The James River football team hasn’t seen much of the single-wing style offense that Giles County runs. Last Friday night in Springwood, however, the Knights saw more than enough.
Visiting Giles scored 41 points in the first half and rolled up 426 yards of rushing in a 54-7 win over the Knights in a Three Rivers District game. Despite the big numbers, River coach Jake Phillips was still adamant that this wasn’t as good as most of the past Spartan teams.
“It’s not the same old Giles,” he said. “They don’t have that really good line and they’re not as fast. What they have is the best player in the district.”
Ryan Beidleman is that player, and he scored five touchdowns and rushed for 206 yards on 16 carries against the Knights. He was too much for the River defense to handle.
“He’s fast and he runs well,” said Phillips. “And they did some things we didn’t expect. They attacked the weak areas of our defense.”
River hung tough early. Giles scored first but the Knights answered with a 57-yard touchdown run from River Clonch. After that, however, it was all Beidleman as he ran for touchdowns of 37, 11, 27, 64 and 14 yards in the first half alone.
It was a tough night for River as quarterback Coulter Hodges was shaken up midway through the third quarter and did not return. To that point he was six for 10 passing for 76 yards and leading the team in rushing with 75 yards on 16 carries.
River finished with 233 rushing yards. Clonch had 65 on five carries, Dylan McAllister had 31 on seven attempts, RJ Bryant had 25 and Michael Hays had 14 yards.
Three Knights had two receptions each, as Tolley had 31 receiving yards, Michael Taylor had 27 and Clonch had 18.
On defense, Clonch and Luke Peay led the Knights with seven tackles each. Jesse Carter and Kevin Austin had six each, while Carter had two for losses.
Giles dominated the game of field possession. The Knights started inside of their 30 eight of nine possessions, inside of their 20 five of nine possessions.
At the least it was a quick game. Giles kept the clock running as the Spartans only passed once, and after the first touchdown of the second half the clock ran continuously with a 40-point difference.
It was the third straight loss for the Knights, who are now 2-4. River is now ninth in the Region 2C rankings with the top eight making the playoffs. Glenvar and Giles, the two teams River has lost to in the past two weeks, are ranked one and two.
THIS WEEK’S GAME
This week James River will be on the road for the first time since September 1 when they travel to Low Moor to take on Alleghany.
The Mountaineers are new member of the Three Rivers District and thus far they’re 2-4 overall and 0-2 in the district. Last Friday at home they were shut out by Glenvar, 38-0.
Alleghany is coached by Gary Burdette, who is in his fifth season at the school with a 17-31 overall record. The Mountaineers were long-time members of the Blue Ridge District before joining the Three Rivers, but they’re still in the Group 3A classification for playoff purposes. They’re currently ranked seventh in Region 3D.
“They run the spread, and we’ve struggled with teams that spread us out,” said River coach Jake Phillips. “They run the spread but they still run that west coast offense out of it.”
Both teams come in at 2-4 and needing a win. River is ninth in the Region 2C rankings and only the top eight make the playoffs, so a win over a 3A team would be a big plus.
The Knights have lost three in a row since starting the season 2-1, and all three were at home to Covington, Glenvar and Giles. The Covington loss was in overtime but the past two weeks the Knights have been outscored 14-96 and, to make matters worse, quarterback Coulter Hodges was shaken up last week. His status for this week is unknown.
“Alleghany has played some pretty good football teams,” said Phillips. “This will be a good test for us.”
KEY TO THE GAME
“We need to find a way to do better on third and fourth down,” Coach Jake Phillips