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Sports


Will Stonewall celebrate a homecoming victory?


Posted 2017-10-12 By Larry Beazley

    Stonewall Jackson returns home Friday to play Page County in what could be a joyous homecoming game.

    It will be the first time in at least three games that the Generals will have a shot at winning. Like Stonewall Jackson, the Panthers come to Quicksburg with a losing record.

    In recent weeks, the Generals have suffered blowout losses to Luray, Robert E. Lee and Riverheads.

    Page County is 2-3, losing its last three as it fell to Stuarts Draft by 18 (38-20), East Rockingham by 28 (36-8), and last Saturday to Buffalo Gap by 44 (62-18).

    Senior quarterback William Hart is the Panthers’ primary offensive threat. He runs a lot of options plays and has a solid arm.

    Sophomore Mikey Cash has speed and runs the option with Hart, also used on short pass plays in the flat.

    Junior Noah Hammer, the wide receiver, goes in motion to either run a reverse or become a target for a short pass.

    Junior Daniel Cubbage is the runner hitting the holes in the middle for tough yards.

    The Panthers’ line is not big, but it has some experience. Senior center Dusty Bates, guard Travis Sykes and tackle Nick Housden are among those experienced leaders.

    On defense the line is suspect, and linebackers are average, with many of their stops coming from defense backs.  Cash, Hart and Hammer anchor those positions for the Panthers.

    A lame kicking game forces the Panthers to run or throw for two-point conversions.

    The Stonewall Jackson offense has been able to score points against some good defenses, but fumbles, missed assignments and penalties have been costly.

    Senior quarterback Brendan Hoover, junior running back/quarterback Austin Ritchie, running back Udreka Claude and kicker/wide receiver William McCourt are having productive seasons.

    The Generals’ defense has more holes than Swiss cheese. It must improve if they want to be competitive.  They must eliminate missed tackles and mental mistakes and quit ceding long touchdown plays while applying plenty of pressure to their opponent.

    Against a team with a losing record and before a friendly crowd at homecoming, Stonewall Jackson and its faithful could have cause to celebrate.

    A week ago, Riverheads scored 35 points in the first period night, then coasted to a 59-7 win over Stonewall Jackson.

    It was the fifth loss for Stonewall Jackson in as many games.

  The Gladiators put up 14 more points before intermission to lead 49-0.

  Stonewall Jackson got on the scoreboard in the third period when Ritchie connected with McCourt for a 60-yard touchdown. McCourt kicked the extra point.

    But, Riverheads would add 10 more points to its total before the final period. Neither team scored in the final quarter.

  Stonewall Jackson quarterback Brendan Hoover completed four of six passes, but picked up just 12 yards, and two of those passes were intercepted. Ritchie passed twice, completing both for 65 yards and a TD. Running back Logan Patton carried 8 times for 62 yards and had four tackles on defense.