Fort Chiswell wins thriller against Radford

By RODNEY KING
SWT Sports Writer

MAX MEADOWS – The Fort Chiswell Pioneers scored on the last play of the game when Tanner Bailey hit Denver Brown with a four-yard pass. The Pioneers scored 18 points in the final 6:19 of the game to pull out a 26-23 heart-stopping victory over the Radford Bobcats.

Bailey led the Pioneers with 19 carries for 192 yards rushing. He also caught four passes for 19 yards as well as completed 2 of 2 passes for 17 more yards and a touchdown. Brown finished the game with 102 yards rushing on eight carries and two touchdowns.

Radford (0-3) has now lost all three of their games in the last minutes. Leading 10-8 at intermission, they scored on an 88 yard kickoff return by Chris Carter to open the second half. That moved the score to 16-8 after a missed point after.

P.J. Prioleau caught a 39 yard pass from Elijah Duncan with 6:40 left in the game. Connor Lytton’s kick put Radford up 23-8 with just 6:40 remaining in the game. Carter had eight carries for 22 yards to go with his kick-off return.

Prioleau caught three passes for 50 yards. Duncan had 43 yards rushing on five rushes and had 38 yards passing with a passing touchdown. Kam Edwards opened Radford’s scoring when he caught a 19 yard pass from Trace Shepherd.

Radford’s effort for the game was hurt by the fact that they committed four fumbles and threw two interceptions.

“I feel bad for these kids,” Radford head coach Matthew Saunders remarked in a silent Radford locker room. “They played hard and they need something positive to happen. I thought defensively we played well, but the last few times on offense I didn’t put the kids in a good position to win, and that’s my fault.”

Radford just this week discovered that senior lineman Eric Burdette,17, has stage two Hodgkin lymphoma. He will begin six weeks of chemotherapy this week. Fort Chiswell fans collected $633 during the game for Eric and his family.

The Pioneers rushed for 350 yards of their 391 total yards for the game. Their defense held Radford to 168 total yards. Fort Chiswell had 18 first downs to Radford’s 11.

“What an amazing comeback,” Pioneer head coach Todd Tiller said. “I give credit to the kids for not quitting. They kept on competing to the very end. The football gods were with us tonight. I felt like the stats for this game don’t tell the whole story. We had more yards, more first downs and fewer turnovers, but we were still losing the game until the last play. I hate to hear the news about the Radford player and wish him the very best.”

When asked about the winning score at the end of the game Tiller replied, “Bailey had an option. He could either throw or run. To pass he was going to look for Sean Morgan or Tyler Jakubiak. At the last second, he saw Denver (Brown) and hit him over the middle for the winning score. It was a heck of a play.”

Fort Chiswell will be on the road next Friday when they travel to Floyd County to take on the Buffaloes. Kickoff is slated for 7:00 p.m.

FC 0 8 0 18 – 26
RH 7 3 6 7 – 23

First downs: FC 18, RH 11
Penalties: FC 7/60, RH 3/12
Turnovers: FC 4, RH 6
Total yards: FC 391, RH 168

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