PHOTO CREDIT – SWVAPHOTOGRAPHY.COM
RICHLANDS, Va. — New quarterback Cade Simmons and birthday boy Logan Steele combined for four rushing touchdowns, helping coach Greg Mance win his 200th game at Richlands.
That result looked shaky in the first quarter. Abingdon (2-2) opened the game with an 80-yard drive that ate up 8 minutes and 42 seconds off the clock. Star RB Lucas Martin punched the ball in from the 3, and the Falcons took a 7-0 lead.
Richlands (1-2) would quickly respond. Simmons pulled the strings on a drive that saw him scramble for a 41-yard gain, as well as punch it in himself from the 5. He also used his hard count to draw the Falcons offside on a 3rd down and a big 4th down inside the red zone.
After a 3-and-out, Richlands got the ball back and Levi “Fle” Forrest showed off his cannon leg, nailing a 54-yard FG. It was Forrest’s 2nd 54-yarder of the season, one that also features a 59-yard bomb against Gate City.
But Abingdon wouldn’t go down without a fight. Lucas showed off his speed on the first play of the ensuing drive with a 69-yard run as part of a two-play, 80-yard drive to regain the lead 14-10.
Enter Logan Steele.
Playing the night before his 17th birthday, Steele would take a 3rd and 21 halfback draw up the middle untouched for 80 yards, and the 17-14 halftime lead.
That’s all the Blues would need.
Switching from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defense, the Richlands defense held the Falcons without a touchdown for 23 minutes.
Meanwhile, Steele continued his night to remember with touchdown runs of 5 and 23-yards — adding a 4th quarter interception as well.
Steele finished his night with 157 yards on 18 carries with 3 touchdowns and an interception on defense.
Simmons was an efficient 11-14 for 100 yards, with half-a-century on the ground and a rushing touchdown.
Both teams now hit the road in week five. Richlands travels to perennial power Bluefield for a date with the 2-1 Beavers.
Abingdon makes the short trip down Interstate 81 to Bristol to take on the Vikings of Tennessee High.
There’s just something about growing up in this area that lends itself to sports. Friday nights are the undisputed king. We all head to the local high school to catch a glimpse of those boys of fall.
That was no different in Richlands where I grew up with a love and a passion for those Blue Tornado. Unlike my co-host, I never strapped that lightning R on my head. I took the band route instead. But that didn’t stop me from becoming most school spirited my senior year, a title I still proudly wear today.
Leaving to get my degree at Virginia Tech actually helped solidify all that I love about this area. Sure, football is a big deal in the NRV as well, but it’s just not the same. And that’s okay. Our area is special.
I’m happy to be back in SWVA this fall and I’m ready to bring you a plethora of content options as we embark on this thing called life. RIP Prince.
Oh, and Hunt Bros. Pizza is the best pizza.