River done in by Springers

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Golden Eagles toppled in football opener

By Mike Forster

Sticking bare metal objects into electrical outlets while standing in a tub of water.

Coating your face with honey to try to coax a wild bear to pose for a photo with you.

Paying a visit to a defending regional champion on football’s opening night.

All three of these activities have the potential to result in something less than pleasure.

In Staunton River’s case, its trip to Cave Spring came to just that.

The defending Region IV (Div. 3) champs took care of the upstart Golden Eagles, 41-21.

“To say the least, they’re a good team,” said Staunton River Head Coach Chuck Poston, of the Knights.  “Offensively, that’s as good a team as we’ll see.” 

River fans had best hope so.  They’d hate to see an offense that is better than this Cave Spring juggernaut.

Keyed by quarterback Josh Woodrum, that offense rebounded nicely after River drew first blood.

Following a pair of three-and-outs by each team, the Golden Eagles put up their first touchdown of the season courtesy of Cody Jones.

The senior speedster broke free off the triple option play, choosing to keep it and blazing 58 yards to pay dirt.

Holding onto a 7-0 lead, River had a chance to swing momentum in a big way.  Cave Spring had the ball, facing a fourth-and-five from the SR 16-yard line.

Woodrum’s pass was tipped by an Eagle defender.  Rather than taking over on downs, River watched as Austin Micklem raked in the ball for the touchdown.

After that, the Knights got on a roll.  Their four touchdowns gave them a 35-7 halftime lead.

Highlights of the first half (from a Cave Spring perspective) included Sam Wright’s 72-yard dash and a 20-yard strike from Woodrum to Michael Cole.

Cole’s touchdown was set up by a bad snap on a Staunton River punt attempt.

Meanwhile, Woodrum ran the spread from a no-huddle with aplomb.

“Woodrum is pretty darn good,” assessed Poston.  “He was hitting his passes in very tight windows.  He’s a D1 quarterback.”  

Woodrum, in fact, is headed to Liberty next fall.

Trailing by 28 points, the Eagles reset their goals at halftime.  Seeking to score a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter, Poston wanted to turn the game into a dogfight.

Again, Jones turned on the jets.  On River’s second possession of the second half, he kept the ball on the option, going 72 yards down the left side of the field.

As it would turn out, River only realized half of its third-quarter goals, and the dog fight did not materialize.

In the fourth, the two teams swapped touchdowns.  Jarrett Moon tallied from 25 yards out, giving him 42 yards for the evening.

Meech Coles added 90 yards on 18 carries, good for a 5.0 yards per carry average.

Jones averaged nearly 15 yards per rush, piling up 160 of Staunton River’s total of 285 rushing yards.

That rushing game was keyed, in large part, by the solid play of SR’s tackles, Clinton Minter and Asa Walvoort, as well as tight end Solomon McCullough.

The Eagle air game netted only six yards.  “Getting our passing game going is on me,” stated Poston.  “It’s a matter of taking what we’re doing and adapting to the formations we’re seeing.”