Bath Charger Defense Scores Twice In Win Over Parry McCluer Blues
Buena Vista, Va – In Friday night football action, the Bath County defense came up huge in a thrilling win against the Fighting Blues of Parry McCluer. The Charger defense scored on two pick-sixes in the first half and squelched a valiant fourth quarter comeback attempt by the Blues.
The Blues scored a two-yard rushing touchdown on their first drive of the game, but the Charger D would not allow another score until late in the game.
Midway through the second quarter, the Bath defense recovered a fumble at the Blues 30 and the Charger offense scored its only points of the game when sophomore running back Ethan Wrights plowed in for a two-yard touchdown.
The Charger defense would continue to shine.
With 4:15 remaining in the second quarter, Charger sophomore safety Michael Crisler leaped in the air and intercepted a Blues pass and dashed 36 yards for a touchdown. A two-point conversion rush by Wrights was good and the Chargers took a 14-6 lead into the locker room at the half.
Early in the second half, the Blues intercepted a Charger pass and set the turkey on the table for McCluer at the Bath 22. But the Charger defense, with exceptional play from defensive linemen Mitchell Stinespring and Matthew Quantz, gave up only eight yards, and the ball turned over on downs.
Late in the third quarter, Charger senior defensive back Dariene Hepler snagged an interception and raced 22 yards for a touchdown, giving Bath a 20-6 advantage.
In the fourth quarter, the Blues kept fighting and went for it on a fourth and 12 at their 46-yard line. The result was a big pass play to the Bath four-yard line. Two plays later, the Blues punched the ball in for a score and a good two-point pass narrowed Bath’s lead to 20-14.
McCluer had a golden opportunity to take the lead when the Chargers fumbled the ensuing kickoff, which set up the Blues with a first down on the Bath 14. But the Charger defense forced a fumble, which they recovered at their own one-yard line, with 5:45 remaining in the game.
The Bath offense got the job done on its final drive of the game, taking nearly four minutes off the clock and moving the ball to near midfield. The Chargers punted with 1:50 remaining in the game and the Blues took over at their 35. The Bath defense held firm and the Blues ran out of time, giving the Chargers a much-needed 20-14 victory.
Charger coach Will Fields said his defense played well, once it got its feet on the ground.
“I think they played well once they figured out a little bit,” he says. “We didn’t get a lot of practice time on the field this week, so they took a little time early in the game figuring out what Parry McCluer does, but once they figured it out, I think we played okay.”
The coach selected big lineman Mitchell Stinespring for special praise.
“Mitchell’s as good a lineman as we’ve ever had here – offensive and defensive,” he says. “He’s the leader of this team and he’s an unstoppable force in there. I don’t think we’ve ever had a nose tackle lead our team in tackles, but he is right now. You know, he’s a bear.”
The Chargers kept their playoff hopes alive and improved to 2-5 overall with the win.
The Chargers host the Craig County Rockets in Hot Springs on October 21 at 7 p.m. gametime forecast calls for partly cloudy skies with temps in the 40s.