Generals fall in overtime
QUICKSBURG – Stonewall Jackson High School’s football team scored on its first three possessions Friday against Shenandoah Valley district foe Luray, but lost the ball on its final possession of overtime to drop a narrow 34-28 victory on senior night in the Generals’ last play of the season.
Luray (3-4 district, 6-4 overall) was the seventh VHSL playoff squad Stonewall (1-6, 1-9) has faced this season. The Bulldogs were playing for home field advantage in next weekend’s first-round game.
Nonetheless, the Generals had the ball first in overtime. It got the possession to near the goal line, before losing it on a fumble.
Stonewall had gotten the ball on the Luray 10 to start the overtime. After the fumble, it was Bulldogs’ back Jacob Moyer, who carried 20 times for 233 yards, who fell over the goal line for the six-point final. It was Moyer’s third touchdown of the night.
“We had a good play on, but the young man just fumbled the ball. He was looking for the goal line, so you cannot fault him for that,” said Stonewall coach Jay Goode, who completed his first go-around as the Generals’ head coach.
“But, honestly, it’s like I’ve been saying all year. They played hard. Some of their fundamentals were not up to par at the start, but all of them have come a long way,” said Goode.
He noted the play of seniors Michael Knauff, Nathan Miller, Coy Wilkerson, Graciel Tapia, Lucas Semones, Jacob Helsley, Jonathan May and Angel Hernandez-Dimas for their leadership.
Miller, a senior who was moved to running back in the last half of this season, rushed 25 times for 94 yards. He ran for a score, caught a touchdown pass and threw another halfback pass for an additional 6.
“This was a great game even though we lost. It’s a lot different atmosphere than the last few games. These guys have something to build on,” said Miller.
The 28 points garnered by the Generals represents their second highest total since the lone victory, 51-24, on Sept. 25. Stonewall has played against Riverhead, the No. 1-rated Group 1A East team heading into Friday’s finals. Buffalo Gap, another foe, was rated No. 3 in Group 2A East, according to the VHSL power ratings. Stuarts Draft was the 2014 2A state runnerup.
“We’ve played a heckuva schedule. A lot of those schools were bigger than us, but, for the most part, we competed this year,” said Miller, a fifth-year varsity player.
Luray had lost three straight – to Gap, East Rockingham and Stuarts Draft – entering the game.
“We’re in the playoffs. Depending on what some other teams do, we may have home field advantage,” said Luray coach Travis Osborne.
A year ago, Stonewall started the season with 18 players. This year 35 came out.
“I’m proud of these guys – they showed up tonight,” said Miller.
Stonewall got on the board first when a Luray running back fumbled on the Bulldogs’ first offensive possession. Tyrell Morrison, brought up from the junior varsity, recovered. Four straight runs by Miller ended in a one-yard touchdown for the Generals tailback. The kick missed but it was 6-0 with 10:01 lefty in the first quarter.
Luray came back with a longer play. Starting from its 35, the Bulldogs ran and passed their way to the Generals’ 30. Dylan Jenkins connected with Alexander Atkins for the scoring strike. The kick was good for a 7-6 Bulldog lead with 7:33 left in the first.
Stonewall returned fire. Back Cole Holsinger was a big reason why. After he returned the kickoff 33 yards to the Luray 47, running back Ryan Summers carried for six. Then Miller, the lefty, through a halfback 41 yards to Holsinger for the score. The kick made it 13-7 with 6:35 left in the first quarter.
Field position helped on Stonewall’s next scoring drive. The Generals got the ball at the Bulldogs’ 40. A Luray personal foul moved the ball to the 28.
After a delay penalty, Miller ran three plays. The quarterback, Brendan Hoover, wove his way 12 yards for the score. The extra-point was good. It was 20-7 Stonewall with 16.1 left in the first quarter.
Luray answered again just as quickly. On a second down play, Moyer ran around left end and went 43 yards untouched for the score. The kick was good, and it was 20-14 with 10:17 left in the half.
