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Unfinished Business

Governor drives go wanting for points in shutout at West

By Brandon O’Neal
Staff Writer
Blount Press Row

Joel Robinson lunges for the stop as Governor teammate Joel Graham closes. Photos by Chris Ritchie

Knoxville – West proved it was too much to handle Friday night, shutting out William Blount, 45-0, at Bill Wilson Field.

The Rebels (5-1, 2-1 District 4AAA) rolled big, but the Governors (2-5, 1-3) were closer than the score suggests for much of the way.

William Blount kept it a manageable 17-0 at the half.

West stopped William Blount drives at the 33 and 23-yard lines in the opening half, missed field goals keeping the Governors off the scoreboard.

“We just need to learn to put a drive together,” William Blount coach David Gregory said.

The very first play for the Governors was crafty to say the least. Quarterback Tim Green took the snap and pitched it right to Lane Bloom. The William Blount back planted his feet and aimed his sights downfield, hitting Joel Graham for a 46-yard gain.

Lane Bloom cuts back behind a block from Trace Fuller.

“It was the first time I ever threw a pass in my life,” Bloom said. “I just kind of hoped for the best and we came out with a big gain.”

After the missed field goal, West marched down the field and found the end zone on a 35-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Francis to Alec Queisser with 10:36 left in the second quarter.

The ensuing kickoff caught the Governors by surprise. A perfectly timed onside kick set up West in Governor territory at the 47-yard line. Seth Marshall rushed in from the 8 for the touchdown, the Rebels leading, 17-0, with seven minutes to play in the half.

West had 243 yards of offense at the half. Most of it came from Francis, who tallied 128 total yards on 11-of-16 passing.

William Blount had six possessions in the second half, penetrating the Rebel side of the 50 only once.

Michael Bryant returns a kick for the Governors that almost went the distance.

“We need to get our heads straight for the next game,” Green said. “We need to learn how to drive the ball down the field and execute.”

Governor turnovers led to three West second-half scores, with a blocked Ryan Hodgson punt to get things started.

William Blount started the second half with the ball.  After a three-and-out, topped with a personal foul and false start, the Governors were in a hole. The snap was high and the Bulldogs were on Hodgson.

Max Bacon snatched the ball from Hodgson’s hands and ran for the score, opening the West lead to 24-0 early in the third.

A series of short-field West drives, and the lead quickly ballooned.

Graham makes the grab.

The first one took only a play. A Francis touchdown pass of 24 yards with eight minutes left in the third put the West lead at 31-0.

A Governor fumble set up West at the William Blount 27-yard line. After an 18-yard catch by Isaiah Patrick, Nathan Cottrell punched it in on a 9-yard run to end the third.

An interception handed West the last short-yardage situation. A Bacon 34-yard run provided the final margin with seven minutes to play.



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