Wave Sails Past PM

Wave Sails Past PM

PM JUNIOR quarterback Ty Ruley runs with the ball as several Narrows players approach. (Ronnie Coffey photo)

Wave Sails Past PM

AT LEFT, PM senior Jacob Wootten runs with the ball. Wootten kicked in an extra point after the Blues’ lone touchdown in the first quarter. ABOVE, Fighting Blue sophomore running back Jeremiah Fulwider moves past a defender while teammate Nick Reid (11) creates space for him. AT RIGHT, Fulwider tries to escape a tackle. (Ronnie Coffey photos)

Wave Sails Past PM
Wave Sails Past PM
Blues Head To Playoffs Following 41-7 Setback

The Parry McCluer High School football team lost its final game of the regular season to undefeated Narrows, 41-7 on Friday night in Giles County.

With the loss, the Fighting Blues fell to 3-7 overall and 3-2 in Pioneer District play, finishing third in the district. Meanwhile, the Green Wave completed its first 10-0 regular season since 1979. With the victory, Narrows also won the Pioneer District with a 5-0 record.

In the Region 1C quarterfinals, the Blues earned the sixth seed and will play at third-seeded George Wythe (7-2) this Friday at 7 p.m. Narrows is the second seed and will play host to seventh-seeded Grayson County.

The Blues got off to a hot start against Narrows and scored the first points of the game on a 2-yard touchdown run by John Snider, followed by an extra point kick by Jacob Wootten. Keaton Coleman broke off a 60-yard run on a dive play up the middle to set up the TD. Coleman finished the game with 112 rushing yards.

“We started like a ball of fire,” PM head coach Mark Wheeler said. “We came out and ran the ball straight down their throats like a Fighting Blue team is supposed to do.”

Containing the Blaker brothers proved to be a tall task for the rest of the night. Running back Chad Blaker ran for 121 yards and two TDs, while his brother Chase threw for 80 yards and two TDs on 6-of-7 passing. Chase added another 106 rushing yards and a TD.

“We simply didn’t tackle well,” Wheeler said. “We didn’t break down, get our heads across the body or bring our hips with us. It doesn’t matter who we play, if we don’t do these things, we will not be successful.”

After Snider’s score, the Green Wave quickly responded. Matthew Morgan capped a solid drive with an 8-yard TD run to tie the game. Morgan finished the game with 137 yards and a TD on 10 carries.

The Blues’ punted the ball away on their next possession and the Narrows offense wasted no time getting back in rhythm. Chad Blaker helped the Green Wave move the ball down field and Chase connected with Dustin Wiley on a 19-yard TD pass to take a 14-7 lead in the first quarter.

Despite the final score, the Blues had a real chance to tie the game before halftime. Ty Ruley kept the ball on a designed pass play, stiff armed a defender, broke several more tackles and waltzed into the end zone for what appeared to be the tying TD. Unfortunately for the Blues, the incredible run was called back for a holding penalty.

“That holding call on Ty’s run really took the wind out of our sails,” Wheeler said. “That was a score that would have tied the game and gave us momentum. Our team is one that thrives on momentum and has a hard time coming back when we get down.”

After the deflating penalty, PM punted and Narrows took over near mid-field. The Green Wave drove down to the 1-yard line and Chad Blaker punched it in with only seconds remaining in the half to make the score 21-7.

PM put together several nice drives in the second half and Coleman found success running the ball. However, penalties continued to hurt the Blues and they were unable to capitalize on their chances.

“Keaton gave all he had,” Wheeler said. “He hits the hole with conviction every time. We just weren’t consistent with our execution at critical times during the game and we paid for it.”

Chase Blaker found Blake Kirby for another Green Wave TD in the third quarter to make the score 28-7.

The Blues’ offense struggled to stay on the field for long periods of time and the defense continued to wear down. Chad Blaker exploited the Blues’ defense again and ripped off a 60-yard TD run in the fourth quarter to further extend the lead.

Narrows kept the starters in for the fourth quarter, and Chase Blaker capped the night’s scoring a few drives later with a 16-yard run that made the final score 41-7.

Wheeler said that, looking ahead, this will be a crucial week of practice as the team prepares for George Wythe. “We will watch hours of film and break them all down,” he said. “The trick is to keep everyone healthy this time of year. A few injuries can doom you in the playoffs.”

Wheeler said that containing the Maroons’ offense will be his team’s biggest challenge. Quarterback Cole Simmons and receiver Bray-don Thompson both broke school records this season, for passing and receiving yards, respectively.

“George Wythe is a lot like Narrows, only twice as good,” Wheeler said. “They run a very effective spread offense. … Their quarterback is an excellent athlete with a strong supporting cast.”

The Wythe offense averaged 37.5 points-per-game this season. “GW will no doubt be a challenge for our defense, so we are going to have to score a lot of points,” Wheeler said.

PM7 0 0 0 7

NHS 14 7 7 13 41

First Quarter

PM – Snider 2 run (Wootten kick)

NHS – Morgan 8 run (Morgan kick)

NHS –Wiley 19 pass from Chase Blaker (Morgan kick)

Second Quarter

NHS – Chad Blaker 1 run (Morgan kick)

Third Quarter

NHS – Kirby 17 pass from Chase Blaker (Morgan kick)

Fourth Quarter

NHS – Chad Blaker 60 run (Morgan kick)

NHS – Chase Blaker 16 run (kick failed)

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