Chargers lose at James River, 14-6
Buchanan, Virginia – Chargers lose 14-6 at James River
The Bath County Chargers football team traveled to Buchanan last Friday to challenge the James River Knights on their home turf. The 3-5 Chargers desperately needed a win to improve their playoff positioning, but the Knights repulsed the Charger assault and took away a 14-6 victory.
The weather and field conditions were atrocious as a nasty East Coast storm dumped freezing rain on the James River field.
The game was scoreless in the first half as both teams struggled to hold onto the ball and make forward progress in the cold mud.
Bath County came out charging to start the second half. The Chargers started off on the 16 yard line and QB Raymond Miller handed off to RB James McCulley on first down. The big senior plowed through the middle and scampered for 25 yards and followed up with six-yard rush to the Bath 47 on the next play.
After a false start penalty gave the Chargers a second and nine at the Bath 42, McCulley carried for three yards, bringing up a third and six. Miller kept the ball, ran left and shrugged off two tackles to pick up a first down.
On second and eight, Knights defenders surrounded Miller, but the crafty QB pitched out to senior RB Xavier Smothers, who outran defenders 45 yards – all the way to the James River 5.
On first and goal, sophomore RB Christian Woodzell got two tough yards and Ethan Wrights plowed the pile for a three-yard TD on the next play. The Chargers missed the extra-point kick but held a 6-0 advantage.
Penalties hurt the Chargers in the second half and a roughing the passer call gave the Knights a first down on a late third-quarter drive, when it should have been third and long. The Knights took advantage of the miscue and moved the ball to the Bath 24. On a keeper, James River sophomore QB Sherman Austin darted through the line and found open field all the way to the end zone. The critical extra-point kick was good and the Knights took a 7-6 lead.
Late in the fourth quarter, looking to take back the lead, the Chargers drove deep into Knights territory. On a fourth and three, Miller muscled his way forward for a big first down to the James River 25.
On the next play, the slick ball slipped away from the Charger RB and a Knights defenseman absconded with the ball and dashed 75 yards for a TD. A good extra point kick made it 14-6, which would be the final.
The Chargers fell to 3-6 and the Knights improved to 3-5.
The Chargers play their final regular season game at home on November 4 against the Pendleton County Wildcats. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Bath County High School.