By Randy Arrington
LURAY, Aug. 27 — Everything went the way of Luray on Friday night at Bulldog Field, as the home team manhandled visiting Mountain View and cruised to a dominating 62-0 win in both team’s season opener.
One of the standouts among Luray’s strong junior class, Brady Jenkins, dominated the opening minutes of Friday night’s Bull Run District matchup. On Luray’s first two drives, Jenkins carried the ball on three of the four plays the Bulldogs ran, tallying 76 yards and two touchdowns. On Mountain View’s first possession, Jenkins landed a big hit that forced a fumble.
Those opening minutes dictated the tone of the game, as the Generals could only muster one first down all night (on their final drive), while the Bulldogs put up points on nine of 10 possessions. Luray took a knee at the 1-yard line on their final possession to run out the clock and keep from running up the score.
Jenkins lead Luray’s bread-and-butter ground game with 110 yards. Fellow junior Kenny Frye represents the other half of the Bulldog’s dynamic duo in the backfield, as he racked up 72 yards, one touchdown and one two-point conversion. Jenkins and Frye also anchor Luray’s linebacking core that stymied the Generals rushing game all night.
LHS senior Lebron Payton adds a third weapon for the Bulldog offense, as he broke away for a 24-yard touchdown run and caught a 14-yard touchdown pass.
While the Bulldogs are known for their grinding ground game, junior quarterback Jordan Jenkins showed Friday night that Luray’s passing game could keep defenses on their toes and not just keying on a strong backfield. In his first start behind center, Jordan went 2-for-2 through the air, with two touchdowns. Sophomore Ryder Liscomb caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from Jenkins. The junior quarterback completed a third pass to Brady Jenkins that went for 15 yards before being called back due to an illegal man downfield.
Luray would substitute freely at the end of the first half and throughout the second half. Senior Landen Jerde scored from two yards out to put the Bulldogs up 52-0 at halftime. Freshmen Drayvin Stevens and Jakob Choat saw significant playing time in the second half. Choat took over both kicking and quarterback duties, scoring Luray’s last points of the game with a 25-yard field goal in the third quarter and a 1-yard touchdown plunge in the fourth quarter. Stevens broke a 42-yard run that added to his 118-yard total for the night on just five carries.
Luray showed that they could execute effectively in all elements of the game, despite the level of competition they faced. Mountain View lost 11 seniors from last year’s team that went 1-5 in the spring, there was a lot of rebuilding to do for head coach Kyle Kokkonen. Despite the experience and talent of senior quarterback Jacob Lemon, the Generals will be facing an uphill battle all season.
The Bulldogs, however, should be able to build confidence and momentum off a season-opening win. Their offense will be hard to stop, and their defense should be able to keep them in most games this season. While some thought the loss of some key seniors from last season — Dalton Griffith, Austin Holloway and Brendan Fitzwater — might hamper the Bulldogs postseason hopes this year, it looks like the ‘Dawgs will be ready to fight week-in and week-out and should be considered real contenders for the Bull Run District title.
Next Friday, Luray is on the road at Buffalo Gap, while Mountain View has a bye week before hosting Bath County.
The PVN Sports broadcast crew selected
as the Blue Ridge Bank “Player of the Game.”
To check schedules, rosters, results and standings for local high school sports,
see the Bull Run District website.