tables in 1B final
Warriors avenge lone loss behind Goodwin, West

TACOMA -- The Almira/Coulee-Hartline Warriors stopped the rival Odessa Tigers three times inside the 5-yard line and found their own scoring groove for a 38-14 victory in the 1B state championship game Friday at the Tacoma Dome.

The victory avenged a 56-6 drubbing by the Tigers (13-1) on Sept. 21.

"They outplayed us and their crowd outyelled us," Odessa coach Bruce Todd said.

ACH (13-1) took an early lead it would never relinquish when senior quarterback Josh Goodwin scrambled 51 yards for a touchdown less than two minutes into the game.

The Warriors added a two-point conversion on a pass to Nate West.

That was the only scoring in the first half as the ACH defense denied two Odessa drives inside the 5-yard line.

"Our defense did a great job," Warriors coach Brandon Walsh said. "They really put a great effort out there tonight."

West hauled in a 5-yard touchdown pass early in the third quarter and Goodwin added the conversion run to give ACH a 16-0 lead, but the Tigers still had some life.

Bryce Todd cut the lead in half with an 86-yard kickoff return, with Jacob Schmidt tacking on a conversion run.

The Warriors defense denied the Tigers for the third time inside the 5-yard line when a Ryan King pass was deflected in the end zone.

The Warriors pulled away with it from there.

On first down from the Odessa 32, Goodwin spun and sprinted his way into the end zone to make it 24-8.

Twenty-five seconds later, Schmidt, who gave ACH nightmares in the teams' previous meeting, scored from 64 yards out on a hook-and-lateral play to make it 24-14.

Four minutes later, ACH's Jordan Hughes leaped into the end zone from 1 yard out for a 30-14 advantage.

Chants of "We are Warriors" increased in volume as West picked off a King pass and returned it 27 yards for a touchdown, and a conversion pass to Zack Pryor ended the scoring.

"This means a lot," Hughes said. "We came out and avenged our earlier loss and have been underdogs the whole year.

"As a senior this is a great way to leave as a Warrior."

Seattle Post-Intelligencer
101 Elliott Ave. W.
Seattle, WA 98119
SWS Note: ACH High School is a team that uses the I, Shotgun and Single-Wing, from Hartline, WA. They are heading into the 1B Washington State Championship Game. They play eight-man football.
Click Here for Video -- Here you can find an archieve of their games, including playoffs.

New Mexico Class 2A Football State Champions

Santa Rosa rolls past Texico, 46-7

By Eric Butler
Globe-News Correspondent
Publication Date: 12/01/07

TEXICO, N.M. - An interception, a punt return for a touchdown,another pick, another punt brought back all the way to paydirt.

It was a formula much to Santa Rosa's liking on Friday night in the New Mexico Class 2A football state championship game.

The Lions used that combination to get out to a huge first half lead and eventually cruise home with a 46-7 victory over the Texico Wolverines. For Santa Rosa, a town accustomed to football success, it was the first state title since 1998.

"We heard about it all the time. We had to end that drought, bring it back to Santa Rosa and take care of business," said Lions senior quarterback Jesus Roybal.

Texico (9-3) got the ball first but gave it up when Santa Rosa's Ricardo Roybal returned an interception to the Wolverines' 38. Seven plays later, Roybal scored from three yards and scored the first of his three touchdowns before intermission.

"They just controlled us," said Texico coach Mike Prokop. "We had opportunities, but we threw it to the wrong team and that's going to happen."

Texico 0 0 0 7 - 7

Santa Rosa 20 19 0 7 - 46

SR - Jesus Roybal 3 run (kick failed)

SR - Roybal 72 punt return (Roybal conversion run)

SR - Aaron Maestas 3 run (kick blocked)

SR - Jason Martinez 2 run (Chris Sanchez kick);

SR - Andres Sisneros 41 pass from Roybal (kick blocked)

SR - Roybal 55 punt return (kick failed)

SR - Sisneros 32 pass from Roybal (Sanchez kick)

T - Courtland Luscombe 5 pass from Brett Anderson (Mario Posada kick).

The Amarillo Globe-News Online

Friday, November 30, 2007

Santa Rosa in today’s Class 2A state championship

Wolverines, Santa Rosa meet for 2A title
By Dave Wagner: Freedom New Mexico
November 30 2007 12:28 AM

TEXICO — Texico coach Mike Prokop figures there won’t be many surprises when the Wolverines host District 2-2A rival Santa Rosa in today’s Class 2A state championship game.

Texico will try to mix in some passes with a steady ground attack, while the Lions will come after the Wolverines with their unique single-wing formation.

“He’s going to do what he does best,” Prokop said, referring to longtime Santa Rosa coach Frank Ortiz, “and we’re going to try to do what we do best.”

Santa Rosa (11-1) has been on a roll lately, routing Tucumcari twice and Lordsburg by a combined 131-7 in its last three outings.

Meantime, Texico (9-2) is coming off a 15-14 semifinal upset of top-seeded Dexter.

Both teams lost at Dexter during the regular season. Santa Rosa handed Texico its other loss, a 26-7 setback Oct. 19, a game in which the Wolverines committed five turnovers.

Texico senior cornerback Billy Scott said having played the Lions helps.

“We’re going to have to come in and execute,” he said. “We have a better idea of what they’re going to run, and that will help us ready our keys better.”

The first order of business in facing a single-wing is figuring out who has the ball.

“You have to cover just about every gap in the line,” Prokop said. “Everyone has gap responsibilities, so that slows you down a little bit on defense.

“They’re huge up front. It’ll be a big test for us.”

Prokop said the Lions will throw just enough to keep a defense honest. Senior Jesus Roybal, who scored twice in the first meeting, is the “spinner” back and usually takes the snap.

Texico’s cornerbacks will be largely responsible for containing any passing game.

“I think whenever they do split (receivers) out, we can cover them,” he said. “We just need to be able to execute.”

Texico is playing in its sixth state championship game in seven years. The Wolverines were in five consecutive Class 1A title clashes (2001-05), winning twice, before moving up to 2A last year and losing in the first round at Santa Rosa.

“They’re big, strong and fast, kind of like Dexter,” Prokop said. “It’s a tribute to our district that we both made it to the finals.”

* What: Santa Rosa (11-1) at Texico (9-2)
* When: 7 p.m. today
* Where: Texico
* Of note: The visiting Lions already own a 26-7 win over Texico during District 2-2A play. … The teams have met in the regular season since 2004, with Santa Rosa holding a 3-1 series lead.

Freedom Newspapers of New Mexico

Single-Wing Team in Washington State Championship

SWS Note: ACH High School is a team that uses the I, Shotgun and Single-Wing, from Hartline, WA. They are heading into the 1B Washington State Championship Game.
Click Here for Video -- Here you can find an archieve of their games, including playoffs.

1B State Football Preview

Odessa Tigers

Coach: Bruce Todd, 61-34 in 8 seasons at Odessa.

Season snapshot: 12-0 overall, 7-0 in Northeast 1B League. Played few close games in regular season, but survived tests against Colton-Pullman Christian in quarterfinals and Tri-Cities Prep in semifinals.

Scouting report: Will look to run the ball early and often. Tigers put up points fast and are led by QB Ryan King, RB Jacob Schmidt and TE/FB/LB Travis Todd.

Three to watch

• RB Jacob Schmidt (5-10, 155, Sr.) has 22 rushing TDs, 2 receiving TDs and more than 1,000 yards rushing.

• QB Ryan King (5-10, 160, Jr.) has 13 passing touchdowns, 14 rushing TDs.

• TE/LB/FB/P Travis Todd (6-3, 235, Sr.) has 10 receiving TDs, 5 rushing TDs and averages 11 tackles per game. Handles punting duties too.

92 Points allowed by Odessa in last year's quarterfinal loss to eventual champion St. John-Endicott.

Playoff pedigree: Sixth trip to state finals. Third trip to state under Todd. Lost 34-30 to Inchelium in 2000 title game. Won championships in '89 and '93.

Quick kick: "It's a brand-new game. This year we beat them pretty good at home [56-6], but they're playing a lot better now. [I told the team] 'Don't come in too overconfident and thinking it will be a cakewalk.' " — Coach Todd on playing ACH for second time this season.

