Barons Bounce Back Against Bishops

Barons bounce back against Bishops

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The first quarter and a half was a deadlock between two defenses refusing to give up ground. But a five minute stretch for Blue Ridge in the second quarter saw them pour on 16 points to claim a healthy lead. While Virginia Episcopal’s offense finally found some life late in the third and fourth quarters, the Barons’ receiving corps was simply too much to deal with. And as such, while Blue Ridge was just four days removed from its first loss of the year against Christchurch, the Barons were able rebound with a 37-20 win over the top-ranked VIS Division 3 team.

Blue Ridge's PJ White hauls in a 25-yard pass to set up Shawn Steen's late second quarter rushing touchdown.

“We needed this,” said Blue Ridge coach Orlando Patterson. “We needed it and we’re going to go out and win as many more as possible. It’s one game at a time from here on out. We just have to do what we have to do.”

VES was able to score on its opening drive thanks to a 20-yard touchdown reception from Tom Creasy to Trevon Fields, but the Barons answered right back to tie the game with a 53-yard score on a pass from Tristan Allen to Darryl Smith.

“They had one or no safeties back there with a third corner pressing,” Allen said. “With the athletes we have, I just threw it up and the receivers just did good things with the ball.”

Not until the five minute mark of the second quarter were either offenses able to generate points, and deep in the redzone, Blue Ridge took the lead for good starting with a 29-yard field goal from Shawn Steen who was a factor again for his team in all-three areas of play. Steen punched in a 3-yard rush on a sweep to the right on the Barons next drive. He then picked off a pass seconds later and took it 20 yard for a touchdown to suddenly turn a 6-6 game into a 23-6 advantage for Blue Ridge heading into halftime.

“We had a tough loss to Chrischurch and redeem ourselves,” Allen said. “We were amped up all week and ready to go and hit in all phases.”

In the third quarter Leon Straus set up Blue Ridge with a solid punt return. He then caught a 7-yard pass from Allen to make it 30-6.

Almost seven minutes later the Bishops finally got back into endzone with a 26-yard touchdown reception from Wyatt Slominski.

The Barons saw Smith haul in his second TD from Allen in the beginning of the fourth, this time from 16-yards out to make it 37-14.

With 4:28 to play, VES hit on a 60 yard pass from Dante Jefferson to Fields. But the Barons wouldn’t open up the door any further and went to work on the clock to finish up the win.

Back on the field again, Smith’s impact was certainly felt as the Barons have already gashed teams with the play at wideout from PJ White and Strauss. Smith finished with two catches for 68 yards both resulting in touchdowns. Strauss added three catches for 41 yards and a TD. White’s lone catch went for 25 yards. Allen finished 7-18 passing with 138 yards and three touchdowns.

“We had two big receivers, now we have three and it’s tough to stop all of them,” Patterson said. “That’s what we’re looking for. We have to tell the guys, they all want the ball in their hands because they’re so competitive, that if they’re doubled they have to consider it a compliment.”

The Barons (6-1) will head to play top-ranked Division 1 opponent LCA on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Scary moment in the third

On Strauss’ punt return early in the third quarter Houston Bouchard was running from behind trying to catch the Barons receiver and was blindsided by a hard block to his sternum that sent his helmet flying off. Bouchard was writhing in pain for minutes afterwards and after both training staffs tried to attend to his needs, an ambulance was called, and then a helicopter landed on the field to rush him to University of Virginia hospital for further examination. Bouchard was placed in a neck brace, able to move his upper and lower extremities, but still in a great deal of pain as he was place on a backboard and flown out.

The lengthy delay did see a great show of sportsmanship from both sides with respective athletic directors from the Barons and Bishops, Bill Ramsey and Albert Jennings gathering both teams before resuming play. Jennings delivered an eloquent talk urging both sides to put the injury in the past knowing that it could have been any player from either team getting hurt and that the unfortunate outcome of the play was simply a part of football. Jennings then urged both teams to finish out the game with respect for one another and asked them to run through a quick handshake before officials resumed play.

There was not a single flag thrown for a personal foul on a player after the meeting.

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