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Winless SJ gets playoff game by default

Posted 2017-11-16 By Larry Beazley

    Stonewall Jackson, a team that hasn’t won a football game in two seasons, is headed to the post-season tournament.

    The Generals will play at Altavista Friday at 7 p.m. in the first round of the Virginia High School League Class 1A tournament. The winner will advance to play defending state champion Riverheads in the second round.

    Stonewall Jackson is one of only six teams in Class 1, Region B. As a result, all six get a tournament berth.

    Because the Generals’ schedule included games against higher ranked Central and Strasburg, they wound up with a No. 5 seed for the post season.

    Altavista Combined School is a No. 4 seed with a 2-8 record.

    Last week, the Generals had a bye and rested some of their injured players in the last regular season game to be ready for the playoffs.

    Freshman quarterback Austin Ritchie has seen quality playing time in recent weeks.  During the season, he completed 14 of 31 passes (45.16 percent) for 155 yards and one touchdown, but had two interceptions.

    Logan Patton is Stonewall Jacksons leading rusher, gaining 357 yards and scoring two touchdowns.

    Udreka Claude ran for 239 yards and a touchdown, while Brendan Hoover has 238 yards with two touchdowns.

    Austin Ritchie led the team in touchdowns with four, while William McCourt is the leading receiver with four catches for 127 yards and two touchdowns.

     On defense, Drew Binion had 29 tackles, 24 solo tackles, one sack and three fumbles recoveries, Calvin Smith was credited with 17 tackles with 12 solo and one sack, Damian Tapia had16 tackles, 15 solo, Wade Banks 13 tackles, 12 solo, and two sacks and Dakota Bush added nine tackles, eight solo, two sacks and a fumble recovery.

    McCourt has made six of seven extra points tries and one for one on field goals.

    Altavista Combine School Colonels come to the playoffs averaging 16 points a game while allowing 35 points.

    Junior quarterback Christian Gilbert is a left-hander, is good on the roll out pass and will run on any play.

    Senior Shyhiem Pannell, along with senior Johnathan Montague are the power runners carrying the ball mainly between the tackles.  Pannell and Jacob Adams will sometimes run a sweep around the ends.  Adams also returns kickoffs.

    The Colonels are not a big team,but have speed and quickness.  They have three solid linebackers in Arren Close, Daniel Triplett and Montague.

    If the Generals expect to win their first game of the season, they must control the ball. eliminate turnovers (they have committed 22 so far), and play better defense.