Inside slant: Coaching runs in Bruce Todd's blood. His father coached football, basketball and track at many Washington high schools. Todd is also the school's baseball coach.

Almira-Coulee- Hartline (ACH) Warriors

Coach: Brandon Walsh, 34-55 in 9 seasons at Almira-Coulee-Hartline.

Season snapshot: 12-1 overall, 6-1 in Northeast 1B League. Only blemish is 56-6 midseason loss to Odessa. Put up points easily, most evident by 80-point semifinal outburst against Lummi.

Scouting report: Balanced offense, though Warriors prefer to run first. Three primary offensive formations: I, shotgun spread and single wing.

Three to watch

• RB/LB Jordan Hughes (5-9, 160, Sr.) rushed 147 times for 1,160 yards, 19 TDs; 19 receptions for 561 yards, 8 TDs; 8 TDs in semifinal win over Lummi (4 rush, 3 receiving, kickoff return).

• QB/LB Josh Goodwin (5-9, 165, Sr.) was 82 of 151 for 1,557 passing yards, 29 TDs, 4 interceptions. Also rushed for 999 yards, 9 TDs.

• FB/LB Nate West (5-10, 170, Sr.) has team-leading 129 tackles; 13 TDs on offense.

15 Years since school's last state-playoff appearance.

Playoff pedigree: Fourth trip to state in 1B. Won championship in 1990, beating Colton 48-36. Won 2B title in 1974 while competing as Coulee City.

Quick kick: "We're obviously excited — No. 1, to be playing for the title and No. 2, getting a shot at them again. It's our only loss and we didn't feel we were at our best back then. It's cool for a lot of reasons. They're only 45 miles away from us. It's a natural rivalry in that sense." — Walsh on rematch with Odessa.

Inside slant: Walsh was a senior center and defensive tackle on Warriors' 1990 title team.

Zach Landres-Schnur
The Seattle Times


James Monroe: Season Review Leading To State

James Monroe hopes to avenge season’s only loss

Staff reports
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

James Monroe 47, Narrows 19

NARROWS, Va. — Even though James Monroe rolled up 461 yards in an easy win over the Green Wave, the Mavericks were just part of the show.

Former Narrows football player Jarrett Lane had the No. 24 retired that he wore for the Green Wave, and the Virginia Tech band played, all in honor of one of the 32 students and faculty killed in an April 16 campus massacre.

On the field, Nick Kisiel was the primary beneficiary of the James Monroe offensive line, running for 190 yards on just 12 carries and three touchdowns. Taylor Robertson added two touchdowns, and Ernie Tincher ran for 132 yards on eight attempts and a score of his own.

Kisiel scored on runs of 4, 61 and 60 yards, while Robertson went in from 3 and 24. Tincher’s lone score was a 90-yard run to paydirt.

James Monroe scored 33 points in the second quarter to take a 33-6 lead at the break.

James Monroe 35, Shady Spring 6

SHADY SPRING — The single wing offense literally ran from the Tigers, rolling up nearly 400 yards of total offense, including 378 yards on the ground.

Tincher ran for 149 yards on 13 carries and two touchdowns, while Robertson also had 13 attempts, finishing with 129 yards and three more scores. Kisiel added 58 yards for the Mavericks.

James Monroe led 21-6 at the break, and added two more scores in the second half. Robertson, who completed the Mavericks’ first pass of the season for 16 yards against the Tigers, scored on runs of 57, 5 and 6 yards. Tincher added touchdown runs of 2 and 19.

The Mavericks forced three Shady Spring turnovers during the final 24 minutes to keep the Tigers off the scoreboard. Josh White led James Monroe with an interception and fumble recovery.

James Monroe 35, Oak Hill 0

LINDSIDE — The Mavericks provided plenty of entertainment on the first home game of the season for James Monroe.

Robertson ran for 218 and three touchdowns, scoring on runs of 5, 4 and 19 yards. James Monroe ran for 432 yards, with Kisiel adding 160 yards on 18 carries and scores of 1 and 63 yards.

It was the third straight week that the Mavericks had two 100-yard rushers.

James Monroe scored seven points in each of the first three quarters and added 14 in the fourth for the final margin. Logan Ray kicked five extra points for the Mavericks.

Oak Hill could generate little on offense, with the Mavericks holding the Red Devils to 121 total yards. Robertson also had an interception to go with his 218 rushing yards. White also had a pick for James Monroe.

James Monroe 59, PikeView 6

GARDNER — The Mavericks wasted no time disposing of the Panthers, rolling to their 24th straight regular season win.

James Monroe rolled up plenty of yardage in the first half against PikeView, and cruised to the win.

James Monroe 55, Scott 30

LINDSIDE — Jordan Roberts was the headliner, but Robertson stole the show against one of the Class AA teams in West Virginia.

Robertson overshadowed Scott’s record-setting Roberts, running for 355 yards on 22 carries, including six touchdowns on runs of 3, 69, 45, 6, 72 and 35 yards.

James Monroe finished 478 offensive yards, all on the ground. Tincher added 85 yards on seven carries, and the game’s first touchdown from 61 yards.

The Mavericks led 34-18 at the break, and added 21 more in the second half, six of which scored when Lance Pritt recovered a fumble and returned 25 yards for a touchdown.

Roberts had 259 yards and three scores for the Skyhawks, but it wasn’t enough on this night. The teams combined for 850 yards on offense, with just seven coming through the air, all by Scott.

James Monroe 42, Wyoming East 25

LINDSIDE — Who says the Mavericks can pass the ball? They did just fine on this night.

Robertson surprised the Warriors, completing 4-of-9 passes for 176 yards and two touchdowns, and also ran for another 70 yards. Tincher also had a versatile night, catching two passes for 116 yards and a touchdowns, and also dashing for 110 yards and two scores on the ground. Tincher also threw for 35 yards.

James Monroe trailed Wyoming East 7-0 and 14-7, but still led 21-13 at the break. Kisiel scored first half touchdowns on runs of 24 and 5 yards, while Tincher snagged a pass from Robertson and dashed 87 yards for the score.

Tincher scored on runs of 47 and 25 yards in the second half, while Ray caught a pass from Robertson and turned it into a 30-yard touchdown.

The Mavericks entered as the fourth ranked team, while Wyoming East was eighth in the WVSSAC ratings system.

James Monroe 40, Liberty-Raleigh 0

LINDSIDE — It was certainly a fun homecoming for the Mavericks.

Kisiel led James Monroe with 127 yards and three touchdowns of 1, 8 and 7 yards. Robertson added 78 yards and a 7-yard scoring run for the Mavericks.

Kisiel scored a touchdown in each of the first three quarter, while Robertson crossed the goal line in the first period.

Lee Triplett returned an interception 38 yards for a touchdown, while John Daniel Pritt added a pick of his own for the Mavericks. Ballengee finished the scoring with a 25-yard fourth quarter run.

Liberty was held to 87 yards on offense, including just 58 on the ground.

James Monroe 53, Mount View 0

WELCH — The Mavericks tossed a shutout for the second straight week, and the third time this season.

Robertson led James Monroe with 145 yards on 16 carries, along with four first half touchdowns of 1, 35, 27 and 3 yards. Tincher dashed for 66 yards and a 25-yard to start the scoring, while Chris Frazier added 64 yards and 1 yard touchdown.

James Monroe led 20-0 after one quarter and 46-0 at the break. Zach Mann returned an interception for a 24-yard touchdown, with the lone second half score being a 18-yard third period dash to paydirt by Josh Evans.

The Mavs finished 383 rushing yards, while the Golden Knights were held to 167 offensive yards.

Bluefield 14, James Monroe 7

BLUEFIELD — Even though James Monroe ran nearly double the plays as Bluefield — 70 to 38 — it was the Beavers who stopped the Mavericks’ 28-game regular season win streak.

James Monroe took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter on a 2-yard run by Robertson. The Mavericks didn’t score again, even though Robertson ran for 119 yards on 31 carries, while Kisiel lugged the pigskin 24 times for 123 yards.

The Mavericks out-gained the Beavers by just six yards —249-243 — despite having more opportunities with the ball.

