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Barons still searching for first win after Buckingham rout

South Boston News
Bluestone’s Larry Bullock chases down a Buckingham player for the stop. (Mike Moseley photo) / October 02, 2019

The Bluestone varsity football team hosted James River District foe Buckingham on Friday night and fell to 0-2 in the district and 0-4 overall as the Knights romped, 45-6.

Bluestone played well enough during the first quarter, trailing 14-0 at the end of the frame.

But before the night was over, penalties, turnovers and bogged-down drives would limit any opportunity the team had in mounting a real comeback against a solid Knights team. With the win, Buckingham moved to 2-1 JRD, 3-1 overall.

Bluestone will travel to Cumberland High School on Friday night to take on the Dukes. Cumberland (0-3 JRD, 0-5) lost to Central-Lunenburg on Friday 47-0. So both teams will be looking to get their first “W” in the district this Friday.

Bluestone kicked off to start the game. The Knights returned the ball to their 33-yard line.

On first down, the Knights’ Walter Edwards ran the ball to the 43 to secure a first down. Edwards along with QB Gerry Toney would be a thorn in the Barons’ side for the remainder of the game.

On the next play, a face mask call would move Buckingham into Bluestone territory. From there Edwards took the ball to the seven-yard line on a nice run. Two plays later Toney ran the ball for what would eventually be called a TD.

No immediate signal for a TD was given, and with no whistle blown, Bluestone picked up the dead ball and began to return it. Subsequent whistles were sounded as Bluestone began to advance the ball. After a brief discussion amongst the officials, it was determined that the ball broke the plane for the 6-0 Buckingham lead.

“The first score looked to be a turnover, from my perspective,” Baron head coach Harry John said. “I didn’t have the best angle, but it looked like he was short of the goal line.”

John said because he didn’t see a TD signal or hear a whistle immediately, he encouraged his players to pick up the ball and run — resulting in a delay of game penalty against Bluestone, followed by a sideline warning to John for asking for an explanation without signaling for a timeout.

The PAT by Wesley Snoddy was good, and the Knights led 7-0. Snoddy, who had excellent form and a powerful foot, was perfect on PATs and kicked a field goal in the second half to give Buckingham a boost on extra teams.

Bluestone received the kickoff and returned the ball to the 31. Da’Trione Shearin ran for a yard to set up second and nine.

With no gain on second down, Bluestone faced a third and nine. Bluestone elected to punt after the third down attempt was unsuccessful.

The Barons got off a nice punt and Buckingham began their drive at their 37-yard line. After a holding call against Buckingham on second down, the Knights put together a nice drive, with Edwards doing the bulk of the running.

After a carry by Martrell Glover, the Knights were first and goal at the five. Edwards punched the ball in the end zone with 5:24 remaining in the first quarter. With the PAT, Buckingham led 14-0

The Barons returned the kickoff back to their 35. On third down Baron QB Larry Bullock was flushed out of the pocket but ran to the 37. On fourth and eight Shearin lined up to punt but instead ran the ball to the 49-yard line for a first and 10.

Bluestone advanced the ball to the Knights 38. But trouble would strike again as the Barons fumbled on the next down. Buckingham recovered the ball and started the drive from the 46 with time running down in the first quarter.

As the second quarter began, Buckingham used two plays to get the ball inside five for first and goal. With 11:44 left in the second quarter, the Knights posted their third TD of the night for the 21-0 lead.

Bluestone began its next drive, went three downs and punted. Much to Bluestone’s credit, though, the Baron defense made a nice stand on Buckingham’s next possession, forcing the visitors to punt.

The defensive stance gave the Barons a boost on offense as they were able to get what would be their lone score on the night.

Bluestone began the scoring drive at their 30-yard line. A first down pass to Shearin was incomplete.

On second down, QB Bullock went right back to Shearin who caught the pass for a first down at mid-field. Chad Hayes Jr. had a short gain before Bluestone faced third and long.

Again, it was Bullock and Shearin on the hook-up as Bullock threw a nice pass to Shearin on the Barons sideline. Shearin used some nice moves and ran the ball completely across the field before reaching the pylon on the Knights sideline for the Bluestone TD. The two-point conversion was no good for the 21-6 score.

The Knights got the ball back at their 36, with approximately five minutes before halftime. A few plays later Toney took the ball in for the 28-6 score. The Knights added another TD with under a minute left in the half for the 35-6 lead.

As the second half began Bluestone’s first drive sputtered out. Toney scored on Buckingham’s next possession for the 42-6 lead. Leading by 36 points, the game clock went to continuous run mode. The Knights added a FG to make the final score 45-6.

Bullock was 10-of-20 for 161 passing yards and one TD. Shearin had three receptions for 70 yards and a TD. Buckingham outgained Bluestone 366 yards to 210 yards.

“We fought hard to stay in the game from the jump, which made me very proud,” John said. “We did a better job this week avoiding silly penalties. We need to do a better job holding on to the football. Two fumbles and two interceptions, though one interception was officially called back.

“I am happy [with] the way we continued to fight through the second half. There was never a time in which I felt we had given up, which is an improvement from the past.”

John said as the team prepares for Cumberland this week, they will work to limit distractions, penalties and turnovers.

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