Fort Chiswell… The Pioneers this past Friday night stopped a losing streak and have already won more than they did all of last year. This Friday that will go up Interstate 81 to play the George Wythe Maroons.
The Maroons opened up last week with a 56-0 thrashing of Radford. This will be their home opener, and it’s against county rival Pioneers. You could say they don’t play well together.
George Wythe is huge, experienced, athletic and have a lot of depth on their offensive line. That line helped lead them to a 12-2 record that took them to the state semifinal. Head Coach Brandon Harner is in his third season and has recorded a 22-6 record. On offense the Maroons big offensive line is led by 6-4 265 senior Dylan Anderson, Parker Coe a junior is 6-3 275,and Larry Isaac a senior is 6-0 280. Others that will see time on the line is Gavin Gray who’s 6-3 285 and a junior. Jason Jones a junior comes in at 6-0 215 and see’s action at center. Behind that big line are some very athletic skilled players. Quarterback Deacon Beamer, running back Jordan Harber and Kane “ Booger” Owens. At one wide receiver is a speed burner Markell Moss. Walker Nowers is the other wide out and both him and Moss will carry the ball, too. The Maroons are returning eight starters on offense.
Pioneer head coach Todd Tiller remarked,” George Wythe is huge up front. The thing about them is they are very athletic and experienced with them being that big. Beamer, Moss, Harber and Nowers all can hurt you on offense. They all can run and catch the ball. Beamer is very experienced at QB and he can run and threw the ball.” Coach then added, “ They will run the sweep, counter and quarterback power run. They will pass but they are a run oriented team.”
George Wythe will use a 4-2- 5 scheme on defense. Coach Tiller said, ”They like to use zone in the secondary, primarily. They didn’t blitz that much against Radford. Sometimes they will bring an outside backer. They are a handful and are the front runners who more than likely will get to Salem to play for a state title.” The Maroons return three starters on defense, Coe, Isaacs and Jones. Anderson will also see time on the “D” line. Nowers and Harber are the main linebackers, with Moss and Owens the players to watch in the secondary. The Maroons have had 19 consecutive winning seasons and they have lot of returning talent.
The Pioneers came out of the victory over Rural Retreat in pretty good shape. The only player that is out with an injury is senior lineman Jacob Coake. He got rolled up on in the scrimmage versus John Battle and will miss his second game. Friday will be the first time in 12 games under Coach Tiller reign, that he will start the same five linemen. Those lineman will be Logan Smith, center, Grant Milgrim and Billy Shrewsberry at guards. Patrick Crawford and Alex Brooks will be at tackles. Warren “Pookie” Moore will start at Qb. Sean Morgan will be running back with TJ James and Andrew Stoots splitting time at the H back. Colby Rider starts at tight end, with Tanner Bailey and Anthony Morris at wide receivers. Hunter Parrott, Tyler Jakubiak, Chris Crigger, Logan Newman and Jarrett McGee getting playing time.
Kick off at George Wythe is slated for 7 pm.