Blue Ridge sputters after fast start versus Emerald

By John Clayton, Staff Reporter
Published on Thursday, October 1, 2015

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Blue Ridge's Vonta Jenkins’ 87-yard return of the opening kickoff set up his own 1-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.

Blue Ridge's Vonta Jenkins’ 87-yard return of the opening kickoff set up his own 1-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.



Emerald’s inaugural visit to Blue Ridge’s Tiger Stadium was everything the Vikings needed and wanted.

Spurred by big plays in the ground game from running backs Willie Reynolds and KeShawn Settles, who ran for three touchdowns apiece, the Vikings got their first road win of the season with a 49-28 victory over Blue Ridge.

“We knew they had all kinds of speed coming in here and it was going to be tough for us to match up there,” Blue Ridge Head Coach Shane Clark said.

But for the first moments of the game, it appeared as if Emerald (4-2 overall, 2-1 Region II-AAA) was overmatched.

The Tigers erupted for 14 quick points, scoring on each of their first two possessions.

Vonta Jenkins’ 87-yard return of the opening kickoff set up his own 1-yard touchdown run with 10:49 left in the first quarter for a 7-0 lead. Jenkins finished with 10 carries for 64 yards.

After forcing an Emerald punt, Blue Ridge (2-4, 1-2) drove 72 yards on five plays.

Quarterback Jake Smith’s 3-yard run put the Tigers up 14-0 with 7:45 to play.

Then Reynolds took over for the Vikings.

The 5-foot-11, 184-pound senior burst 50 yards up the middle to cut the Blue Ridge lead to 14-7 with 7:11 remaining in the first quarter. A 69-yard run set up his own 1-yard touchdown plunge to pull the Vikings to within 14-13 with 1:07 left in the opening quarter after a failed extra-point try.

Reynolds finished with 15 carries for 230 yards with 198 of that total coming in the first half.

His third touchdown of the half – a 61-yard scamper – gave Emerald its first lead of the game at 21-14 after a Reynolds run for the 2-point conversion.

“That was our goal,” Clark said of stopping Emerald’s big-play capabilities. “But that speed just got us.”

Blue Ridge battled back to tie the game at 21-21 on a 60-yard pass from Smith to Tamaje Green with 7:47 left in the half.

Smith completed 13 of 23 pass attempts for 220 yards and two touchdowns, the second one a 37-yard strike to Jason Sammons with just over six minutes to play that cut Emerald’s lead to 49-28.

But Smith was also intercepted twice, fumbled once and was sacked four times in the second half.

After Reynolds’ outburst, the hard running of Settles helped put the game away.

Reynolds finished with 152 yards on 17 carries with two second-half touchdowns.

“This is kind of the story of our season,” Clark said. “We get a half in every game. We came out and had three turnovers in the second half here. We didn’t have any in the first half and moved the ball real well, but couldn’t get anything going in the second half.”

The Tigers travel to Travelers Rest for another region game next Friday. 


1st quarter

2nd quarter

3rd quarter

4th quarter








Blue Ridge






Scoring Summary

1st Quarter

BR – Vonta Jenkins 1 run (Jon Michael Bright kick), 10:49, 7-0.

BR – Jake Smith 3 run (Bright kick), 7:45, 14-0

E – Willie Reynolds 50 run (Josh Davis kick), 7:11, 14-7.

E – Reynolds 1 run (kick failed), 1:07, 14-13.

2nd Quarter

E – Reynolds 61 run (Reynolds run), 9:49, 21-14. BR – Tamaje Green 60 pass from Jake Smith, 7:47, 21-21.

E – KeShawn Settles 5 run (Davis kick), 1:16, 28-21.

3rd Quarter

E – Settles 7 run (Davis kick), 2:54, 35-21.

4th Quarter

E – Settles 17 run (Davis kick), 9:20, 42-21.

E – Meldrecous Jones 2 run (Davis kick), 7:31, 49-21.

BR – Jason Sammons 37 pass from Jake Smith (Bright kick), 6:13, 49-28.



E – Reynolds 15-230, Settles 17-152, Jones 16-80, Anthony White 4-12, De Drennon 2-11.

BR – Jenkins 10-64, Green 1-25, Smith 10-(minus-9), Azrin Jamison 1-8.


E – Jones 4-6-0-73.

BR – Smith 13-23-2—220


E – Myles Williams 1-4, K.J. Chamberlain 2-58, Reynolds 1-11.

BR – Jenkins 3-41, Sonny Stevens 2-34, Green 6-97, Sammons 2-48.





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