Generals get first victory
SHENANDOAH – It was a game Stonewall Jackson’s football team needed.
After lopsided losses in their first three games of the season, the Generals broke out on the road against Shenandoah District rival Page County Friday night, rolling up 570 yards of offense in a 51-24 win.
The victory was the first for the Generals under first-year head coach Jay Goode, who missed most of practice this week while mourning the expected passing of his father.
“It’s been tough,” Goode said after the win. “I didn’t get back up here until Thursday. My assistants did a great job keeping them going throughout the week and everything.
“The kids, they just keep improving and they keep getting better. Putting 51 up tonight was nice.”
Nearly all of Stonewall’s (1-3, 1-0 Shenandoah) offensive production against Page County (1-3, 0-1) came on the ground, as the Generals racked up 527 yards rushing on 58 carries, an average of more than nine yards per rush. Five different players scored rushing touchdowns for the Generals, who gashed the Panthers’ defense for scoring runs of 67, 32, 38, 48 and 34 yards among their eight total touchdowns.
The Generals had 402 yards of offense in the first half.
“Our offensive line was getting a great push,” said Stonewall junior Ryan Summers, who carried 15 times for 89 yards and a touchdown, a 32-yard scamper in the first quarter. “They were opening holes, we were able to make cuts and read off of their great blocks.”
Trailing 6-0 early in the first quarter, junior Cole Holsinger gave the Generals a jolt when he took a handoff to the right from his wingback position and raced 67 yards untouched for the go-ahead score.
“Just energy. Energy keeps it going. Once you get one then everybody else wants to get going,” said Holsinger. “Once it keeps going then it just works out for you.”
Holsinger’s long scoring run was just the start of a handful of big plays for the shifty junior. He also hauled in a pass from senior quarterback Nathan Miller in the flat, which he turned into a 43-yard gain after slipping out of several tackles to extend a drive that ended in Miller’s 4-yard touchdown run, and he scored later in the first half on a 38-yard run that put Stonewall up 25-6.
Holsinger, who said he used the wet turf left damp by a steady light rain throughout the game to his advantage, accounted for 190 yards of offense, including 147 yards rushing on just six carries.
“I was seeing holes perfectly and the line was blocking so well,” said Holsinger, who also intercepted a pass in the first half. “They were just opening up holes and when the line blocks I can go.”
Miller, who completed 1 of 5 passes for 43 yards, led Stonewall’s rushing attack with 173 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries.
A 41-yard touchdown run by Kyle Cowart gave Stonewall a 31-6 lead midway through the second quarter before a pair of special teams gaffs brought Page County back in it.
The Panthers blocked a Stonewall punt that was scooped up by senior Tylor Williams and taken 38 yards for a touchdown, and Page County recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, setting up a 34-yard touchdown pass from William Hart to Williams to cut the Generals’ lead to 31-18 with 5:29 left in the second quarter.
Stonewall also allowed an 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Williams on the game’s opening kick, failed to recover an onside kick and missed a couple extra points in the win.
“We just made a lot of miscues,” Goode said. “We’ve got to be more focused on special teams. We work hard on it in practice and everything. I don’t know if it was the rain or what tonight but just a lot of miscues that we’re lucky didn’t cost us.”
Stonewall, which led 38-18 at halftime after Dylan Vann’s 4-yard scoring run late in the second quarter, shut down Page County’s offense for most of the first half. Prior to Hart’s first scoring pass in the second quarter, the Panthers mustered only one yard against the Generals’ defense.
Page County finished the night with 116 yards of offense, including a net rushing total of minus-76 yards including sack yardage and a handful of bad snaps, and turned the ball over four times.
Williams (140 yards receiving, two touchdowns) proved to be a particular nuisance to Stonewall on Friday, as he scored all four of the Panthers’ touchdowns. Hart completed 13 of 26 passes for 192 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
“They got a couple big plays,” Summers said. “We got slipped up. We were running some man coverage and the grass was a little wet, so we end up slipping up. And not knowing our assignments all the way, that’s something we can work on.”
The Panthers cut Stonewall’s lead to 38-24 with Williams’ 19-yard touchdown catch early in the third quarter, but the Generals scored twice more on touchdown runs of 34 and 12 yards by Miller to extend their lead.
“We’ve been working in practice trying to make (Goode) proud because it’s been a rough week for him,” Summers said. “We just wanted to step up and get a win.”
Contact staff writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Generals 51, Panthers 24
Stonewall Jackson 13 25 13 0 – 51
Page County 6 12 6 0 – 24
PC: Williams 85 kick return (run failed), 11:47.
SJ: Holsinger 67 run (kick good), 8:03.
SJ: Summers 32 run (kick failed), 4:35.
SJ: Miller 4 run (kick blocked), 11:07.
SJ: Holsinger 38 run (pass failed), 8:43.
SJ: Cowart 41 run (run failed), 7:28.
PC: Williams 38 punt block return (pass failed), 6:17.
PC: Williams 34 pass from Hart (pass failed), 5:29.
SJ: Vann 4 run (kick good), 1:28.
PC: Williams 19 pass from Hart (pass failed), 8:55.
SJ: Miller 34 run (run failed), 5:45.
SJ: Miller 12 run (kick good), 0:04.
First downs 16 6
Rushes-yards 58-527 20-(-76)
Passing yards 43 192
Comp-Att-TD-Int 1-5-0-0 13-26-2-2
Fumbles-lost 2-2 6-2
Punts-avg. 3-23.3 6-33.0
Penalties-yards 5-58 5-36
RUSHING: Stonewall, Summers 15-89, Holsinger 6-147, Miller 17-173, Patton 6-30, Cowart 2-45, Vann 5-20, Kagey 1-5, Murphy 2-6, Hoover 3-8, Fauver 1-4; Page County, C. Varner 8-(-12), Hart 9-(-39), Hizer 1-0.
PASSING: Stonewall, Miller 1-5-43-0-0; Page County, Hart 13-26-192-2-2.
RECEIVING: Stonewall, Holsinger 1-43; Page County, Mayle 2-16, Williams 8-140, Ferrer 1-5, Turner 2-32.