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WATCH NOW PREP FOOTBALL: Chilhowie defense blanks J.I. Burton Raiders, 9-0, in spring 2021 opener

WATCH NOW PREP FOOTBALL: Chilhowie defense blanks J.I. Burton Raiders, 9-0, in spring 2021 opener

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CHILHOWIE, Va. – It was 39-degrees in Chilhowie Monday night with a chilly 12-mph wind and plenty of mud.

Basically, the conditions were perfect for Chilhowie senior Colby Crutchfield.

The 6-foot-2, 288-pound lineman led a dominant defensive effort as the Warriors blanked the J.I. Burton Raiders 9-0 in the opening game of football season in Virginia.

“ Oh yeah, I love this type of game,” said Crutchfield, who starred at defensive tackle and left tackle on offense. “We’ve been practicing out here in the mud all week, so we were ready.”

The 23rd straight home win for Chilhowie helped erase some of the sting from a 12-7 playoff loss to Burton in 2019 at the University of Virginia’s College of Wise.

“ That was definitely a heart breaker,” Crutchfield said. “We’ve been looking forward to this night ever since.”

Following a prolonged rain Monday morning, players from both teams struggled to find traction on the soggy field.

The only points in the first half came on a 28-yard field goal from 6-3 junior Daniel Hutton late in the first quarter. That score was set up by a 20-yard run from 6-1 sophomore Jonathan Gilley on a fake punt.

“With no scrimmages in this shortened season, special teams are going to be a difference maker and they made a big difference for us,” Chilhowie coach Jeff Robinson.

A 35-yard punt return by Chilhowie junior D.J. Martin to the Burton 24-yard yard line set up a Chilhowie touchdown with 2:36 remaining in the third quarter. Martin followed his blocks at quarterback en route to a 14-yard quarterback sneak up the middle.

The Chilhowie thumpers took care of the rest. Senior middle linebacker Gabino Silverio recorded 11 tackles with two stops for loss, while Crutchfield (10 tackles) and 6-1 senior end Jordan Williams (eight tackles) were also effective.

“ We take pride in our field and our program, and we’re just trying to prove that we’re still here,” Silverio said.

Silverio said the 457 day wait between games just made the Warriors hungrier.

“ We were hyped,” Silverio said.

Burton managed just 145 total yards while losing the ball twice on fumbles.

“ I thought we played pretty well on defense, but we hurt ourselves with fumbles and penalties,” Burton coach Jacob Caudill said. “There’s no excuse for it. We have to go back to the chalkboard and get better.”

Junior Esau Teasley led Burton with 33 yards rushing on 16 carries, while junior Seth Huffman (6-1, 255) powered for 22 yards on five carries.

“ We’re big up front and we have some speed, but we’re just going to have to get down and dirty with it in these type of field conditions,” Caudill said.

Junior linemen Johnny Williams (6-0, 310) and senior linebacker Kaleb Mink (6-0, 260) led the Burton defense.

Martin was the highlight for Chilhowie on offense with 46 yards rushing on 11 carries, while Gilley added 41 yards on 10 carries.

According to Robinson, Monday’s payoff was the result of a six-days-per-week practice routine under often extreme weather.

“ Last Tuesday, the snow was coming down and the wind chill was 12 degrees,” Robinson said. “The kids didn’t complain one time, but my papers were blowing down the field because my hands were so numb.”

The pre-game speech from Robinson was simple.

“ I just wanted the guys to compete, and they competed their tails off all four quarters,” Robinson said. “We made a ton of mistakes, but I’m shocked at well we played overall. We’ve got a real good group of seniors.”

Crutchfield said he knew it was going to a fun day when he looked out his window at 6:30 Monday morning.

“ I was happy when I saw all that rain,” Crutchfield said. “We were ready at game time, and we all came out and swarmed to the ball.”

agregory@bristolnews.com | Twitter: @Greg_BHCSports | (276) 645-2544

J.I. Burton 0 0 0 0-0

Chilhowie 3 0 6 0-9

Scoring Summary

C – Hutton 28 FG

C – Martin 14 run (kick blocked)

Team Stats

First Downs: JIB 9, C 7; Rushes-Yards: JIB 37-108, C 33-124; Passing Yards: JIB 38, C 20; Comp.-Att.-Int: JIB 5-12-0, C 3-5-0; Fumbles-Lost: JIB 2-2, C 4-1; Penalties-Yards: JIB 2-20, C 3-15; Punts-Average: JIB 4-25, C 4-29.

agregory@bristolnews.com | Twitter: @Greg_BHCSports | (276) 645-2544

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