James Monroe 28, Greenbrier East 20

LINDSIDE — A pair of fourth quarter touchdowns helped the Mavericks escape the upset bug against the Spartans.

Robertson, who finished with 191 yards and two scores, had 20-yard scoring dash in the fourth quarter, and Justin Romanello followed soon afterwards by intercepting a pass and returning it 30 yards for a score.

Robertson also scored on a 4-yard run early in the game, and Tincher added a 48-yard touchdown reception on a pass from Robertson.

Kisiel contributed 61 yards for the Mavericks, while Robertson was 3-of-10 throwing the ball, but still racked up 198 yards and the touchdown to Tincher, who had two catches for 92 yards.

White added an interception for the Mavericks, while Zach Mann recovered a fumble.

James Monroe 48, Tolsia 6

LINDSIDE — Revenge was sweet. Tolsia upset James Monroe in the semifinals last season, one week after doing the same to Bluefield in the quarterfinals.

After falling behind 6-0 in the first quarter, the Mavericks rolled up 21 points in the second period, and added 27 more in the second half.

Tincher led the Mavericks with four touchdowns, two on a 5 and 1 yard run. He also caught an 18-yard scoring pass from Robertson and returned an interception 17 yards for another touchdown.

Kisiel added 169 yards for James Monroe. Mann caught a 15-yard scoring pass from Robertson, while Tanner Beasley added a 7-yard touchown run.

James Monroe 13, Magnolia 7

LINDSIDE — With Robertson and Kisiel out with injuries, Tincher played the role of hero, scoring two second half touchdowns to enable the Mavericks to advance.

Tincher finished with 134 yards on nine carries, including a 1-yard touchdown run in the third quarter that was set up by a blocked punt by Clarence Hunsacker. He also had a game-winning 64-yarder with 2:49 left in the game.

Robertson still finished with 81 yards, while Kisiel added 48. Tincher and Robertson each had interceptions, while Kisiel recovered a fumble. Clarence Hunsacker added a blocked punt for the Mavericks.

Magnolia led 7-0 at the break, scoring with 30 seconds left in the half. The Blue Eagles were driving in the final seconds, but Tincher picked off a pass to preserve the win.

James Monroe 21, Wayne 14

WAYNE — The Mavericks advanced to its first-ever state championship game by defeating the undefeated and defending Group AA titliest on their own field.

Tincher continued his late-season surge, running for 157 yards on 19 carries and a 17-yard first quarter score. The Mavs answered a Wayne score with Tincher turning a Robertson pass into a 43-yard touchdown and a 14-6 lead at the break.

Robertson added a 4-yard run in the third quarter, and the Mavs held the Pioneers to eight second half points. A Ballengee interception in the final seconds secured the win.

Robertson added 75 yards for James Monroe, while Tincher added a third quarter interception.

The Mavs held Jason Thompson, a 1,000-yard plus runner, to just 46 yards.


The Bluefield Daily Telegraph

928 Bluefield Ave,

Bluefield, West Virginia

Phoebus faces confusing test
Phoebus faces confusing test
The single wing has been the foundation of Stone Bridge's success. But it's not your father's single wing.

November 30, 2007

Brainstorms come from a variety of sources. Inspiration, perspiration, desperation … sometimes all of the above.

For Mickey Thompson, in his eighth year as Stone Bridge's head coach, it was nothing that dramatic.

"Honestly," he said, "I just got bored and wanted to do something different."

That was in 1998, when Thompson installed the single-wing offense at Park View High in Sterling. Two years later, he took it with him to Stone Bridge, which had just opened its doors. And now, that pain-in-the-caboose offense has carried the Bulldogs to the Group AAA Division 5 semifinals, where they will host Phoebus Saturday afternoon in Ashburn.

"They do so much on offense," Phantoms coach Bill Dee said. "They can create a lot of problems. It's not like (facing) the I."

It's also not a classic single wing, which evolved from Pop Warner's creation into a ground-oriented offense that involves a direct snap and plenty of misdirection. Stone Bridge quarterback Patrick Thompson, Mickey's son, has thrown for 1,929 yards and 25 touchdowns. Sometimes he throws from the single wing, and sometimes he throws from the shotgun in a spread formation.The Bulldogs' best two receivers, wideout Ryan Moody and running back Jeron Gouveia, are averaging a combined 23.3 yards per reception.

"They do have a large component of the single-wing offense, but they're also fairly multiple," said Robinson coach Mark Bendorf, whose team handed Stone Bridge its only loss this season. "You have to be careful not to hang that single-wing label and expect them to come out in an unbalanced set with 11 guys lined up in the space of a phone booth on every play."

But on many plays, that's exactly what the Bulldogs do. With a lot of misdirection, Stone Bridge likes to take advantage of the defense's confusion.

The running game averages 224 yards per game and 6 per carry. Yet the Bulldogs don't have a 1,000-yard rusher — Kareem Alexander is the closest at 896.

"We don't have any huge numbers for any one individual," Mickey Thompson said. "The thing about our offense is, it just involves that many more playmakers. Kids that might not have been the tailback are now major players offensively."

With that versatility, along with the unusual scheme, Stone Bridge's offense can give opposing coaches headaches. The Bulldogs are averaging 41 points and 384 yards a game.

Only Robinson, which beat them 41-14 in the season's second week, managed to shut down their offense.

"We had 385 yards rushing in that game and we held them to 24," Bendorf said. "But those early games are a crapshoot. They have some good, quality players."

Gouveia, who averages 13.4 yards every time he touches the ball, has committed to Virginia Tech. So has junior lineman David Wang — whose brother, Ed, is a sophomore tackle for the Hokies.

Thompson was the head coach at Park View, where he went 71-42, from 1990-99. His program had won 22 of its last 25 games when he decided to take the job at Stone Bridge, which opened in 2000 as a Group AA school. Bringing the single wing with him, Thompson expected growing pains. He was right: The Bulldogs went 3-7.

The following year, Stone Bridge won six games. Then, in 2002, the Bulldogs went 10-3 and made it to the Division 4 semifinals, where they lost to Lafayette. In 2005, its first year in Group AAA, Stone Bridge beat Matoaca 52-12 in the state semifinals and advanced to its first championship game.

Once there, the Bulldogs ran into Hampton. With Stone Bridge behind 15-8 in the final minute, Moody caught a pass at the 1-yard line. But just as he was about to score, Hampton's Tyrod Taylor popped the ball loose and teammate Aubrey Meekins recovered.

It was a bitter pill, but getting that far was a huge step for the program. This will be the fifth season in a row that Stone Bridge has finished with at least 11 wins.

"That first year, I definitely wanted to quit," Thompson said. "But after that, it turned around really quickly. And it's been a great experience."

Newport News, Va., Daily Press

Thursday, November 29, 2007

AA Football State Championship Preview

AA Football State Championship Preview
Posted Thursday, November 29, 2007 ; 09:50 AM
Updated Thursday, November 29, 2007 ; 10:13 AM

Watch Story Video

It's two days and counting until the big high school football state championship game between Bluefield and James Monroe
Story by Mike Levin

This Friday night, James Monroe Football will make their first appearance in the state title game. It's been an exciting season for the Mavs, who are proud of what they've already accomplished. "The playoffs is an exciting time period. When you're playing football in November, that means you've accomplished a lot of great things just to get in the playoffs," said Mavericks coach David Witt.

Last week, James Monroe earned their spot in the championship by winning inside the belly of the beast: at Wayne. It was the first victory in three straight trips to the AA Final Four for the Mavs.

"We always felt like we could do it and it was relieving that we finally did. So it was real exciting. Everybody was real happy and proud of us," said senior running back Ernie Tincher.

Standing in their way of their first football title: Bluefield.

The Beavers have won eight state championships since 1959, and a win this Friday night would be their second in the last four years. Bluefield beat James Monroe earlier this year, which was the Mavs only loss. But the Beavers know this is a brand new game.

"It's against the same team, totally different atmosphere, but the intensity is going to be a little higher," said senior Aaron Bowes"

Bluefield is undefeated this year, and are the top ranked AA team in the state. But Beaver head coach Fred Simon says you can throw records out the window on Friday.

