MAN, W.Va. — It’s not your typical Bluefield Beavers team that will be coming to Man’s George A. Queen Memorial Field on Friday night.
The Beavers have struggled to a 2-5 record so far this season and will miss the Class AA playoffs.
Bluefield is used to making it to the post-season and having long playoff runs.
Not this year.
But don’t think for a moment that the Beavers are a bad football team.
Bluefield has faced a murderers row schedule this fall and will be hungry for a win as the Beavers face a 4-2 Man team that lost 40-21 at county rival Chapmanville last week.
It will also be the annual Man homecoming game.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
Man coach Harvey Arms said he knows Bluefield is much better than its record indicates. The Beavers lost to undefeated Point Pleasant, 45-24, last week on the road but were able to give the Big Blacks a game.
With the win, Point Pleasant improved its state-best regular season winning streak to 40 games. Man hosts Point Pleasant the following week.
Bluefield opened the season with three losses to Graham, Va. (59-34), Princeton (32-21) and Beckley Woodrow Wilson (33-30) before winning over Gate City, Va. (35-22) and Greenbrier East (42-8). The Beavers then lost 56-21 to Richlands, Va., on Sept. 30 and fell to the Big Blacks last week.
Man needs a win over Bluefield to stay in the 2A playoff race.
“They’re a good football team,” Arms said. “They’ve played a schedule that will be tough for anybody to play. They’ve played some real good teams, teams like Richlands, Virginia and Point Pleasant. We know that they are good and we’ve seen some of them on tape. They battled with Point Pleasant head-to-head for a big part of that game. Bluefield has good speed and they are tough. We don’t see their record for showing what kind of team that they are.”
Bluefield leads 6-1 over Man in the all-time series. The two schools haven’t met in football since 2002.
Point Pleasant went on top 3-0 last week with a 32-yard field goal by Jason Schultz.
Bluefield then tied it 3-3 with a 26-yard field goal by Kaulin Parris.
Point scored a pair of TDs to go up 17-3 before the Beavers were able to close it to 17-10 when quarterback Cody Fuller connected with Latrell Collier on an 8-yard TD pass with 6:03 left until halftime.
Down 24-10, Bluefield cut it to a one-score game again with a Fuller to Michael Price TD pass covering 12 yards.
Bluefield then surprised Point Pleasant big time by faking a punt from its own 2-yard line and scoring on a 98-yard run by Collier. After the PAT, Bluefield tied it up at 24 with 5:14 left in the third.
The Big Blacks then put the game away with three touchdowns.
For the game, Point Pleasant outgained the Beavers 491-356 in total yards, including 337-202 on the ground.
Fuller completed 12 of 26 passes for 154 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Collier also ran 12 times for 150 yards and one touchdown, while hauling in eight passes for 115 yards and a score.
Arms said his team didn’t play very well against Chapmanville last week.
Man trailed just 21-14 in the second quarter but allowed a touchdown just before halftime.
The Hillbillies got to within 27-21 but CRHS was able to put the game away with two more touchdowns.
“We didn’t play very well on defense,” Arms said. “We gave up the big play too many times. Their quarterback killed us when he scrambled out of the pocket and made some good throws and had some big plays and big scores for them.”
Man starting quarterback Cameron Simpson was injured on the last drive of the game and was carted off the field on a golf cart. His status is unknown for Friday night’s game.
“He turned an ankle so we’ll have to see how it goes this week,” Arms said.
Simpson scored on a 1-yard TD run last week for Man.
The Billies also got a 5-yard touchdown run from Jake Frye and a 49-yard TD pass from Simpson to Matt Sanders which closed it to 27-21.
Football Friday night
WHAT: Bluefield (2-5) at Man (4-2), Man Homecoming Game
WHEN: Friday night, 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: George A. Queen Memorial Field, Man, W.Va.
SURFACE: Field Turf
LAST WEEK: Man lost 40-21 at Chapmanville, Bluefield lost 45-24 to Point Pleasant
LAST YEAR’S MEETING: Did not meet
SERIES SINCE 2000: Bluefield leads 2-0
ALL-TIME SERIES: Bluefield leads 6-1
Man vs. Bluefield Football
(Bluefield leads 6-1)
2002: Bluefield 45, Man 12
2001: Bluefield 69, Man 14
1997: Bluefield 27, Man 7
1992: Bluefield 17, Man 0
1969: Man 14, Bluefield 12
1968: Bluefield 34, Man 0
1963: Bluefield 33, Man 0
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).