BLUEFIELD — The Bluefield High School football team forced four fumbles and recovered all of them to slow down the North Marion offense and jump out to a 19-7 lead after the first quarter.
The No. 2 Beavers scored twice more in the second half, while the defense shut down the No. 10 Huskies to win 33-10 at Mitchell Stadium Friday night in the Class AA quarterfinals.
While the North Marion (6-4) defense slowed down the Bluefield offense (7-1), they were unable to force any turnovers while the Beavers did.
“We played a pretty clean game minus those (fumbles), they did a great job of really ripping out the ball,” North Marion head coach Daran Hays said.
On the third play of the game Jacorian Green stripped the Huskies ballcarrier of the ball after a long gain and Jacob Martin scored from 24 yards out six plays later.
The Beavers have been a pass-heavy team this year with a number of playmakers at receiver but used an off-balanced I-formation to run the ball successfully 30 times for 205 yards.
Brandon Wiley then returned a punt 48 yards for the score after the Huskies went three-and-out giving all the momentum to the Beavers.
Bluefield’s Gillis Walker then recovered fumbles on two of the next three drives to give good field position to the offense.
The lone touchdown for North Marion came in the final minute of the first quarter when Tariq Miller caught a jump ball from Brody Hall for a score. It was a 25-yard reception on fourth down.
Hall threw for 137 yards, with 97 coming in the first half, and Miller was the recipient of five catches for 96 yards.
After the half, the Huskies only managed 95 yards of offense to finished with 263 for the game. On the ground Hunter Kuhn had 67 yards rushing before exiting in the third quarter with an injury, while Gavan Lemley rushed for 36 yards.
“They got great players and they're going to make plays so we had to respond and unfortunately we just didn't quite enough tonight,” Hays said.
In the passing game Deeb only had eight completions, but for 123 yards including a 50-yard catch and run score for Ryker Brown just 16 seconds after North Marion scored their touchdown.
Brown had 62 yards receiving and Green had 39 while the Huskies limited Wiley to only one catch for five yards.
A 10-play drive that only had one pass for the Beavers in the third quarter and chewed up a lot of clock ended in a 25-yard rushing touchdown for Jaeon Flack.
Martin led the Beavers with 94 yards on the ground and capped off the victory with a 6-yard score midway through the fourth quarter.
The fourth fumble Bluefield recovered came late in the fourth quarter by DJ Fuller and he returned it for a score which was called back for a block in the back.
Bluefield advances to the semifinals against No. 6 Fairmont Senior Saturday at 4 p.m. at Mitchell Stadium. It is the fourth consecutive season the two teams have met in the Class AA playoffs.
North Marion 7 0 0 3 — 10
Bluefield 19 0 7 7 — 33
B — Jacob Martin 24-yard run (kick missed) 7:18
B — Brandon Wiley 48-yard punt return (Jackson Wills kick) 6:06
NM — Tariq Miller 25-yard pass from Brody Hall (Malachi Funkhouser kick) 58.8
B — Ryker Brown 50-yard pass from Carson Deeb (kick missed) 42.5
B — Jaeon Flack 25-yard run (Wills kick) 2:47
NM — Funkhouser 20-yard field goal 6:58
B — Jacob Martin 6-yard run (Wills kick) 6:09
First downs: NM 12; B 10. Rush-Yards: NM 33-126; B 30-205. Pass yards: NM 137; B 123. Comp-Art-Int: NM 11-20-0; B 8-19-0. Fumbles-lost: NM 4-4; B 0-0. Penalty-Yards: NM 1-100; B 8-80. Punts-Avg: NM 2-42; B 3-36.33.
Rushing yards: NM Hunter Kuhn 11-67, Gavan Lemley 13-36, Brody Hall 8-22, Tariq Miller 1-1; B Jacob Martin 7-94, Jaeon Flack 10-55, Brandon Wiley 5-26, Amir Hairston 6-24, Jacorian Green 1-7, Carson Deeb 1-2.
Passing: NM Brody Hall 11-20-1 td-137-0 int; B Carson Deeb 8-19-1 td-123-0 int.
Receiving: NM Tariq Miller 5-96, Garret Conway 3-16, Jakob Hunt 1-13, Hunter Kuhn 1-8, Jarrett Reed 1-4; B Ryker Brown 3-62, Jacorian Green 3-39, Juwaun Green 1-17, Brandon Wiley 1-5.
Turnovers: NM none; B Jacorian Green fumble recovery, Gillis Walker two fumble recoveries, DJ Fuller fumble recovery.
Field Goals: NM Funkhouser 20; B none.