"That has nothing to do with what's going on now. Whoever wins this game actually finishes number one, and that's where the focus has to be," he said.

While winning a title is what each team wants to do, both the Beavers and Mavs are proud to also be representing the region.

"I think it's a great statement from the southern part of the state about football," said Bowes. "It's about time some southern teams go up there and duke it out in Wheeling," adds Tincher.

And Coach Simon agrees: "Two teams so close by playing for the state championship, a lot of pride. A lot of pride in the area."

Unlike the last time these teams squared off, at Mitchell Stadium, Friday's game will be played about four hours north in Wheeling. It's not often that two teams from southern West Virginia have met in the state title game, this being just the fourth time in 50 years. But this Friday night both Bluefield and James Monroe will play their best to try and get the win

WOWK-TV – News for Charleston and Huntington, West Virginia


Pat Richard of the State Champions Orrick Bearcats

Pat Richard
Head Coach
of the Class 1 State Champions
Orrick Bearcats

I was fortunate enough to be able to ask Coach Pat Richard, Head Coach of the Class 1 State Champions Orrick Bearcats, a few questions.

Single-Wing Sentinel – What is your background with the Single-Wing?
Coach Pat Richard -- My father, Charlie Richard, was the single wing blocking back/play caller on William Jewell's only undefeated football team ever back in the 60's. 40 years later dad is in the college football hall of fame as a coach, and two of his players/assistant coaches (Myself and Mike Berg Baldwin KS High School 4A state semifinalist) are running the single wing for success.

SWS – How are you using he Single-Wing in your offense at Orrick?
PR -- Here at Orrick, we had played against the single wing the past two years when we faced Wellington-Napolean high school and coach James Perry. We did a great job of stopping it our second year, but I thought it was one of the toughest schemes that we had ever faced. Last year, Wellington rang up 76 points against our conference rival Concordia, and a couple weeks prior to our week 6 game against Concordia I thought that it might be a great series to put in. We installed an eight play series out of single wing and worked it each day at the end of practice. All that we used that week was an unbalanced single deep with three lead blocking back set for 2 point conversions. We continued to practice our single wing series each day. Our players asked me each day that we worked on it, "coach, we practice this every day, when are we going to use it?" My answer was always, "when we need it"

SWS – When was it that “you needed it”?
PR -- We were fortunate to not need it until the state quarterfinal game against defending state champion South Shelby. We went in at halftime, only up 6-3 despite moving the ball easily in our T formation offense. We simply stalled every trip inside the 30. At halftime, we told our players, we are going to pound the ball on our opening drive, and when we get to the 30, the Dog (our single wing formation) is coming in. First drive, we get to the 28, we bring in our Dog personel, run FB Power Belly 4 times to score and get the 2 point conversion, and the game changed from there. We ran two more plays out of it that night, 1 more Power Belly and 1 QB Counter kickout that we scored on. The next week in the semi's we used Dog to run wedge 3 times scoring 2 pt conversions on all three to help us to a big win.

SWS – And did you need it in the Championship game?
PR -- The next week at practice for the state championship, we continued to work on our Dog formation, with five plays that still had yet to appear on film. In the state game we used Dog wedge for our first 2-point conversion, but otherwise didn't use it. We went in at halftime tied 8-8, after making several mental mistakes. We told our kids at halftime, we are going to open in Dog from whereever we get the ball, and we are going to phisically take the game over. We started our opening drive on our 30 and drove to their 20, we didn't score but we completely wore them out on the first drive of the second half. After that we mixed the Dog and our T formation with great results to win the State Championship.

SWS – Do you plan on using it next year?
PR -- We are looking forward to running it quite a bit more next year now that our "secret" formation is out.

SWS – What advice would you give a coach that may be considering running the single-wing?
PR -- My advice to coaches that may be considering it as an offense, is to give it a try. Get on a board, grab a pen, have fun with all of the possiblities. The unbalanced line, the multiple lead backs, the misdirection and power, it is a great offense.

I want to thank Coach Richard for his time, and to wish the Bearcats great success in the years to come!
Dan Spain
Single-Wing Sentinel

Orrick coach: Former Bearcats played a role

Orrick coach: Former Bearcats played a role
The Kansas City Star

As Orrick coach Pat Richard sat there last Saturday in St. Louis, in quiet reflection of the first state football championship of his career and the school’s first in 32 years, he couldn’t help but think about previous players and the roles they played.

“I think of a guy like Elliott Rice, who helps out with our team now,” Richard said after the Bearcats’ 20-8 victory over Thayer for the Missouri Class 1 state title. “He was on our team my first year, eight years ago.

“This team was 1-29 when we took over. That first season eight years ago, we won three games, and we thought it was the greatest thing.”

Eight seasons after that three-win season, Orrick won all 14 of its games.

“I coached all those guys eight years ago, and now I feel I can look them in the eyes,” Richard said. “I kept telling them we were building this program to where we could go win state championships, and we did that.

“This is a lot because of them. They were a big part of it.”

The 2007 Bearcats won their title much the same way their teams have played on the way up -- with a strong, physical style centered around the running game and defense.

Despite playing what Richard called “mentally, probably the worst half we’d played all season” in the first half, the Bearcats were able to reach halftime in an 8-8 tie because of their stifling defense.

In the second half, Orrick’s conditioning kicked in, and they “came out and physically seized it,” according to Richard. The wearing down of the Thayer defense led to two breakaway touchdown runs by the team’s leader, Taylor Eubank, and allowed the Bearcats to pull away.

“Every time someone got down, someone else helped pick them up,” said Eubank, who led Orrick with 211 yards rushing, 241 total yards. He also blocked a punt, leading to the Bearcats’ first touchdown.

“It was a complete team effort, Eubank said.

The Kansas City Star

It’s Bluefield’s balance vs. JM’s ground assault in AA title game

November 29, 2007
It’s Bluefield’s balance vs. JM’s ground assault in AA title game

By Rick Ryan
Assistant Sports Editor

Bluefield and James Monroe look to take different paths to get to the same goal Friday night.

The top-ranked Beavers will likely mix the run and pass to move the ball in the Class AA championship game, while the No. 3 Mavericks hope to do the same with their [single-wing]three-man gang of ball-carriers. Kickoff is set for 7:30 at Wheeling Island Stadium.

Bluefield (12-0) will be making its eighth title-game appearance since the Super Six moved to Wheeling in 1994. For James Monroe (12-1), it’s the first finals trip ever.

The Beavers can attack defenses in a variety of ways — from shifty tailback Shaun Brooks (1,254 yards, 16 touchdowns) to fullbacks Jake Lilly and Marcus Patterson to the big-play connection of quarterback Will Cole to wide receiver Ansel Ponder.

Cole has thrown for 1,381 yards and 18 TDs, with 10 of his scoring strikes going to Ponder [pictured] (47 catches, 696 yards). Lilly and Bowes have run for five TDs apiece.

“That’s true, they are a well-balanced team,’’ said James Monroe coach David Witt. “When you start talking about their offense, they have the capability of coming out and throwing it and beating you, or coming out and running it and beating you. They definitely have the weapons and the capability to take advantage of either situation.’’

Bluefield coach Fred Simon said his team always strives for offensive balance, and this is one of the seasons it’s been achieved. Four running backs have at least 42 carries, and three receivers sport 14 or more catches.

Simon knows it a lot easier to move the ball if the defense doesn’t know what’s coming.

“Exactly,’’ he said. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to find a weakness here or there, and use them all to our advantage.’’

James Monroe’s defense figures to present a challenge to the Beavers, who were held to 243 yards and had three turnovers in a 14-7 win over the Mavericks on Oct. 26. Bluefield averages 34.6 points and 355 yards of offense.

Cole, in particular, will be throwing against a Mavericks defense that allows only 41 percent completions and has picked off 26 passes while giving up just six TD tosses. Linebacker Daniel Pritt leads the defense with 109 tackles.

“They do a nice job defensively,’’ Simon said, “stopping the run and the pass. The last time we played, it was a tough, physical game. They were close to blocking a punt that could have changed the game. I still don’t know how we got it off.’’

