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In their first meeting in 20 years, Blacksburg grounds out a punishing road win over the Bobcats.
Jon Fleming | Special to The Roanoke Times
Morgan McCoy (6), Isaac Johnston (5) and Bruins teammates congratulate kicker Carson Wise (8) after Wise hit a 55-yard field goal just before halftime against Radford. Wise also made field goals from 47 and 33 yards in a 37-0 win over the Bobcats.
Saturday, September 21, 2013
RADFORD -- Since returning to his alma mater as head coach seven years ago, Radford coach Matthew Saunders has crusaded for the renewal of the longtime series with Blacksburg.
Careful what you wish for.
Behind a dominating defensive line and a fast start on offense, Blacksburg crushed the Bobcats 37-0 in their first meeting since 1993.
"What I finally figured out during the week was these kids weren't even born yet when we stopped," Saunders said. "Being a former Bobcat, I just thought it was exciting to us former Bobcats. The outcome was very disappointing. We just didn't play very well."
Radford bobbled the opening kickoff and was pinned at its own six-yard line . The Bobcats wound up punting and Blacksburg responded with a 12-play, 63-yard drive that took six minutes.
Every yard of the drive came on the ground and those two opening drives established how the game would unfold.
"We haven't all year long started a game well and I felt like [Radford] would," Blacksburg coach David Crist said. "So when we got that stop, then got that score, I think that gave our kids some confidence that, hey, we can run the football."
And stop the run. The Bruins' defensive front of Brett Palmer, Tyler Fiorda, Adam Peton and Melvin Myers, among others, overpowered Radford's offensive line and sniffed out a majority of the Bobcats' misdirection and counter plays.
"We were a little worried, but I could tell around halftime when we started getting up some, that we were going to be OK," Fiorda said.
Blacksburg led 20-0 at the break on a pair of Isaac Johnston quarterback sneaks and two booming field goals by Carson Wise - 47 and 55 yards.
For an exclamation point, Blacksburg running back Korbin Hendricks torched Radford for a 56-yard gain on the first play of the second half and capped a swift, five-play drive with a 1-yard touchdown.
Blacksburg held Radford to 81 total yards, including 40 rushing yards on 30 carries. The Bruins tallied 210 rushing yards, led by Hendricks' 86 yards .
"I guess I go back to the days when we were playing each other every year and the intensity of those games were always high," Crist said. "I was concerned if we were going to match the intensity they play with. We did."
Blacksburg 7 13 10 7-37
Radford 0 0 0 0-0
B - Isaac Johnston 1 run (Carson Wise kick)
B - Johnston 1 run (Wise kick)
B - Wise 47 FG
B - Wise 55 FG
B - Korbin Hendricks 1 run (Wise kick)
B - Wise 33 FG
B - Grayson Shelton 2 run (Wise kick)
RUSHING - Blacksburg, Hendricks 10-86, Shelton 13-45, Johnston 4-8, Fugate 14-71. Radford, Finley 13-14, Cook 2-(-6), Carter 10-36, Jordan 4-(-4), Billings 1-0.
PASSING - Blacksburg, Johnston 3-10-0-32. Radford, Finley 6-10-1-41.
RECEIVING - Blacksburg, Hendricks 1-1, McCoy 2-31. Radford, Jordan 2-20, Carter 1-(-2), Levison 2-18, Baylor 1-5.
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