Steele, Simmons help Mance reach 200 club


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.

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