Luray forced Stonewall into its first punt, and then possessed the ball for 88 yards and the score. The Bulldogs went 10 plays on the ground before David Royston carried in from the one. The kick was good and the visitors had their first lead of the night. It was 21-20 with 55:5 seconds left in the first half.
Stonewall had an opportunity to score on the first possession of the second half. Hoover scrambled and found Holsinger for 29 yards to the Luray 21, but a penalty stymied the drive.
They were on the way again on their second possession. Hoover hit Tyler Patton for 12 yards and then Miller added a 24-yard run. The drive was aided by a personal foul to get the ball to the Bulldog 21.
Miller would then cover 11 yards to the 10 and another first down. Stonewall ran the ball three straight times. It called a timeout with 50.6 seconds to go in the third quarter.
It had fourth-and-goal from the three. Head coach Jay Goode decided to give the ball to 294-pound senior Jacob Helsley who was stopped on the run. On the play Stonewall was flagged on a penalty. The ball moved out to the 20.
The Generals had the ball for two long possessions and held Luray for one without a point to show.
A penalty was called on the attempted-touchdown run by lineman Helsley. Luray started the push on its own 19, but in just two plays, the Bulldogs scored. Moyer did the honors, with a 61-yard touchdown score. The kick was good for a 28-20 score as the third period time ran out.
Yet again Stonewall had a chance to score as the fourth period opened. Ryan Summers carried the kickoff to the Luray 26.
After three rushes moved the ball to the Bulldog 19, Hoover carried for a one-yard gain that would have provided the Generals with a timeout. An unsportsmanlike penalty was leveled on the home team.
It was first-and-10 from the Luray 31.
After several running plays, Hoover found Summers for 14 yards to the 20. It was a fourth-down conversion for a new set of downs.
On the next play, Hoover rolled left and found Miller. The ball popped up briefly, but the senior drew it in for the nine-yard touchdown catch. Having gone for two, Miller dropped over for the 2-point conversion. It was 28-all with 6:54 left.
The teams spent the remainder of regulation punting to each other.
Each team got a chance to score from the other’s 10 in overtime. Stonewall had the ball first.
On third down, the Generals fumbled.
Luray had it from the 10. Moyer carried seven to the three, as Stonewall burned a timeout. The same running back was hauled down by Jacob Murphy for no gain. It was third-and-three. Moyer then carried over from the three. It was the ballgame.
Stonewall finished 2-8 in 2012, but since then has won one game in each of the three subsequent seasons. It last made the playoffs in 2011.
BULLDOGS 34, GENERALS 28 overtime
Luray 7 14 7 0 6–34
Stonewall Jackson 20 0 0 8 0–28
SJ: Miller 1 run, (kick blocked) 10:01
L: Atkins 30 pass from Jenkins, (kick good) 7:33.
SJ: Holsinger 41 pass from Miler, (kick good) 6:35
SJ: Hoover 12 run, (kick good) 16.1
L: Moyer 43 run, (kick good) 10:17.
L: Royston 1 run, (kick good) 55.5
L: Moyer 61 run, (kick good) 0:00
SJ: Miller 9 pass from Hoover (2-point conversion) 6:54
L: Moyer 3 run (no kick)
First downs 11 11
Rushes-yds. 27-308 41-139
Passing yds. 35 77
Compl.-Att-TD-INT 8-2-1-0 13-8-1-0
Fumbles-lost 2-1 2-1
Punts-avg. 4-40 2-34
Pens.-yds. 6-70 7-40
RUSHING: Luray, Moyer X, Royston 5-54, Jenkins 1-11, Stonewall, Miller 25-94, Hoover 10-14, Holsinger 5-20, Summers 4-11, Patten 2.
PASSING: Luray, Jenkins 2-8, 35, Stonewall, Hoover 7-13, 77, Miller 1-1, 41
RECEIVING: Luray, Atkins 1-30, Stonewall, Holsinger 5-88, Miller 2-11, Summers 2-22
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