By RODNEY YOUNG
Rural Retreat – The Fort Chiswell Pioneers opened their football season at Rural Retreat and trounced the Indians by a final score of 49-7.
Beidleman had six carries for 88 yards and caught a 67-yard pass from senior quarterback Brett Mabry for a score. Dallas Ward scored four touchdowns and Patrick Beidleman scored three in the victory. Ward finished with nine rushes for 168 yards, one reception for 43 yards, and he topped that off by returning the second half kickoff for a 75-yard score. In all, he accounted for 286 all-purpose yards.
Mabry was 5-do-7 with one touchdown pass, an interception, and 144 yards.
It wasn’t all offense for the Pioneers, as they held the Indians to just 101 total yards. Rural Retreat gained just 63 yards on 31 rushes and had only 38 yards through the air.
Rural Retreat quarterback Chase Heldreth was only 2-of-11 passing, and their main running back Jordan Corvin had only 78 yards on 18 rushing attempts.
Fort Chiswell scored the first three times they had the ball in the opening quarter. They went 64 yards on five plays, with Beidleman scoring on a 5-yard run with 8:10 showing. Then with 3:56 on the clock Beidleman raced 40 yards and Cody Cook’s pat moved the score to 14-0. Ward then took a handoff and went off tackle for a 62-yard touchdown run at the 2:20 mark. Cook’s kick made it 21-0.
On their second play of the second quarter, the Pioneers got another score as Ward went around the right end on a 3-yard run. Just two and a half minutes later Beidleman caught a 67-yard bomb from Mabry to up the margin to 35-0 and the route was on. With 5:18 before intermission, Ward score on an 8-yard run and Cook’s kick pushed it to 42-0 at halftime.
The second half saw the Indians kick off and Dallas Ward caught the pigskin at his 25-yard line. Ward went straight up the field for a 75-yard score and it was 49-0, just like that.
Rural Retreat got their only score against the Pioneers second team on the last play of the third quarter, with Justin Ball catching a 29-yard pass from Heldreth. Josh Copenhaver hit the point after to make it 49-7.
The Pioneers recovered two fumbles, one by Phillip Knuckles and the other by Landon Turner .
“We played pretty well,” said Pioneers Head Coach Steven James. “I thought we took the air out of them early as we hit some big plays. They had a couple of formations that caused us some problems, but we need to go back to work and straighten some things out. ”
The Fort Chiswell defense had fourteen tackles for lost yardage in the ballgame as they smothered the Indians running game.
The Pioneers will take on the defending state champions, the George Wythe Maroons, in their home opener next Friday. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
The Fort Chiswell junior varsity team defeated the Rural Retreat jv’s 12-0 on Thursday. The Pioneers got touchdowns from running back Mitchell Armbrister and from quarterback Davin Odum.