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Barons let district opener slip away vs. Nottoway
SoVaNow.com / September 26, 2012The Bluestone Barons let a chance to win their district opener with Nottoway slip away Friday night after entering the fourth quarter with a 13-7 lead. The Cougars stormed back for two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to take the 21-13 victory.
The game marked another step in Bluestone’s climb back to gridiron respectability, but first-year head coach James Fowlkes took no comfort in that fact.
“The game was there for us. Nottoway didn’t do anything to beat us — we just didn’t do anything to beat them,” he said.
“That’s a game we’ve got to win. We should be 1-0 in the district right now.”
Bluestone, which broke a 51-game losing streak the previous week with a 66-0 rout of Rappahannock, seemed poised to double its win total over the past five years with an upset of the Cougars. The Barons had turned in a solid defensive effort all night, and made some timely plays to score a pair of touchdowns, but in the end Bluestone was undone by costly mental lapses.
“We had some penalties and extended drives by Nottoway that are the sort of things we’ve got to clean up,” said Fowlkes. “We had mental breakdowns in that portion of the games where kids just did not make the plays we needed them to.”
Bluestone was hurt by several roughing calls that drew protests from the fans at Baron Stadium who were on hand for the district opener. Fowlkes said some of the calls occurred on what he described as “gravity hits,” where his players were unable to pull up their pursuit of the ballcarrier fast enough.
“I teach them to be aggressive the whole time,” said Fowlkes. “I don’t teach them to lay off.”
Bluestone got its first touchdown in the first quarter on a beautifully-executed 24-yard pass by quarterback Marcus Tucker to sophomore receiver Marvin Davis, who finished the game with two catches for 47 yards. The Barons had 63 yards in the air to go with a rushing attack that piled up 182 yards on the night.
Chris Watson was the Barons’ leading rusher with 55 yards on 10 carries. Close behind was Deon Mosley, who ran 14 times for 53 yards, including a team-best 15 yards on a single carry.
Carnell Richardson had 35 yards rushing and Marcus Tucker, the quarterback, added 18. Javon Smith ran three times for 11 yards and Marvin Davis ran once for 10 yards.
Davis also scored Bluestone’s other touchdown in the third quarter as a member of the special teams unit. On a Bluestone kick, Davis was among the Barons who zeroed in on the Nottoway return man. Davis and his teammates leveled a big hit that caused the Nottoway player to lose a handle on the ball, and Davis scooped it up and ran for a touchdown.
The Barons were penalized on the point-after attempt, pushing the ball out of range on the kick, which was no good. The sequence left the Barons holding a 13-7 lead.
But Nottoway came back in the fourth quarter to score a TD and grab a 14-13 advantage, then the Cougars got their second touchdown in the period to ice the 21-13 final in the district opener for both schools.
On defense, Bluestone got stout efforts across the lineup, highlighted by 10 solo tackles each by Josh Briggs and Deon Mosley, both juniors. Davis, doubling up at the safety position, had six solo tackles and assisted on four others. Tucker, who also goes both ways as quarterback and linebacker, had four solo tackles and four assists.
Tucker was named the Barons’ Offensive Player of the Game and Davis took the honors for Defensive and Overall Player of the Game.
The Barons are 1-3 on the season, 0-1 in district competition.
The Barons’ next assignment takes them on the road to Goochland, which is holding its Homecoming Game this Friday night. Bluestone would like nothing more than to spoil the party and get its first win in the James River District.
Game time is 7 p.m.
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