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No relief in sight for faltering Generals

Posted 2017-10-05

    Stonewall Jackson’s football Generals will be on the road Friday at Riverheads hoping to end their two-year-old winless streak.

    The good news for the Generals is they are finally playing a Division 1A opponent. The bad news is the Gladiators are the defending state 1A champs and are 4-0 for the season.

    Riverheads started the season with a 49-0 win over Bath County.  The Gladiators then won three straight Shenandoah District games against 2A Stuart Draft, 17-14; 2A East Rockingham, 38-17, and last week 2A Buffalo Gap, 31-21.    

    The Gladiators run the ball to wear down opponents.

    Senior quarterback Tyler Smith has a host of solid running backs led by seniors Jordan Dalton and Jackson Shover, junior Moose Lee and freshman Zac Smiley.

    The defense is solid, allowing on average 13 points a game.  The Gladiators’ roster includes nine seniors, 18 juniors, 10 sophomores and freshmen who have had playing time.

    Special teams have been successful for Riverheads this season. Junior kick return specialist Devin Morris and sophomore kicker Peyton Skillman, who has field goals to his credit, are notable contributors.

    Stonewall Jackson’s offense has shown improvement in the past two games, scoring 20 and 22 respectfully.  Last week the Generals matched R. E. Lee High with back-to-back touchdowns in the first quarter before stalling and eventually losing, 70-22.

    Running backs Udreka Claude and Logan Ritchie have produced a few 100 yard games, while quarterback Brendan Hoover has been a solid runner and passer.

    The Generals’ defense, though, has been non-existent. Against R. E. Lee, the Stonewall Jackson defense allowed 28 points. One touchdown was scored coming from a kickoff return, but three were scored on only four offensive plays. Lee also had a fourth score called back on a penalty.

    In Stonewall’s last two games, opponents have scored 70 points each.

    The Generals face an uphill battle Friday, but as they are in the rebuilding process, they expect to have some positive plays to build on.