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Bluestone hangs tough early, but Amelia gains upper hand in 43-7 shellacking

South Boston News
Chad Hayes Jr (52) caused the fumbled and secured the TD for Bluestone against Amelia on Friday. (Mike Moseley photo) / October 23, 2019
Throughout the first quarter and the top of the second quarter, the Bluestone varsity football team hung tough with Amelia, but with about four minutes left in the second quarter the visiting Raiders made their move to take a 24-7 lead to halftime and the Barons never recovered, losing 43-7.

Bluestone went into the game coming off a 20-8 homecoming win over Randolph-Henry. Amelia was trying to bounce back from a 56-50 triple-overtime loss to Central-Lunenburg at home the prior Friday.

It wasn’t as though the Barons didn’t have their chances to stay in the game and even win it. They held Amelia to only six points in the first quarter and Bluestone was near the Raiders 10-yard line at the top of the second quarter with a chance to tie or take the lead. Yet a turnover here, a dropped pass there and just not being able to finish when needed would prove to be their downfall of this game.

Bluestone’s defense — a positive all season — did a decent job on the night.

Bluestone head coach Harry John said the Barons just came up short in some areas.

“The game against Amelia was a hard-fought game,” John said. “We started out moving the ball well early but couldn’t finish in the end zone.”

True, the Barons did have some good drives in the first quarter but they were unable to score. Amelia posted its first touchdown with 7:18 left in the first quarter.

Bluestone’s defense rose to the occasion, keeping Amelia out of the end zone for the remainder of the quarter. Amelia led 6-0 at the end of the first but Bluestone was moving the ball on offense.

At the top of the second quarter Bluestone drove from the Raider 45 down to the 15-yard line and were soon at the 10. But a fumble would turn over possession to Amelia.

The Raiders took the ball downfield and at the 8:41 mark scored their second TD. The two-point conversion was no good for the 16-0 score.

Bluestone’s next possession was cut short and the team elected to punt. The punt was blocked, and Amelia took over at the Baron nine-yard line.

The Raiders scored again but Bluestone once again denied the extra point attempt for the 18-0 Amelia lead.

After a Bluestone series, Amelia got the ball back. Bluestone’s defense again stepped up when Chad Hayes Jr. stripped the Raider runner of the ball and returned it for the TD. The PAT was good, and Bluestone pulled within 11 points at 18-7 with 4:03 remaining in the half.

The joy of the Barons score was short-lived, however, because on the ensuing kickoff Amelia ran the ball back 70 yards for the score. The Raiders’ 24-7 lead would stand at halftime.

When the teams returned to the field after the break, Amelia went on to post 19 third quarter points for the 43-7 final score.

John said a lot goes into winning a game, especially having solid practices. He noted that the Barons were missing some players on Friday but that the game was still one that they had a chance to win.

“We played the game a little shorthanded and we certainly have some things we need to continue to work on, but the game was certainly winnable,” John said. “Football is a game that you spend more time practicing than playing. We, as an entire team, need to put more focus and effort into practice in order to get the results we truly desire on Friday.”

Even with the loss Bluestone had some players perform well. Hayes led the defense with four fumble recoveries, returning one for a TD. Neil Clayton had 48 yards on five carries and Desean Hargrove added 28 yards on five carries.

Larry Bullock passed for 81 yards on 6-for-14 passing. Michael Harris had two catches for 59 yards.

Amelia had 311 yards of offense and scored three times via special teams with one punt return TD and one kickoff returned for a TD.

With the loss Bluestone is 2-4, 2-3 James River District. The Barons travel to Farmville on Friday night to take on Prince Edward. Game time is 7 p.m.

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