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Graham 23, Bluefield 21 (8/24/12)

August 25, 2012

The rain cleared before game time and the conditions were right for one of the best rivalry games in Bluefield many years. Thousands packed Mitchell Stadium for the 86th matchup between Bluefield and Graham. Bluefield had dominated the series the last 3 years and Graham was really never given a chance; only hope by a few that they might pull one off. Graham coach Williams said “across the board the Beavers are picked to slaughter us”. After attending the pep rally, one could tell that something was brewing with the G-Men. They seemed primed and ready and they were tired of taking a back seat to the Beavers. That became evident as the team ripped apart a large stuffed beaver brought out by the cheerleaders. The G-Men wanted the rivalry trophy in their trophy case and they wanted it bad. “It’s the game of the year” reported the Bluefield Daily Telegraph. Excitement filled the air as fans started to arrive at the stadium. The town of Bluefield was ready once again for this great game.

The Beavers and the G-Men did not disappoint. It was a great game from start to finish. Of course the Beavers were first out of the gate to score then stopped the Beavers on their initial drive to set the tone. It looked like same old same old. But then Bluefield muffed a punt that resulted in a safety and that seem to fire up the G-Men. Score 7-2.There was not much offense by either team the rest of the half and that score ended the half.

But something happened to the G-Men in that locker room and that something might have been Spencer Sheets. Sheets the quarterback, who was later awarded the MVP honors, was emotional about this game from the jump as he was awarded the scholar athlete. He appeared with his family and all were in tears about the honor. That award and this game meant something to Spencer Sheets. Sheets ran, threw, blocked, dodged, scored, and became a one man show for the G-Men. Although Bluefield came out and scored the G-Men would not be denied. They answered score 15-14. Brennan Wheeler scored in the corner of the end zone and Sheets to Colby Hill for the conversion. Graham 23-14. It was looking good for the G-Men but Bluefield was not giving up. On the next play the Beavers ran it 57yds for a TD which left the Graham fans stunned. And now the Beavers were within a field goal to once again ruin the G-Men’s night. 5:09 left to go. Graham drove down the field and to everyone’s shock the field goal attempt hit the uprights. Now Bluefield had the ball and was driving to the goal line for the win. The G-Men defense that tore that stuffed Beaver apart were now on the field fighting for their life. They hold, get a penalty in their favor and now the field goal team takes the field. The crowd holds their breath; some of the G-Men are on their knees in prayer, one coach shakes his head in disbelief. This is it, that moment, “the game of the year”. It all comes down to this kick…14 seconds on the clock. It’s up, it’s long enough, and it’s wide to the left. WOW! The G-Men win for the first time in 4 years. What a great rivalry game!

 

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Each fall for over a century, high school football has been the centerpiece for families and communities on Friday night. In 2004, iHigh, Inc. created the Great American Rivalry Series to celebrate this uniquely American sport and the cultural phenomenon of “Friday Night in America.” The Series shines the spotlight on top high school football rivalries across the nation, where long-standing traditions are valued, expectations are sky high, and followers are committed.