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Bluestone’s playoff hopes fade with 28-7 loss to Buckingham

South Boston News
Trey Small was making the moves on Friday and had a good offensive game for Bluestone. (Mike Moseley photo) / October 24, 2018

The Bluestone varsity football team and fans celebrated Senior Night on Friday in Skipwith but didn’t get satisfaction on the field, losing to Buckingham 28-7.

The loss dropped Bluestone to 2-4 in the James River District, seventh place, and 2-6 overall. With the loss and subsequent wins by various JRD teams on Friday, any outside thoughts the Barons had of making the Region 2A East playoffs have been essentially squashed.

Since there are no conference playoffs anymore, due to VHSL restructuring, teams go straight to Region play with only the top eight teams in the Region advancing. The system is based strictly on power points.

Bluestone was scheduled to play second-place Goochland (4-0 JRD, 6-0) Monday in a road make-up game. Bluestone finishes out the season traveling to No. 8, Cumberland (0-4 JRD, 0-5) on Friday.

In the Buckingham game, the Knights received the opening kickoff. Bluestone’s defense performed well on the first two downs of the series and again for most of the night as they have all season.

But facing third and long, the Knights’ QB connected with RB Walter Edwards who outran Baron defenders to the endzone for the TD. The PAT was good and Buckingham led 7-0.

Bluestone’s Jordan Hill returned the kickoff and WR Michael Harris gained six yards on a first down reverse-run. A rushing play on the next down resulted in a loss of yards and third and 15 was soon upon the Barons.

After scrambling for daylight, senior QB Dale Sturdifen Jr. was able to find senior RB Trey Small for the first down at the Knights’ 30. On first down there was no gain.

The Barons quickly faced fourth and five but an offside call on Buckingham earned the first down. Sturdifen was rushed and sacked on the next play for a loss.

Small advanced the ball to the 38 on second and six, and Harris ran a reverse for a good gain. Sturdifen ran the ball on the next play for first and 10 at the 32.

Once again Sturdifen was put under pressure for a six-yard loss. Small carried the next possession to the 25 and after an un-sportsmanlike call on Buckingham the Barons were at the 12.

A pass on third down to Chris Gregory was incomplete. On the next play — fourth and five — a throw to the endzone was picked off by Buckingham, ending what would be one of the best drives for Bluestone on the night with 3:03 remaining in the first quarter.

Buckingham began their next drive at the 20 and used a mixture of runs and passes to move the ball into Bluestone territory. With 9:10 left in the second quarter, Buckingham was facing fourth and three at the Barons’ 16-yard line. The Knights got the first down on a run to the 11-yard line.

Moments later Buckingham moved the ball to the one for first and goal. The Knight’s QB punched the ball in the endzone on a sneak play, the two-point attempt was stopped by Bluestone and Buckingham led 13-0 with 7:20 left before the half.

Bluestone’s next possession was shutdown at the 49. Buckingham went on to score again with 2:27 remaining and converted the two-point play for the 21-0 score.

On the Barons’ next series, a 40-yard Hill return gave Bluestone first and 10 at the 40. Solid receptions by Gregory and a run by Small moved the Barons into even better field position.

Bluestone attempted four passes to the endzone before the half, all were unsuccessful and the half ended with Buckingham leading 21-0.

At halftime 15 senior players were recognized from the football team, along with golf, cross-country and cheerleading. Football seniors recognized were Dale Sturdifen Jr., Chris Gregory, Jordan Hill, Taveion “Trey” Small, Devin Pettus, Christopher Hilliard, Xavier Johnson, Tavareous Hatcher, Noah Forbes, Rashawn Peterson, Shawn Jones, Alex Hardy, Jarail Crawley, Daniel King and Devin Englebright

Bluestone received the opening kickoff to start the third quarter at the 42-yard line. A Small run on first down resulted in no gain. A pass interference call on Buckingham against Hill eventually gave Bluestone the first down. But it wouldn’t be enough as the Barons turned the ball over on downs to end the drive.

With 47 seconds remaining in the third, Buckingham scored its final TD on the night and led 28-0. Bluestone’s lone score came with 41 seconds left in the game off of a deep pass from Sturdifen to Hill. Bluestone’s John Clark was good on the PAT for the 28-7 final.

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