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Fast start leads Bluefield into the semifinals with 33-10 win over North Marion

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. — No. 2 Bluefield found the end zone three times in the first quarter and leaned on a solid defensive effort in a 33-10 win over No. 10 North Marion in the Class AA quarterfinals at Mitchell Stadium.

“Games like this, you like to get a good start and not have to battle from behind,” said Bluefield head coach Fred Simon. “I think it helped us because they are well-coached and I was very concerned coming in.”

The Beavers used first quarter touchdowns from Jacob Martin (24-yard run), Brandon Wiley (50-yard punt return) and Ryker Brown (50-yard touchdown reception from Carson Deeb) to take a 19-7 lead after one stanza. North Marion’s touchdown came on a Brody Hall 26-yard pass to Tariq Miller in the end zone on fourth-and-10.

Bluefield’s (7-1) defense forced three first half turnovers, and four in the game, as they led 19-7 at halftime.

“Quickness and getting to our keys on defense, I think that helped us quite a bit.”

Jaeon Flack capped a 7-minute Beaver drive in the third quarter with a 25-yard touchdown tote, giving the home team a 26-7 lead through three quarters.

The Huskies (6-4) responded with a Malachi Funkhouser 21-yard field goal early in the fourth to make it a two-score game at 26-10. But Martin found the end zone on a 6-yard run on Bluefield’s next possession, putting the game out of reach.

For the fourth consecutive season, Bluefield will face Fairmont Senior in the postseason. The Polar Bears are expected to select Saturday, November 28 at 4 p.m. as the date and time at Mitchell Stadium for the Class AA semifinal.

“I think (FSHS quarterback) Gage Michael is a tremendous leader, to me in my opinion is probably the best football player in the state. I felt for sure they would definitely be there, whether we were or not, I couldn’t tell you.”

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