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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: ’Cats give Devils a scrap

Mountain View took solace in at least one thing after its 33–7 season opening home loss to Varina on Thursday night.

Though the score wasn’t much better, the Wildcats came away more encouraged after this loss compared to last year’s season opening 42–7 setback.

Fielding a much younger team with 17 new starters, Mountain View put up a fight for most of the first half before the Blue Devils (1–0) broke away with a barrage of big plays.

“It’s a different feel than last year with these guys. Early on in that game, we were just shell-shocked. Tonight we did some good stuff,” Wildcats coach Lou Sorrentino said.

“I’m never happy with a loss, but it wasn’t a complete disaster in my mind. We have some things to work on. We’ll just see how we react to adversity.”

The Wildcats plan to bounce back from this loss the same way they did last year when they went 8–4 and made the playoffs.

“I’m not doubting my team,” senior linebacker Adham Hasan said. “We’ll get back up next week.”

Varina’s longest scoring drive was two plays. It broke off touchdowns of 66, 55, 49 and 40 yards. That’s not to mention the 46-yard kickoff return that led to the Blue Devils’ first score, a 10-yard Alisshuwa Becoat run.

Becoat finished with 58 yards and two touchdowns. Varina quarterback Tim Minor tossed two touchdown passes and ran for a 40-yard score in the third quarter.

“They were too easy. They were just too easy scores,” Sorrentino said. “It’s not like they had to earn it. One play and bam, they were back in it, and we’re doing everything we can to get down the field and score.”

Mountain View’s offense was better than the score indicated. The Wildcats used a 12-play drive to score their touchdown, a 7-yard pass from quarterback Elijah Burress to wide receiver Billy Gaskins that gave them a 7–0 lead with 10:59 remaining in the first half.

The Wildcats (0–1) were stopped twice inside the Varina 20-yard line in the second quarter. They couldn’t convert a fourth-and-6 from the Blue Devils’ 19 and then dropped a sure touchdown pass on fourth down with less than a minute remaining before halftime.

“We were a tad off. I felt we were really nervous, because we’re very young,” Burress said. “I feel we got a little better seeing a big team like Varina. Varina is a good team.”

Burress, opening his third season as the Wildcats’ starting quarterback, accounted for 197 of the team’s 265 yards. He completed 12 of 31 passes for 116 yards and a touchdown and had 81 yards rushing on 11 attempts, including a 63-yard run late in the second quarter.

He played most of the game with an injured left, non-throwing, hand that he hyperextended while being tackled in the first quarter.

“At halftime I took some Motrin and iced it, but before that it was very painful,” Burress said.

Burress is scheduled to have a X–rays taken today. He said though painful, the injury was not something that was overly concerning.

“This is probably the worst it’s going to feel,” he said. “They can cut it off if they wanted to. It’s not my right hand.”

Burress is optimistic that Mountain View can learn from its mistakes and respond with a good performance at Lee–Davis next Friday.

“We’re only going to get better from here,” Burress said. “This is probably the worst we’re going to play this year. We’re going to catch the ball, and we’re going to make some big plays.”

 

    Q1   Q2   Q3   Q4    —  F
Varina 0 19 14 0    —    33
Mountain View      0 7 0 0    —  7

Second Quarter

MV-B. Gaskins 7-yard pass from E. Burress (T. Moeller kick)

Va-A. Becoat 10-yard run (kick failed)

Va-C. Finney 66-yard pass from T. Minor (None)

Va-A. Becoat 55-yard run (N. Gillespie kick)

Third Quarter

Va-J. Doughty 49-yard pass from T. Minor (N. Gillespie kick)

Va-T. Minor 40-yard run (N. Gillespie kick)

TEAM STATISTICS

    Va MV
First Downs 13 14
Rushing yardage      35-216 29-149
Passing yardage 143 116
Passes 5-8-0 12-31-0
Punts-Avg. 2-29.5 5-30.0
Fumbles-lost 0-0 2-1
Penalties-yards 12-98 6-40

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing: Mountain View—Elijah Burress 11-81; Jamil Collison-Cofie 13-51; Sterling Collins 1-18; Steven Hunt 1-3; Patrick Allen 2-(-1); Brandon White 1-(-3). Varina—Shawn Tyler 14-69; Alisshuwa Becoat 5-58, 2TD; Tim Minor 9-41, TD; Donnell Martin 2-20; Corey Finney 4-19; Mike Wilson 1-9.

Passing: Mountain View—Elijah Burress 12-31-0 116, TD. Varina—Tim Minor 5-7-0 143, 2TD; Mike Wilson 0-1-0 0.

Receiving: Mountain View—Jamil Collison-Cofie 4-53; Brandon White 4-36; Jason Furman 2-12; Billy Gaskins 1-7, TD; Sterling Collins 1-4; Steven Hunt 1-4. Varina—Corey Finney 3-88, TD; Jahmerio Doughty 1-49, TD; Donnell Martin 4-36.

 

Nathan Warters: 540/374-5442

nwarters@freelancestar.com

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