The Mavs, meanwhile, will try to control the clock and the line of scrimmage with their relentless running attack.

James Monroe could finish the season with three 1,000-yard rushers. Taylor Robertson (1,750 yards, 28 TDs) and Nick Kisiel (1,002 yards, 10 TDs) have already reached that plateau, with Ernie Tincher (926 yards, 12 TDs) right behind.

“Those three complement each other really well,’’ Witt said. “All three of them help make each other better. You can’t necessarily sit in there [on defense] and say, ‘We’re going to take this one kid away and basically shut them down.’ It’s definitely an asset.’’

Robertson has connected on only 14 passes all season (averaging a whopping 28 yards per completion), but when you average 330 yards on the ground per game as the Mavericks do, you don’t find the need to pass too often.

“They’re right side, left side, up side,’’ Simon said, “and they do a great job blocking. Their linemen really come off the ball well. They’ve run their offense so much that it’s second nature to them. They’re very smooth on offense, very disciplined.’’

However, Bluefield’s defense, like James Monroe’s, can be very stingy, having allowed an average of just 10.8 points. For the second straight season, Lilly leads the Beavers in tackles from his linebacker spot. This year, he’s been charted with 1431/2 total tackles.

“On the defensive side, they run real well,’’ Witt said. “They’ve got great speed. On defense, they always say if you take one false step, you can’t make the play. But they’ve got the speed to help make up for it.’’

Kicker Asher Sexton ensures that the Beaver also have solid special-teams play. He handles punting duties and has booted 45-of-55 extra points and four field goals. Logan Ray has made 54-of-65 PATs for the Mavs.

To contact assistant sports editor Rick Ryan, use e-mail or call 348-5175.

The Charleston Gazette
Charleston, WV


Will it be the Mavericks' turn?

Will it be the Mavericks' turn?

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

LINDSIDE — All the teams that have tried to pound out a running game against the James Monroe Mavericks eventually come face to face with the hard fact — it’s hard to make yards against the Mavericks’ veteran line, which has given up an average of 149.1 yards per game in the regular season.

The opposition has been forced to pass, and there they meet up with Josh White and Company, a defensive backfield that has picked off 26 passes and racked up, collectively, around 200 tackles.

The defense has been the catalyst that has kept James Monroe in close ballgames and boosted them into the Class AA championship bracket.

White is a 5-foot-8 senior, playing Friday in his last high school football game. But quarterbacks have learned that he can’t be picked on, nor can his teammates on the defensive side of the ball.

“I think the defense has really stepped up,” White said Tuesday before practice. “We lost some big players last year — and I think we’ve had some guys step up and fill their shoes, really (well). John Ballengee has been playing excellent as a sophomore.

“I just think we’ve played with a very high level of intensity. I hope we can keep it up.”

White has broken up six passes and intercepted three others this season. He has also come up with seven tackles for loss and 84 total stops. His stat line includes three fumble recoveries and blocking a kick.

But like all the Mavericks, he doesn’t want to talk about individual accomplishments. Asked about how the team has been preparing for their title clash with Bluefield, White began by crediting the Mavs’ defensive coaches.

“Coach (Steve) Newberry does a real good job with the D-backs and the linebackers, and Coach (Ted) Ballard does an excellent job with the line,” he said.

“And just from earlier experience, from playing Bluefield earlier this year, we pretty much know what their speed is, know how good athletes they are. And we just learn from that.”

The one loss on the Mavericks’ schedule, to Bluefield over a month ago, taught the team a lesson, White said.

White said, “Really, you don’t think about it much at this point. I mean, it’s in my head; it’s in everybody’s head. But, at this point, games in the regular season and even earlier in the playoffs don’t matter. It’s just this one game — it’s a one-game season.”

“It just kind of reminded us, we can be beat. After you go so long without losing, you kind of forget that, and that served as a good reminder that we can get beat. I think that’s why we made it to the state championship this year.”

Sizing up the task against Bluefield, he said, “They’ve just got real good speed with a bunch of players, and that’s what makes them hard to stop. They’ve got some big people, and they’re fast, and they’re strong, and they don’t give up.”

He’s never given up on title dreams, either. This year’s championship trip is “what you’ve dreamed of since you were a little kid,” he said.

Now that dream is a reality, and he has a different perspective on what it has taken to get there.

As a freshman first putting on the purple and black, White said, “It was like a dream come true. I mean, I’ve grown up and watched Nick Newberry and Matt Ballengee, Ben Thornton, Roger Dunn, Ben Preston, Mac Preston. I’ve never missed a James Monroe football game in my life. I love it. And whenever I came up here in my freshman year, it was like Christmas. It was perfect.

“And now here I am, a senior, looking back, knowing what all (those guys) went through. I’ve seen a lot of teams lose to Bluefield in the playoffs — some heartbreakers. I just hope we can go out and get the job done. For them.”

The Bluefield Daily Telegraph
928 Bluefield Ave, Bluefield, West Virginia

Recruiters' pursuit of Foster intensifies

Recruiters' pursuit of Foster intensifies
November 29, 2007 12:35 am

As Colonial Beach senior Brandon Foster Jr. eyes the Drifters regional showdown with Buffalo Gap Saturday, an increasing number of colleges are eyeing the multitalented performer.

Colonial Beach head coach Jeremy Jack said officials from Winston-Salem State and Elon requested film of the Tidewater District's offensive player of the year.

"They're just starting to get into their recruiting," Jack said of the two North Carolina schools, "and they've been following him the last couple of weeks."

Jack said he sent film of Foster to both schools.

Foster has an offer in hand from Delaware State to play defensive back and Virginia Union is also looking at him at that position, according to Jack.

Jack added that Foster has had "continuing contact" with Virginia defensive backs coach Steve Bernstein.

Foster, who has also spoken with a coach at Tennessee, visited the University of Richmond on Nov. 3 and took in the Spiders game with Villanova.

In the Drifters first two playoff games this season, Foster rushed for 157 yards and a touchdown against Franklin and followed that with 110 yards at Surry County.

Foster has rushed for nearly 3,400 yards over the last three seasons, scoring 50 touchdowns [in the Colonial's single-wing offense]. In addition to being named the district's offensive player of the year, he was a first-team selection as a defensive back and kick returner. Foster followed that up by being named to the all-region team on both offense and defense.


Tim Beamer knows he has big shoes to fill.

Beamer has been named the Trojans new baseball coach, following in the footsteps of longtime coach "Sonny" Ashton and Ken Blackley, both of whom won state titles.

"I guess I'm following legends," Beamer said of taking over the program. "But I think I've been well-groomed for the job and I was thrilled to get it to say the least."

After graduating from Essex in 1975, Beamer played at Ferrum junior college for a year before transferring to Virginia Commonwealth University, where he played for three seasons.

The former catcher returned to his alma mater in 2003 as an assistant to Blackley.

Blackey, who guided the Trojans to a state championship that same year, left Essex earlier this year to take the athletics director position at Northumberland High School.

"I'm excited about this," Beamer said of the squad he inherits. "He [Blackley] left me a senior at just about every position."

Essex reached the state quarterfinals a year ago, losing to Strasburg.

Beamer promises an exciting brand of baseball for Trojan fans.

"We will be aggressive," he said. "We'll steal. We'll hit and run. I'm a big fan of that small-ball brand of baseball."

He also said the team will be fundamentally sound.

"I'm a stickler for the fundamentals," Beamer said.

Former Essex star Blake Williams, who played at Bluefield College, will be an assistant for Beamer, as will his son, Josh Beamer.

The Free Lance-Star
Fredericksburg, Virginia


Virginia AAA Division 5 state semifinal

By Paul Tenorio
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 29, 2007; LZ16

After exacting some revenge by defeating Edison, 27-14, last week in the Northern Region Division 5 championship game one year after falling to the Eagles in the same round, Stone Bridge will look to continue its 11-game win streak on Saturday at home in a Virginia AAA Division 5 state semifinal game against Phoebus (13-0).

The Bulldogs (12-1) will fall back on the familiar, a powerful offense that can pound the ball in the single wing or spread things out and go to the air, in hopes of getting the Phantoms off balance.

