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Bluestone stifled in 48-14 loss to Nottoway, will look to regroup for Homecoming

South Boston News
The defense assigned to several Baron playmakers on Friday was intense and hampered the team’s offensive efforts on the night. (Mike Moseley photo) / October 11, 2017
Bluestone traveled to Nottoway on Friday and lost 48-14.

Bluestone had nothing to be encouraged about.

Bluestone (2-3) went into the night ranked fifth in the James River District. By the end, Bluestone had dropped to the sixth spot and Nottoway (3-1) rose to third.

Bluestone’s offense and defense were stifled for most of the game. The Barons had 11 yards passing and 19 yards on the ground.

Both of Bluestone’s touchdowns came in the first half, with wide receiver Chris Gregory accounting for both scores.

Bluestone head coach Jessie Chropka said the Barons — both players and coaches — were unprepared for the matchup.

“First and foremost, the loss and the way we lost is on the coaches,” Chropka said. “Offensively and defensively we were out of sorts. We took the opponent lightly, we didn’t practice like we needed to win, or even wanted to win.”

Chropka added that all the little things the Barons had started to do so well seemed to fall by the wayside on Friday.

Offensively, the team did not maintain blocks, had three unforced turnovers, and had numerous dropped passes that led to quick possessions. Defensively, Chropka noted, Bluestone did not maintain the run gaps, did not tackle, did not contain, and did not pursue the ball — all qualities that have become a mainstay for Barons football over the past five seasons.

The score going into halftime was 33-14 and the Barons’ first half play just looked uninspired. Especially for a team that, whether winning or losing, has continued to give it their all this season.

After halftime Nottoway went on to add two TDs for the 48-14 final margin. The game is one that the Barons will have to learn from and forget.

“We could not stop Nottoway’s run game,” Chropka said. “We could not maintain offensive possessions. We could not score. We could not stop them from scoring.

“There were some bright spots but they were heavily covered by the obvious mistakes.”

Bluestone faces Goochland (4-0) this Friday in Skipwith for homecoming. The Bulldogs are the only undefeated team in the JRD, holding an overall record of 6-0.

The top eight teams will advance to Conference 34 postseason play and Bluestone is still in position to claim one of those spots. But to see keep playing after regular season ends, the Barons can’t have any more nights like Friday at Nottoway.

Chropka said Bluestone will bounce back from the loss and continue to have the best season possible.

“We will get better … we will not allow anyone to dictate the game,” said Chropka. “We have an incredible opportunity Friday night as we host the first place Goochland Bulldogs for our homecoming game and to regain momentum as the season ends near.

“We still have a chance to make it to the playoffs and as it is every year, that is our ultimate goal.”

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