Rams Secure First Football Win Since '41
A well-balanced offensive attack led the Bluefield College Rams football team to history, Saturday, September 13, as a 46-24 win over The Apprentice School in Newport News, Virginia, secured Bluefield’s first win since the program was reinstated and brought to varsity status in 2012.

Rams Secure First Football Win Since '41

By Tim Hartin | September 26, 2014 | RSS

Football Returns to Bluefield College

 

A group of Rams celebrate one of many scores in their historic win over the Apprentice School -- the team's first win since disbanding football in 1941.

 

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The scoreboard shows the historic 46-24 win for the Rams.

 

Following the 1941 season, the program was disbanded as many of the college’s men went to serve our country in World War II. The last win had come on November 20, 1941 -- a 30-7 victory over of Rio Grande University.

 

 

The Rams (1-2) compiled 530 yards of total offense -- the second highest total since the program’s return -- in the victory over Apprentice, rushing for 329 and tossing for 201. Bluefield moved the chains 27 times to 14 for the Builders (0-2), with the hosts managing just 291 yards of total offense on the afternoon.

 

Offensive coordinator Aaron Mingo spread the ball around en route to the victory. Ashten Dixon completed 10-of-12 passes for a career-high 201 yards -- just the third 200-yard passing game since Bluefield returned to the gridiron. However, nine different Rams pulled in passes, led by two receptions and 71 yards for former quarterback Cory Mabry. Freshman tight end Isaiah Martin had the lone scoring reception, a 24-yard connection in the third quarter.

 

On the ground, Marion Harris led eight Rams with double-figure rushing totals. The junior, who surpassed 1,000 career yards at Presbyterian College last week, went for 73 yards on just four attempts, including a 43-yard score in the third quarter. Freshmen Quincey Mock, Adrian Pope, Sam Bennett and Dixon each ran for a score, as well.

 

In addition to the Rams’ six touchdowns, the team tallied three safeties in the contest. The first came in the first quarter as Khalil Randall ran back a point-after attempt. The safety allowed Bluefield to take an 8-6 lead, opposed to falling behind 7-6 as the Rams’ first PAT was also no good. The final two safeties came as Bluefield’s two scores in the final quarter -- one as RJ Buford tackled Builders quarterback Caleb Heath in the endzone and one as Rakeem Smith made a tackle for a loss in the Builders’ endzone.

 

Harry Casseus and Buford led the Rams’ defense on the afternoon, both with eight total tackles. Buford had a huge game, making three sacks for a loss of 21 total yards, plus his safety in the fourth quarter. Casseus had a pass break up, which nearly resulted in a BC interception.

 

Bluefield came out of the gates moving on all cylinders and scored on each of its first three possessions. After making the Builders punt on their opening possession, the Rams drove 85 yards on nine plays, with Bennett taking the one-yard run to break into the endzone. A 31-yard gain by Mock on a pitch was a key play on the series, as it earned the Rams a new set of downs on third-and-seven.

 

The Builders responded with one of their longest drives on the day, which moved 65 yards for a score. Anthony Rivers nearly had an interception to halt the drive, but the tipped ball was brought in by Apprentice’s Trevon Johnson for 38 yards. However, the PAT following the three-yard rushing score by Joseph Hodge was blocked by Cameron Carter, who made his season debut, and then returned by Randall for the safety to make BC’s lead 8-6.

 

The Rams responded swiftly with a 74-yard drive over seven plays, capped by a six-yard Pope score. Pope had a gain of 15 yards earlier in the series, but the big mover was a 36-yard completion to Mabry, placing BC in first-and-goal territory and setting up Pope for the next play. The PAT was blocked, though, to make the score 14-6, BC.

 

A Builders punt placed BC at its own nine, leading to the Rams’ longest drive of the day which took place over two quarters and ate up six minutes of game clock. Bluefield was able to convert two fourth downs on the series, one being a Dylan Kidd 12-yard rush and another thanks to a Builders encroachment penalty. Mock broke the plane for a four-yard run, getting his first collegiate score. James Gunn tacked on the PAT to get BC a 21-6 advantage.

 

The teams traded several empty possessions, including both teams losing fumbles on back-to-back possessions, but Bluefield added the last score of the half on an eight-play, 82-yard drive. The second long connection, this one 35 yards, to Mabry ignited the score as BC moved with the half winding to a close. The play placed the Rams at the Builders’ 16 -- an 11-yard completion to tight end Mason Maples, then Dixon’s rushing score capped the drive and earned BC a 28-6 lead at the break.

 

The second half started poorly for Bluefield, with Dixon's first toss of the third quarter being picked off and returned 31 yards for the score to make it 28-12. A pair of scoreless possessions returned the ball to the Rams and they made quick work of their new opportunity as Harris went 43 yards on the ground for the TD on the first play from scrimmage, upping BC’s lead to 35-12.

 

The Apprentice School came back with its second 65-yard scoring drive, but failed on its two-point try. A Builders penalty on the play appeared to put the Rams in good position with it standing third-and-17, but a 43-yard toss from Heath to Trevon Johnson quickly changed things.

 

But, the undeterred Rams answered the call with a five-play, 74-yard drive. DeMarcus Vaughn scampered for 31 yards to get Bluefield into Builder territory, while Martin’s reception capped the drive to get BC a 42-18 cushion.

 

In the final quarter, the Builders’ Heath scampered for space on a fourth-and-goal play, getting just enough room to send a toss-up ball into the endzone. Jamarcus Culp grabbed it in a crowd for the score. The Builders’ two-point try to make it a two-possession game was halted by Buford pressuring the quarterback.

 

Bluefield tacked on the two safeties as the quarter wound down and the Rams secured the victory, 46-24.