Fishwrap Archive

Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch
Published: October 28, 2000
Section: Sports
Page: D-7

No. 1 Blue Devils cruise
to victory

Win special for Varina assistant

Varina-Atlee storyBY DAVE LAWRENCE
Times-Dispatch Correspondent

The Varina Blue Devils wanted to give assistant coach Lenny Pritchard a special homecoming in Atlee last night.

Unfortunately for Atlee, the Raiders were the main course for the feast.

Varina, ranked No. 1 in The Times-Dispatch Area Poll, clobbered Atlee 63-6 and remained in control of first place in the Capital District.

Pritchard, a former assistant coach at Atlee, had been interviewed for the Raiders' head coaching job now held by another former assistant, Terry Meeks.

Pritchard's new team wanted to make his return memorable.

"We knew it was going to be a big game for us," said Blue Devils quarterback Mike Robinson, who led Varina's offense with nine carries for 130 yards and one touchdown. "We knew it was Coach Pritchard's homecoming, and we stepped it up for him."

The Raiders hardly knew what hit them. Their offense sputtered throughout the first quarter, with key sacks from an aggressive Varina defense snuffing the life out of four Atlee drives and an interception ending another.

While Atlee sputtered, Varina made its first five drives count, scoring five unanswered touchdowns before its final drive of the first half ended in an interception. The Blue Devils ran into the locker room with a 36-0 lead.

Varina took only three plays in the third quarter to extend their formidable lead. Stanley Cuffee charged through a crowd at the Blue Devils' 36 and sprinted out of reach of the few remaining Raiders defenders. Not only did he break several tackles along the way, but his score all but broke Atlee's back.

"We played well," said Varina assistant coach Stu Brown. "This was as sharp as we've looked in a while. Coming out, you could totally tell that these kids had their game face on. This was as intense a Varina team during pregame as we've seen."

The drubbing of Atlee was a team effort. Varina rushers -- led by Robinson, Cuffee with 14 carries for 113 yards and three touchdowns, and Bruce McMullen with eight carries for 105 yards and two touchdowns -- gained 433 yards on the ground and another 47 in the air. The Blue Devils dominated the ball, picking up 24 first downs to Atlee's eight.

The Blue Devils' defense held Atlee to 87 yards on the ground and 105 in the air.

"We hit one of the best teams in the state on their best night," Meeks said. "They can't play any better than that."

Meeks said that Pritchard's return to Atlee had the Blue Devils pumped up.

"They really were at the top of their game," Meeks said. "I think that it was a tribute to him."