Wk 11 NRV 2023 Fort Chiswell @ Giles

Wk 11 NRV 2023 Fort Chiswell @ Giles 752 1294 SWVA High School Sports

Giles jumps out early and then has to hang on in 36-22 win over Fort Chiswell

Steve Ragsdale Field, Giles County High School, Pearisburg, VA – Fort Chiswell made the long trip to take on Pioneer District foe in the last game of the season, and they didn’t disappoint. It was Senior night for the Spartans. Giles played a near perfect first half of football with a 28-6 lead at the break.

Their single wing offense was rolling with a time of possession advantage 20 of the total 24 minutes in the half. It’s hard for your opponent to score if they don’t have the ball. Giles RB 23 Jackson Parsell had 20 rushes in the first half for 87 yards and 2 TDs. He also had a 17-yd TD pass to teammate WR 21Aaron Miller. RB 9 Brogan Pennington also made his mark in the half by breaking loose for a 39 yard TD run and coming up with an interception and 22-yd return with 28 seconds left in the half, setting the Spartan’s “last-second” touchdown score beforeintermission.

It was at the half that Fort Chiswell coach Zane Quesenberry decided to put the ball in the hands of senior WR/DB 7 Layton Kennedy. At the start of the 3rd quarter the Pioneers switched to a wildcat formation with Layton taking the snaps. After the game Coach Quesenberry said, “he’s a dog, he is one of our dogs, and I made the choice to give it to him, to go to work”.

Layton’s fire and energy ignited a Pioneer rally that pulled Fort Chiswell within 6 points, 28-22, with 2:50 left in the 4th quarter. It was at that point when the drama began. Everybody knew an onside kick was coming, but no one knew it would take three attempts. On the first kick, Giles was offsides. The second boot Fort Chiswell was whistled for an illegal procedure. On the final attempt the onside kick did not travel 10 yards and Giles took possession. From there it took only three plays for Spartan RB 4 Khalik Saunders to scamper 25 yards for the score, and a 2 point conversion as well to make it 36-22.

The Spartans received the kickoff and drove 67 yards for the score on their opening possession. Their drive had 11 straight running plays and then an element of surprise on the last play – a pass – and it was a good one. RB 23 Jackson Parsell connected with WR 21 Aaron Miller for a 17-yd score and K/P 22 AJ Caldwell was perfect on the PAT. Giles led 7-0. It only took 13 seconds before Fort Chiswell responded with a touchdown of their own. WR/DB 7 Layton Kennedy took the ensuing kickoff 82 yards to the house. The extra point was missed and the score leaving the score 7-6 Giles County. That would be all of the scoring for the Pioneers in the 1st half, but the Spartans’ offense continued to produce. Parsell and teammates RB 4 Khalik Saunders and RB 9 Brogan Pennington were the main characters in an offensive cast that the Pioneer defense was unable stop. Their second score came when Pennington went around the right side for a 39 yard jaunt to the end zone. Following that the Spartans went on a 13-play, 63-yard, 7 minute drive featuring 9 carries by Parsell with the final one being a 4-yard TD run. They capped off the 1st half scoring barrage after a Pennington interception with 28 seconds left, when Parsell connected again with WR 21 Miller for a 27 yard completion to the Pioneer three yard line. Parsells took it in from 3-yards out for his second rushing TD in the quarter. The halftime score was 28-6, Giles.
The second half was a different story. As mentioned, Fort Chiswell switched to the wildcat offense with WR/DB 7 Kennedy running the show. After the Pioneers received the kickoff, Kennedy ran the ball 6 of the 7 plays and scored on a 40 yard TD run. He then connected with RB/OLB 12 Russell Stoots for the 2-pt conversion to make the score 28-14. Fort Chiswell’s defense forced Giles to punt on their first two second half possessions, meanwhile Pioneer RB 34 Michael Melton came to life. He finished with 15 carries for 104 yards which put him over 1,000 yards on the season. He stepped up his play in the 4th quarter when a Spartan punt pinned the Pioneers back at their own 1 yard line. On the first play of the drive a Layton Kennedy block freed Melton for a 21 yard run to give them some breathing room. He followed that up with runs of 7, 10 and 5 yards before breaking free down the sideline for a 41-yard run to the end zone. After Melton’s 2pt conversion run, suddenly it was a one possession ball game with Giles leading 28-22 with 2:50 remaining. It was at that point that it took nearly 10 minutes for the game clock to move 1 second. Two penalties, injured players and, repeated referee discussions prolonged the wait, as Fort Chiswell lined up and attempted an onside kick 3 consecutive times. In the end, Giles recovered the ball and due to an unsportsmanlike penalty, were set up at the Fort Chiswell 34 yard line. The Spartan offense gave the ball to RB 4 Khalik Saunders 3 straight times and Saunders found the end zone from 25 yards out to finish off the night’s scoring. Both teams advance to the first round of the playoffs next week. – T-Mac

Fort Chiswell – Michael Melton 15-104, TD, Layton Kennedy 12-82, TD, Brady Kelly 2-10 Giles – Jackson Parsell 24-105, 2 TDs, Khalik Saunders 16-85, TD, Brogan Pennington 4-67, TD, Scott Hilton 1-5, Jadon Estes 1-7, Jalen Baylor 4-12
Fort Chiswell– Brady Kelly 3/9 – 18, 2 INT Giles – Jackson Parsell 2/4 – 44, TD
Fort Chiswell – Layton Kennedy 1-20, Michael Melton 1- (-2), Russell Stoots 1-4 Giles – Aaron Miller 2-44, TD
Fort Chiswell – No punts Giles – AJ Caldwell 2-22 yds
Fort Chiswell – Brayden Billings 0/1, 0/0 Giles – AJ Caldwell 4/4, 0/0

1st quarter
Giles: A. Miller 21-yd catch from J. Parsell; PAT AJ Caldwell (5:24)
Fort Chiswell: L. Kennedy 82-yd KO return; PAT missed (5:11)
Giles: B. Pennington 39-yd run; PAT AJ Caldwell (2:16)
2nd quarter
Giles: J. Parsell 4-yd run; PAT AJ Caldwell (2:17)
Giles: J. Parsell 3-yd run; PAT AJ Caldwell (0:11)
3rd quarter
Fort Chiswell: L. Kennedy 40-yd run; 2 pt. R. Stoots pass from L. Kennedy (8:00)
4th quarter
Fort Chiswell: M. Melton 41-yd run; 2 pt. M. Melton run (2:50)
Giles: K. Saunders 25-yd run; 2 pt. K. Saunders run (2:28)

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