Big plays boost Blue all-stars to win in VHSCA game

Kevin Mays • Dec 16, 2018 at 2:21 AM

WISE — Big plays gave the Blue team a big win Saturday in the Virginia High School Coaches Association’s senior all-star football game.

Blue team co-MVP Carter Rivenburg scored on a 57-yard touchdown run and co-MVP Levonne Terry ripped off a 53-yard touchdown run to highlight a seven-TD day for the Blue in a 45-17 win over the Red at Virginia-Wise’s Carl Smith Stadium.

The 45 points scored by the Blue was an all-star game record for the most in the 48-year history of the contest. The outcome also was the largest margin of victory in the game’s history.


The game featured high school seniors from across the commonwealth, including several from Southwest Virginia.

Union kicker Justin Falin struggled with point-after touchdown attempts early but finished the contest converting three PATs.

“I was kind of struggling because I wasn’t used to the holder,” said Falin, who is mulling college offers from Virginia-Wise, Emory & Henry and Ferrum. “Then we got a new (holder) in there and he was getting down the way I was used to, so it started working out for me.”

Falin said playing on a team again with Travis Turner, his coach at Union, and Bears teammates Brandon Bunch and Bailey Turner made the experience even better.

“It was great getting to play with these guys one last time,” Falin said. “Not a lot of people get to do this in their career. This is a good opportunity to get one final game. You get to play with some of your teammates. You get to meet a lot of great people. I got to meet a lot of cool guys from different parts of the state. It was just a really good experience.”

Bunch got plenty of playing time while lining up on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.

“It was a great experience. It was a good two or three days with these guys and with great coaches,” he said. “We had to rush a lot of stuff. But in the end, it worked out well.”

Bunch, the Times News All-Southwest Virginia offensive lineman of the year, said having familiar coaches on the sidelines, like Turner and Richlands’ Greg Mance and Eastside’s Mike Rhodes — the defensive coordinator at Union two seasons ago — made things easy for him as far as the offensive and defensive sets.

“(Turner) and Coach Mance are good guys,” Bunch said. “We stuck with some of our formations and Richlands’ offense, which wasn’t too hard to get used to. It was Coach Rhodes’ defense, so I’m used to it.”

Bunch said he is exploring some options right now, but definitely wants to play football at the next level.


In addition to the big runs from Buffalo Gap’s Rivenburg and Blacksburg’s Terry, the Blue got other big scoring plays in several forms: a 46-yard pick-6 from Charlottesville’s Sabias Folley and a 76-yard interception return for a score from Elijah Jeffries of Justice High in Falls Church; a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown from Leroy Thomas of Patrick Henry-Roanoke; and two more touchdown runs, a 45-yard sprint from Jefferson Forrest’s Marvin Blake and 5-yard score from Richlands quarterback Race Moir.

The Red team got touchdown on two 1-yard runs. One was by Frank Ross of Amherst County and one by Cave Spring’s Jacob Knight.

The Red’s only other points came on a 23-yard field goal by Gavin Stone of Riverside.


VHSCA All-Star Game

Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018

at Virginia-Wise Smith Stadium

Blue 45, Red 17

Red......     0   3   14    0  —  17

Blue.....   12 19     7    7  —  45

Scoring summary

B – Folley 46 interception return (kick failed)

B – Rivenburg 57 run (kick failed)

R – Stone 23 FG

B – Thomas 90 kickoff return (kick failed)

B – Moir 5 run (Falin kick)

B – Jeffries 76 interception return (kick failed)

R – Ross 1 run (Stone kick)

B – Terry 53 run (Falin kick)

R – Knight 1 run (Stone kick)

B – Blake 45 run (Falin kick)

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