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Local News and Views From Area Teams & Athletes

Bluefield downs Braxton in first
round of playoffs

The Bluefield Beavers outscored the Braxton Eagles 46-14 in the first round of AA football playoffs Friday night. In the game played at Bluefield, the undefeated Beavers scored 40 unanswered points in the first half.
Bluefield, led by Latrell Collier, who gained 104 yards and scored twice on just four carries, ran only 31 plays but picked up 261 yards on the ground. They took advantage of starting possession in Braxton territory as well as three fumble recoveries and one interception.
The Eagles first put points on the scoreboard late in the third quarter as quarterback Heath Cottrill connected with Tayton Stout on a seven-yard scoring pass. Their second touchdown came midway through the fourth on a one-yard run by Seth Arnold. Jacob Whitney kicked the PAT for both Braxton TDs.
Arnold, who reached 1,000 yards rushing earlier this season, gained 128 yards against Bluefield. He also added a 24-yard pass completion to his stats in Friday night’s game.
Cottrill, who finished the season with well over 1000 yards passing, completed six passes for 56 yards against the Beavers.
Looking at Braxton’s 7-4 season, Coach Bill Haddox pronounced it “fantastic.” He went on to explain. “When I came into the weight room at the beginning of the season and saw 13 or 14 varsity players, I thought to myself, ‘We’ll be lucky to win two games.’ I really had no idea that we would make the playoffs.”
Blaming himself for the first loss, the coach said, “After we lost that first game, I learned that I had players in the wrong positions. I found where they belonged, and you saw what happened. We started winning, and we won against teams we weren’t supposed to beat.”
“I have to say, we really developed a good football team! These guys have been amazing, and I am so proud of them,” he said, continuing to note that he had thanked the players for “a wonderful year of coaching.”
The Eagles did lose a playoff game Friday night, but their fans know that they are winners.

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