Independence – Led by “Thunder and Lightning”, also known as Dallas Ward and Patrick Beidleman, the Fort Chiswell Pioneers defeated the Grayson County Blue Devils 41-19 to improve their record to 8-0.
The Pioneers have now won 16 consecutive regular season games.
Ward had 22 rushes for 112 yards and Beidleman scored three touchdowns total as he carried the ball 12 times for 116 yards and two rushing scores. His third score came on a 33-yard pass reception from senior quarterback Brett Mabry. Mabry completed 7-of-12 passes for three touchdowns and 117 yards. Senior Chase Rathbone caught four passes for two scores and 47 yards.
The Pioneers got on the scoreboard first with 6:48 left in the opening quarter on a Beidleman 36-yard scamper down the Grayson sideline.
Grayson County would answer on their next possession as James Williams caught a 15-yard pass from Tyler Lundy, but their two-point conversion run was stopped short for a 7-6 Pioneer lead with four minutes to go in the first quarter.
Fort Chiswell would get on the scoreboard with 46.2 seconds before halftime when Mabry hit Rathbone in the corner of the end zone for six. Cody Cook’s kick made it 14-6. On the ensuing Grayson possession they fumbled the ball and Jordan Crockett recovered at the Blue Devil 27-yard line. Two plays later Mabry hit Rathbone on a square out for six more and Cook’s kick put them up 21-6 at halftime.
After a lackluster first quarter and a stern talking to at the halftime break, the Pioneers warmed up the very cold night by scoring three times in the third quarter.
Beidleman took a handoff and went in from seven yards out. Mabry would plow his way into the end zone from two yards out for a 34-6 score. They then made it 41-6 with just 33.9 left in the third quarter when Mabry hit Beidleman for a 33-yard score.
Grayson (4-4) would score twice late in the game against the Pioneer’s JV defense, once on a James Williams 3-yard run and again with just two seconds remaining as Logan Sikes scored on a 10-yard reverse play.
“We didn’t play well the first quarter because we didn’t play disciplined football,” said Pioneer Head Coach Steven James. “Against the split veer offense you have to be disciplined. We didn’t do our job. In the third quarter we finally played like we are capable of playing. They have some real good skilled players. I wasn’t too happy with our first quarter and half.”
This was the Pioneer’s fourth straight road game. They haven’t played at home since September 20.
Grayson County was led by James Williams who finished with 70 yards on 12 rushes and a touchdown. He also caught four passes for 59 yards a score.
Fort Chiswell had 16 first downs to Grayson’s 14. They had 370 total yards to the Blue Devils 311 yards. The Pioneers committed one turnover and Grayson had five.
The Pioneers finally come back home this coming Friday as they host the Graham G-men. Come out and welcome them back home, as kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.