"We're going to use all of our stuff, and if something gets hot we'll stay with it," Stone Bridge Coach Mickey Thompson said. "We'll run single wing, we'll run spread, and whichever stuff works we'll stick with."

The Bulldogs have the ultimate playmaker in Jeron Gouveia, who was the Liberty District's offensive and defensive player of the year. Gouveia is averaging a touchdown every 4.4 times he touches the ball and is a hard-hitting defensive force at safety. Against a Phoebus team with powerful athletes and a dangerous run game, Gouveia's impact might be felt most in his ability to make plays near the line of scrimmage without sacrificing anything in pass defense.

"The good thing about [Gouveia] is he always shows up in big games," Thompson said. "And I'm sure he'll be right in the thick of things. It's nice to have a safety who can make plays in the run game as well as the pass."

Thompson said it's difficult to know too much about Phoebus, but he has seen game tape and has an idea of what the Phantoms will bring to the field.

"You see film and you hear about them; I think they're basically a power type of team," Thompson said. "They're going to come right at you and they have a lot of good athletes, and the biggest thing for us is we have to run the football. Very few teams run on them; we have to run on them."

Phoebus beat Indian River, 26-0, last week in the Eastern Region Division 5 final.

But Thompson hopes to avoid a shutout because he has several playmakers at his disposal. From running backs Kareem Alexander and Gouveia to quarterback Patrick Thompson and wide receiver Ryan Moody, Phoebus certainly won't be able to focus on just one player.

And the coach said whichever plays are successful will dictate which playmaker sees the ball the most.

"If the ones where [Alexander and Gouveia] carry the ball a lot are working, then they'll get carries. That's how the ball is distributed; it's what plays are working," he said.

And although the Bulldogs may not know too much about their opponent or exactly which plays will end up being the bulk of the offense, one thing they do know is that it will be nice to play at home.

"I think that's a huge advantage for us," Thompson said. "It allows us to focus on the game and not spend so much time on travel, itinerary, where we're going to be, how we're going to warm up. All that stuff is set, so we can really focus on practice and get ready for Saturday."

With that, the coach said he had no expectations for the game, just hopes.

"I think we'll play our best game. Our kids are ready," he said. "Will it be enough? We'll find out Saturday."

The Washington Post


Maverick's Opponent Speaks Out

Beaver time

Miller yearns for 2nd ring

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — Michael Miller started his football career as a state champion. He’d like to end it the same way.

“It feels wonderful, I give the honor to God for giving us this opportunity,” Miller said. “We won it my freshmen year and I’ve still got the ring for it.

“Thank God we won our freshman year, and I wouldn’t mind going out my senior year with a bang and another ring.”

Miller will get that chance on Friday night when Bluefield (12-0) plays James Monroe (12-1) for the Class AA state title in Wheeling. The Beavers will be looking for their ninth championship since 1959, while the Mavericks are playing for their first.

“It feels real good, but we have a good challenge against us,” said the 6-foot-2, 260-pound Miller, a starter on the offensive and defensive lines for the Beavers. “James Monroe is a real good team, they’re disciplined.

“We beat them in the regular season, but now we’ve got to beat them where it counts in the state championship. I think it will be a real good game for us.”

Miller was part of the 2004 Bluefield squad that finished 14-0, crushing Wayne 69-24 in the finals. That team is often compared to the ‘97 club that also went 14-0 and won a state title.

Miller, who didn’t play football until he was a freshman, has heard all about those teams. He would like the current batch of Beavers to be mentioned in the same sentence as those.

“When I came up here to Bluefield, I knew what football was, but I didn’t really know what football was until I came to Bluefield High School and it means a lot,” Miller said. “I’ve met Charlie Tynes and the great players that have played here at Bluefield High School and they tell me stories about the ‘97 team that won, and the 2004 team won.

“It feels great to be in the same position they were.”

Bluefield head coach Fred Simon said this team is similar to those clubs in one respect.

“They reflect a lot of the ‘04 team and the ‘97 team as well,” Simon said. “You’ve got to have good leadership to have a chance and these players have definitely been good leaders.

“Overall, I’ve been very, very pleased with their leadership.”

Miller has seen the good and bad in Wheeling. As a sophomore, Miller was part of a team that reached the finals, only to lose to 40-0 to Weir. Last season, the Beavers were beaten by Tolsia in the quarterfinals, stopping a string of four straight trips to the title game.

“I’ve been twice since I’ve been up here, this is my third time,” Miller said. “Last year we didn’t get to go, and it was a real emotional moment for the whole team, but we rebuilt ourselves for another year.

“All the weight-lifting, all the training that we did, it was all worth it. We have another chance to win that state title and we’re going to take it.”

There are no secrets between Bluefield and James Monroe. Located just 43 miles apart, the teams play every year. It was no different this season, with the Beavers winning at Mitchell Stadium 14-7 on Oct. 26.

James Monroe actually moved the ball well against Bluefield, but struggled getting the ball in the end zone.

“They had good points in that game, they ran the ball real well,” Miller said. “They have real good backs in Tincher, Kisiel and Robertson.

“They have a real good line. It’s going to be a real good game for us, it will be a real good game for both teams.”

Defensively, Miller knows the key will be containing the Mavericks’ single wing offense and three talented backs, led by Taylor Robertson, Nick Kisiel and Ernie Tincher, a trio that have combined for run for nearly 3,700 yards and 50 touchdowns.

However, Miller knows the key is the offensive line, which has helped the Mavericks run for 330.2 yards per game.

“They’re pretty good, they’re probably one of the biggest challenges we face as a defensive line throughout the season,” Miller said. “I think we’ll be ready for them.

“Coach Simon has been getting us prepared for them all week and all season long for this moment to come and I think we’re ready for it.”

While offensive lines rarely receive many accolades, Miller has heard all the talk about how good the James Monroe interior line is. The Beavers aren’t bad either. Bluefield has averaged 355.5 yards per game, and scored 34.6 points a contest, and none of that could have been done without Miller, Joe Stone, Justin Shrader and the cousin duo of Brandon and Chris Harris.

“We’ve been opening holes for Shaun Brooks, he’s a good running back, we open up holes for him and he does the rest, he takes it to the end zone,” Miller said. “We give protection for our quarterback Will Cole, he throws the ball real well and scores touchdowns for us and we usually wind up winning the games.”

Miller has the prescription for what the Beavers need to do to bring home the school’s first state title since 2004.

“We have to stay focused, get our mind set, and make sure we wrap up on defense,” Miller said. “We have to block real well, run the ball real well and I think we’ll be able to take it home.”

Miller has been a key cog for the Beavers on both sides of the ball. Defensively, Miller — nicknamed ‘Moose’ — has recorded 41.5 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and has also forced a fumble and recovered a loose pigskin.

“He’s a real good kid, Michael has definitely improved each year that he has been with us,” Simon said. “He has good size, he’s got good speed for a big man, a very good kid to coach.

“All these seniors, you can kind of look at them down the line, they always listen and try and that is a big key is coaching. Are you listening to us and trying? If you are, you’ve got a chance.”

Those haven’t been problem for the 16 Bluefield seniors.

“I’ve been playing with this senior group since my freshman year,” Miller said. “As the years have gone, the wins and losses, we have come together like brothers.

“We love each other, we know how each other plays our games, we know how each other thinks and it feels good to play with a senior defensive line.

“Eight players out of our whole offense and (eight on) defense are seniors so it will be a good feeling if all of us can win another championship.”

Miller has one ring. He’d like to have one more.

“It would be a great way to go out for my senior year,” Miller said. “To be the last game that I ever play in my high school career, I’m going to give it all I’ve got.”


The Bluefield Daily Telegraph
928 Bluefield Ave,
Bluefield, West Virginia


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Drifters and Eagles football honors

Drifters and Eagles football honors

Leonard Banks 28.NOV.07
2007 Tidewater All-District

Drifter honorees

Drifter senior Brandon Foster’s football career continues to reach new heights, as he was recently named Tidewater District Offensive Player of the Year. He also gained recognition with first team honors as a kick-returner and defensive back. The all-time Drifter career rushing leader has been offered an athletic scholarship to play for Delaware State.

