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By Jeffery McClintock
Alabama coaching legend Bear Bryant once said that it’s awfully important to win with humility. He also said that it was important to lose with humility because, if you never lose, you won’t know how to act. If you lose with humility then you can come back.
Friday night, Staunton River took a slight detour on their way to building a tradition of winning, falling to perennial Blue Ridge bully Northside, 42- 0.
Folks, when playing the Vikings you need every weapon at your disposal. River head man Chuck Poston refuses to make excuses, but when you don’t have your starting quarterback or the leader of your defense it’s generally not good.
River’s offense, playing without Deshawn Martin started the game with a three-and-out, with the Viking’s keying strongly on Jarret Moon.
On defense, the Eagles were without middle linebacker Brian Ellis. Yet, Trevion White and company forced the Vikes to a three-and-out of their own.
On River’s next possession a nine-yard sack by defensive end Demetreus Ferebee forced another Eagle punt.
Then the avalanche started. Blair Johnson broke free down the right side of the field, evading Eagle defenders for a 37-yard touchdown. Sean Joyner’s point after was good, and SR was down 7 -0.
Forcing another Eagle three-and-out, the Vikings were back in business at their 41 yard line, and it took them eight plays to find pay dirt, with Amir Abdul-Jabbar doing the honors, this time from five yards out. Another Joyner PAT, and the deficit was pushed to 14.
Coach Poston spoke after the game about the difficulties of getting the Eagle offense going, saying, “Sometimes when the snowball gets rolling there’s not much you can do to stop it. We tried throwing the ball – that didn’t work. We got into our wildcat and that didn’t work real well.”
As for excuses? “No excuses. Injuries, whatever. They’re (Northside) a good football team.”
Northside continued to flex its muscles after getting the ball back, this time going through the air, as Adam Hardister connected with Tyler Fisher for a 52-yard score.
The Vikings hung one more score on the board before the half, to push their advantage to 28.
No better in second half
Hardister opened the third quarter with a strike to Fisher, again, this one good for a 63-yard touchdown.
The Vikings added one more score late in the fourth, and as the last seconds clicked off the clock with Moon churning for yardage, the shorthanded Eagles were on the wrong side of a 42-0 score.
For the game, Moon finished with 20 carries for 42 yards. Paul Williams continued his steady performance in place of Martin, connecting on four-of-five passes for 48 yards. Desha Martin snagged two of those passes for 40 yards.
Coach Bryant was an old sage of a coach who also coined the phrase – “Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.” As Staunton River continues to build its program, look for its tough people to rebound from this one.
As Coach Poston explained, “We still have a winning record: that’s number one. Number two, we’ve got to focus on getting these last three wins. Getting that seventh win. Getting that second winning season in a row. We can’t hinge everything on one game.”
And just like Coach Bryant said, if you lose with humility you can come back.
-The Northside defense held River to 125 yards of total offense—77 rushing yards and 48 passing yards.
-The meat-and-potatoes rushing attack of the Eagles was held to an average of 2.4 yards per attempt. Moon was held to zero yards in the first half—astounding.
-Meanwhile, the Vikings amassed 204 yards on the ground and 167 via the air.
-Middle linebacker Brian Ellis missed the game, a residual from a concussion suffered in the Rockbridge loss.
-Northside punter Dakota Jackson had to do his thing but one time over the course of the evening. That punt came following Northside’s first possession of the game.
-Silver linings for Eagle fans include the fact that River had zero turnovers for the game. The one Northside turnover came on a Trevion White-forced fumble that Sam Jennings recovered for River.
-White also led the Eagle defense, with nine tackles, thee of which went for a loss of yardage. Marcus Brown added six tackles and Chris Tyree had five.
-Northside QB Adam Hardister only completed six passes for the game. Each went for an average of 27.8 yards, though.