Bearcats grind out important district win over Marion

Thursday night’s matchup between Southwest District foes Virginia High and Marion can be described in one word…..physical.

The new-look offense of Virginia High had four different players combine for 54 carries, 305 yards and two touchdowns to pave the way for a 27-12 victory over Marion.

The victory locks up a playoff spot for the fourth consecutive year for the Bearcats.

Virginia High ran primarily out of a two back set and were led on the night by speedy freshman Stevie Thomas (180 yards and a touchdown) and senior strongman Aaron Rose (118 yards and a touchdown). The duo effectively wore down the defense of Marion and assisted the Bearcat defense in keeping the Scarlet Hurricanes’ offense pinned on their side of the field until the 4th quarter.

The Bearcat defense had another outstanding game of their own, limiting the Marion offense to under 100 yards and zero points through three quarters, while scoring two touchdowns themselves. In the second quarter, junior linebacker Michael Bradley forced a fumble which teammate, sophomore defensive end Jean Mulumba, returned 31 yards to give Virginia High a 14-0 halftime lead. After trading field position on multiple series to open the third quarter, Virginia High’s free safety, senior Colton Ratcliffe, intercepted a pass and returned it 61 yards for a touchdown to give the Bearcats a 20-0 lead, heading into the fourth quarter.

With under 10 minutes remaining in the game, Marion was finally able to crack the Bearcat defense when junior quarterback Tanner Tate scored on a 9 yard run. A failed two point conversion left the score at 20-6. Each team then had one scoreless series apiece, when with 5 minutes remaining in the game, Rose broke free for a 33-yard touchdown run to end Marion’s hopes of a comeback. The Scarlet Hurricanes added a late score on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Tate, but the damage had been done.

The Scarlet Hurricanes were led on offense by Tate, who had 16 carries for 100 yards and added 150 passing yards on 40 attempts. Marion’s defense was led by senior linebacker Chance Langston, who had 12 tackles.

The Bearcats (5-4) will look to win their third game in a row in Week 11 as they host the Richlands Blue Tornado on senior night. Marion (4-5) looks to bounce back this week against the Graham G-Men.


Don’t forget, Bearcat fans, you can listen to this week’s game, live from your favorite device, on



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