Drifter varsity football head coach Jeremy Jack was selected D-1 Coach of the Year in the Tidewater District. Jack has led his team to three Capitol Area Football Conference championships. His debut in the VHSL was nothing short of spectacular with a regular season District championship and a Regional championship.

The Drifters athletic programs have a long history of achievement. Their current football program is made up of athletes who have known each other since pre-school. Maybe the notion that kids who grow up together, win together optimizes the talent pool of Drifters currently in place at Colonial Beach High School.

In light of the fact that the Drifters play iron-man football [players who play both offense and defense], every member of the Drifters starting team deserves recognition for their outstanding contributions to a winning program. Maybe that is why they will play Buffalo Gap in the State semi-final championship game in Augusta County this Saturday.

Other Drifter varsity football players who were honored for Tidewater first team are as follows: Steven Taylor – offensive tackle, defensive lineman; Deshawn Viers – offensive guard, linebacker; T.T. Carey – wide receiver; Nate Galloway – defensive end; Terry Bushrod – defensive back.

Drifters who were honored with second team honors were: Terry Bushrod – running back; Zach Peltola – center, defensive lineman; T.T. Carey – kicker; Tim Wilson – linebacker.

2007 All Region A Drifter first team: Deshawn Viers – offensive guard; Brandon Foster – running back, defensive back. 2007 All Region A Drifter second team: Steven Taylor – offensive tackle, defensive tackle; TT Carey – wide receiver; Deshawn Viers – linebacker; 2007 All Region A Drifter Honorable Mention: Brandon Foster – kick returner; Nate Galloway – defensive end; Terry Bushrod – defensive back.

The Washington & Lee Eagles fought a long and courageous series of battles in the Northern Neck District this season. They finished their season with a record of 4-6, 3-1. Although the Eagles didn’t come out on top of their District, they did win the hearts of many fans who witnessed their performance.

2007 Northern Neck District All-District Eagle honorees

The following Washington & Lee Eagle varsity football players were honored with first team Northern Neck All-District honors: Justin Hobbs – running back, defensive end; Marquese Gray – running back; Dillon Jackson – wide receiver; Kenneth Johnson – offensive tackle; Phillip Kelly – offensive guard; Adrian Bryant – defensive lineman; D.J. Brooks – linebacker; Arsenio Smith – defensive back.

Other Eagle varsity football players who were honored with second team awards were: Arsenio Smith – kick returner; William Taylor – defensive lineman; Quincy Dixon – linebacker; Terry Burrell – defensive back.

2007 All Region A Eagle honorees: Justin Hobbs – defensive end, Justin Hobbs; Marquese Gray – running back; D.J. Brooks – linebacker; Arsenio Smith – defensive back; Phillip Kelly – offensive guard; Kenneth Johnson – offensive tackle; Dillon Jackson – wide receiver.

Drifters win Region-A championship

Drifters win Region-A championship

Leonard Banks 28.NOV.07

After Saturday’s historic Drifter 21-12 Region A championship win against the highly rated Surry Cougars [10-2, 6-0], the term “Built Drifter tough” can never be overstated.

After grinding out three touchdowns and overcoming six turnovers against Surry, the Drifters [10-2, 5-0] have won their very first Region-A championship, while competing in the VHSL. Currently, Colonial Beach is the only area football team competing in post-season play.

Throughout the season, Drifter head football coach Jeremy Jack and his assistants have been a constant force of support for the entire Drifter football program.

“We’ve known all year that they had it in them and that they have incredible potential,” Jack said. “Today they showed not only their potential, but the ability they have.”

Given the moral intangibles of fan and family support that featured many fans in attendance and a tailgate party after the game, the Drifters are on a path towards the “Big Dance” at the State championship.

Game results

The Drifters made the most of their opening possession; Brent Steffey culminated a 56-yard, 14-play drive with an eight-yard score. After a T.T. Carey extra-point, the Drifters lead 7-0.

Five-and half minutes later, with seven seconds remaining in the first quarter, Cougar running back, Geoffrey Warren scored from eight yards out to put Surry on the board, 7-6. However, the Cougars’ celebration was silenced when the Drifters defense stopped a Cougar two-point conversion attempt.

Nine plays into the Drifters’ second possession, Cougar linebacker, Trenton Porter intercepted a Drifter pass deep inside Surry territory. The Drifters defense answered the ensuing Cougar drive with a quarterback sack, while limiting their hosts to six yards before forcing them to punt.

After a short six-yard Cougar punt, the Drifters’ ground game went on the attack, as Terry Bushrod completed a 49-yard scoring drive with a seven-yard touchdown. After a blocked extra point attempt, the Drifters clung to a 13-6 lead.

Throughout the latter part of the second quarter and all of the third quarter, the game went into a defensive stalemate. Surry finally scored with eight minutes and 45 seconds left in the game. Warren’s 21-yard touchdown closed the Drifter deficit to 1 point - 13-12. After the Cougars’ failed two-point conversion, the fate of Surry would soon be answered with a Chad Inscoe interception that eventually led to Steffey scoring the game’s final touchdown from eight yards out.

“Our defense has really been underscored this year, because our offense has played so well throughout the season,” Jack said. “Today the Drifter defense has proven their metal and certainly deserves any recognition they get.”

Rushing stats: Colonial Beach—Brandon Foster, Jr. 26-110; Terry Bushrod 16-108, TD; Brent Steffey 17-84 2 TDs; Tim Wilson 4-31; Travis Cundiff 2-3. Surry—Geoffrey Warren 18-97.

Next Saturday, the Drifters will travel to play the Buffalo Gap Bisons [12-0, 5-0] for the Group-A State semi-final game, in Swoope, Virginia. The Bisons and Drifters share the same school colors, black and gold.

On Friday, the undefeated Bisons narrowly defeated William Campbell [ranked 37th in state] to win their Regional championship [Region-B], 29-28. Two weeks earlier, during the first round of Regional playoffs, the Bisons easily defeated Jackson, 32-7. The Bisons are currently ranked 69th in the state.

Offensively, the Bisons are a formidable team that has scored 481 points throughout the season. Their feature running back Pickle Nuckols has rushed for 1,846 with 23 touchdowns. Nuckol’s teammate, quarterback Travis Morris has completed 75 passes for 1,135 yards, on 143 attempts.

On defense, the Bisons limited teams to 181 points, while showcasing the talents of lineman, Logan Huff and defensive back, Michael Johnson.
The Journal Press Inc. • P. O. Box 409 • King George • VA • 22485

Akron rolls over Limon 46-14 for 1A state title

Akron rolls over Limon 46-14 for 1A state title

posted by: Dan Boniface , Web Producer created: 11/24/2007 8:30:36 PM
Last updated: 11/24/2007 8:31:55 PM

AKRON, Colo. (AP) - Akron thrashed the Limon Badgers 46-14 Saturday for the Class 1A state football title, the second championship in a row that it won with a 13-0 record.

The Rams started the season with a 14-10 victory over 2A Yuma, and no other team came within 13 points the rest of the way.

Akron, which has won 26 straight, outscored its season-long opposition by an aggregate 535-52.

The Rams took charge on Saturday from the start. The Rams dropped Limon quarterback Matt Brown for a 9-yard loss on the first play, forced five consecutive punts, scored on their first play from scrimmage on a 9-yard run by Joe McKay and cruised to a 34-0 halftime lead.

Limon (11-2), which has won a Colorado record 17 championships, was held to 1 yard rushing.

The only signs of life came in the third quarter, when Brown found Marcelis Tatum for a touchdown, but Duncan Krause intercepted Brown on the Badgers' next series.

Akron finished with 366 yards rushing, 470 in total offense [Single-Wing] .

(Copyright Associated Press, All Rights Reserved)




500 Speer Blvd.

Denver, CO 80203


Eight state champions crowned over holiday weekend in Detroit

Eight state champions crowned over holiday weekend in Detroit

By Ed Patino, Staff Writer

PUBLISHED: November 29, 2007

The dream of an eighth state championship ended for one team, while a run of perfection continued for another.

Ethan Shaver ran in three touchdowns to lift the Menominee Maroons to a 21-7 victory over the Jackson Lumen Christi Titans in the Division 5 state championship game Saturday at Ford Field.

