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Pioneer open season with win under new coach

By DAVID GRAVELY

sports@southwesttimes.com

 

The Fort Chiswell Pioneers started their 2019 season under new head coach Chris Akers with an exciting 15-14 win over the Rural Retreat Indians Friday on the road.

 

Tina Quesenberry Photo – Pioneer players celebrate with Isaac Dunford (center, smiling) after his game-winning 25-yard field goal Friday at Rural Retreat.

The Pioneers got on the board first with a 46-yard scoring strike from junior Dylan Bailey to senior Eli Jones. The point after attempt was no good, leaving the Pioneers up 6-0 at the end of the first quarter.

 

Rural Retreat found the end zone on a three-yard run by Isaac O’Neil in the second quarter. The kick put the Indians up 7-6 heading into the halftime break.

 

Fort Chiswell regained the lead in the third quarter when junior running back Jonathan Poole rumbled 11 yards into the end zone. The Pioneers attempted a two-point conversion, but the run was stopped leaving Fort Chiswell with the 12-7 lead at the end of the third quarter.

 

Rural Retreat fought back. O’Neil crossed the goal line for the second time early in the fourth quarter. The extra point attempt was good, putting the Indians up 14-12.

 

Once again, the Pioneers pushed the ball downfield until Coach Akers called on junior kicker Isaac Dunford to save the day. With just three seconds remaining on the clock, Dunford connected for the game-winning 25-yard field goal, putting the Pioneers up 15-14.

 

The two teams were close statistically throughout the game. Each team earned 10 first downs. Rural Retreat had the edge in the rushing game earning 151 yards on 38 carries compared to 98 yards on 27 attempts by Fort Chiswell. The Pioneers completed nine of 15 passes with one interception for 142 yards. The Indians completed four of nine pass attempts for 45 yards. The Pioneers finished the game with 240 total yards. The Indians had 202 yards total. Two Pioneer fumbles and an interception helped Rural Retreat, but the Pioneers brought home the win.

 

Fort Chiswell will be back in action Friday, Sept. 6, when they host their cross county rivals the George Wythe Maroons. Game time is set for 7 p.m.

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