Menominee (14-0) captured its second straight state title and undefeated season. The Maroons have won 28 straight games dating to 2005. Meanwhile, Lumen Christi (12-2) was stopped one game short of claiming the eighth state title in school history.

The Maroons' Single-Wing offense rolled up 390 yards in the game. Shaver opened the scoring just under two minutes in, capping Menominee's opening drive with an 11-yard touchdown run.

The score held up until midway through the fourth quarter when Shaver scored on a one-yard plunge, making it 14-0. Lumen Christi fought back on the ensuing possession as Mark Lathers caught a pass from Conor Sullivan and outraced the Maroons' defense for a 67-yard touchdown, pulling the Titans to within seven with 5:41 remaining.

Menominee answered as its Single-Wing killed over four minutes off the clock, and Shaver capped the drive with a six-yard touchdown run sealing the state championship.

Shaver ran 30 times for 208 yards to lead the Maroons. He also was 6-of-13 passing for 89 yards. Justin Salzman caught three passes for 55 yards.

Sullivan was 7-of-13 passing for 116 yards and a touchdown for Lumen Christi. Lathers had three catches for 62 yards, while Nick Russler had 91 yards on 13 carries.

Division 6

The Saginaw Nouvel Panthers withstood a late rally and claimed the Division 6 state championship Friday with a 12-7 victory over the Blissfield Royals at Ford Field.

Saginaw Nouvel (10-3) scored the only points of the first half late in the opening quarter as David Kazmierski ran in a one-yard touchdown. The Panthers finally gave themselves some breathing room as Ryan Henris connected with Ryan Palmer for a 70-yard touchdown pass midway through the fourth quarter. Blissfield (13-1) didn't go quietly, as Johnny Estes hit Luke Schrader for a 19-yard touchdown pass with 1:52 remaining, but Saginaw Nouvel recovered the Royals' onside kick and ran out the clock for the title.

Kazmierski was 5-of-13 passing for 84 yards for the Panthers. Palmer caught two passes for 89 yards, while Henris' touchdown pass was his only attempt of the game.

Estes finished 8-of-18 passing for 100 yards and a touchdown to lead Blissfield.

Division 1

Macomb Dakota 41, Livonia Stevenson 21: A battle of undefeated teams went to Macomb Dakota, which scored 20 points in the third quarter to pull away for the Division 1 state championship.

Mitch Lovett was 16-of-23 passing for 301 yards and five touchdowns. Kyle Demaster had four catches for 127 yards and three touchdowns, and he returned an interception 52-yard for a score. Rodney Hush caught six passes for 94 yards and a touchdown for the Cougars.

Austin White ran 14 times for 58 yards and two touchdowns for Stevenson (13-1). Wade Stahl had five carries for 85 yards.

Division 2

Detroit Martin Luther King 47, Midland 21: Trailing by 14 points early in the third quarter, Detroit King scored 40 straight points to down Midland and clinch the Division 2 state title.

Darrin Williams had 162 yards on 25 carries with a touchdown for King (14-0). Donovon Dickerson was 11-of-21 passing for 176 yards and two touchdowns, while Cory Chatman caught five passes for 94 yards and a score.

Andrew Maxwell was 8-of-23 passing for 93 yards for Midland (11-3). Colter Roberson ran 20 times for 77 yards and a score and had two catches for 34 yards and a touchdown for the Chemics.

Division 3

East Grand Rapids 46, Orchard Lake St. Mary's 39 (5ot): The longest game in state finals history ended when Joe Glendening ran in a three-yard touchdown, while East Grand Rapids made a defensive stand to win the Division 3 state championship.

Glendening ran 42 times for 175 yards and four touchdowns and had four catches for 30 yards for East Grand Rapids (13-1). Calvin Blair was 9-of-18 passing for 94 yards and two touchdowns, while Chris Blair had three catches for 52 yards and a score for the Pioneers.

Robert Bolden was 8-of-15 passing for 104 yards for Orchard Lake St. Mary's (10-3). Dion Sims caught five passes for 64 yards, while Dominique White had 158 yards on 28 carries and three touchdowns.

Other State Final Results

Division 4: Marine City 21, Detroit Country Day 7.

Division 7: Mendon 20, Traverse City St. Francis 0.

Division 8: Crystal Fall Forest Park 22, Fulton-Middleton 14.

The Manchester Enterprise • 109 East Main Street • Manchester, MI 48158


Mavs excited for Wheeling

Mavs excited for Wheeling

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of stories leading up to Friday night’s Class AA football championship game in Wheeling.

LINDSIDE — Near the end of the school day on Tuesday, a couple of James Monroe High School students were wrestling large posters down the hall to the cafeteria. The phone was ringing constantly in the office with requests to interview the football coach. And people were diligently engaged in “tri-mester” exams.

It’s not been a typical week.

For the first time in school history, the Mavericks are going to the state football championship game. And to add to the drama, the Class AA title match on Friday night will be a rematch with Bluefield High School.

James Monroe principal Michael Collins said people were ready to “showcase the county” in Wheeling. “The kids have worked so hard, and the students are so excited. It’s very exciting for us to get this opportunity,” he said.

“Starting (Monday) as the kids started in around eight o’clock, you could just feel — a different feel. It wasn’t your typical Monday after Thanksgiving break. There was an energy and atmosphere — you could just tell it was different.

At the fieldhouse on the hill behind the school, football players were reporting in with businesslike expressions.

Josh White, a senior defensive leader, said, “We’re really focused on it. The seniors, we’ve been doing this for four years. We grew up watching James Monroe trying to do this. We just kind of feel like we’ve got to go up there and try to get the job done.

White said, “Bluefield’s a good team. ... We’re just going to do our best and see what happens.”

Mavericks head coach David Witt has noticed his squad’s intense focus. He said, “This has been their goal, and they’re still focused on playing football. It’s been a good week of practice so far, and we expect it to continue that way.”

Witt knows the challenge that lies ahead from the Beavers. He said, “They’ve got a really good running game; they’ve got a really good passing game. They’re extremely solid on defense. The kicking game is strong. They don’t have any weaknesses. There’s not a weak aspect to their game.”

After a 14-7 loss to the Beavers on Oct. 26, the Mavericks ended the regular season 9-1 with a 28-20 win over Greenbrier East, then defeated Tolsia (48-6), Magnolia (13-7) and defending champ Wayne (21-14) to reach the final round.

Witt said immediately after the Bluefield game in October, “We know we can play with daggone anybody in the state.” Rather than sulk about a loss, his team has proved it.

The coach said on Tuesday, “We came out of that game, and looked at what we did well, and looked at what we did poorly, just like we do with any other game, win or lose. ... You use it as a learning experience, and you try to get better.”

Both starters and reserves have been upgrading their level of play, Witt said.

“Early in the season, we were able to get a lot of playing time for a lot of people. And throughout the season, we’ve had injuries that we’ve had to deal with and some of these younger guys have had to fill in, and so they gained a lot of valuable experience in the process,” he said.

“This has been a season in which we’ve had a lot of people really improve throughout the season.”

That’s earned the Mavericks the trip upstate. Way upstate, to the Northern Panhandle. They will leave early Thursday morning, Witt said. He termed that trip “a little bit different,” but added, “We’ve made long bus rides ... this year and in past years.”

He said, “You want to try to keep things as close to the routine, and time of day that you’re accustomed to doing things like practicing and eating and that type of thing. That’s certainly one of the things that we’ve worked into our agenda.

“We’re not going to be in a hurry to get there, and when we get there, we’ll have our pre-game practice Thursday evening at the same time we’re accustomed to.

“It’s such a (long) trip, I don’t think you really give your athletes a fair opportunity to perform to their capabilities if you get on a bus and try to drive five, five-and-a-half hours to get there the day of the game.

“So you’re forced to change your routine a little bit. But we’ve got a lot of experienced players, and we think they can handle that without a problem.”

When they embark, they will likely pass by a banner along U.S. Route 219 that reads, “Mavericks — on a single wing and a prayer.”

The school has planned a pep rally for this afternoon near the end of the school day.

The Bluefield Daily Telegraph
928 Bluefield Ave,
Bluefield, West Virginia