33-point explosion lifts Maroon Tide to 60-24 win

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Galax will host Honaker Friday at 7 in the state quarterfinals.

By Ben Bomberger, Reporter

Galax rebounded from a slow start Friday and scored on five straight possessions to take home its 12th consecutive win, dominating Castlewood 60-24 in the Western Section Division 1 playoffs.


The top-seeded Maroon Tide (12-0) advances to the third round, where it will face the winner of Saturday’s Honaker-J.I. Burton game without one of its top two-way players – Steven Peoples.

With just over six minutes left in the game, a minor scuffle broke out and Peoples was flagged for throwing a punch. Per VHSL rules, he was ejected from the game and must serve a one-game suspension.

Other than the ejection and a sloppy first quarter, things went relatively well for Galax all night.

Following a Maroon Tide fumble, Blue Devils (8-3) drove 48 yards in 15 plays – which included a fake punt and critical fourth down conversion – and took an early 8-0 lead.

Galax struggled on its next possession before a 51-yard Deion George punt return sparked the Tide. George made his way to the Blue Devil 32-yard line and Galax needed just four plays to go the rest of the distance, capping the drive when Austin Pack found Jacob Fisher through the air from 16 yards out. The extra point closed the gap to 8-7 with 2:13 left in the first quarter.

From there things got ugly for Castlewood, which had no answer for Galax’s powerful offense.

A fumble on the ensuing drive gave the Tide another short field to work with. Taking over on the Castlewood 39, Galax pounded the ball on the ground in typical Tide fashion en route to a 1-yard Jordan Vaughan touchdown.

With the extra point through the uprights, Galax took the lead for the final time with 10:10 left in the first half.

On the next drive, Castlewood quarterback Trevor Hileman was flagged for intention grounding in the end zone, resulting in a safety and a 16-8 lead with 9:07 left in the half.

On Galax’s next drive, a 14-yard Donte Peoples touchdown run was nullified by a holding penalty, but Galax called Peoples’ number again and he scooted to the outside of the left side of the Maroon Tide line and ran over two Blue Devil defenders at the 1-yard line for another Galax touchdown for a 23-8 lead at 5:11 of the second.

The extra point stretched the lead to 23-8 with 5:11 left in the first half.

Vaughan managed to find the end zone from 4 yards out and Eli Brady hit a 20-yard field goal with 19 seconds left in the half, and the Tide put up 33 straight points to take a 33-8 lead.

Castlewood fumbled on the ensuing kick off and Galax decided to take a shot to the end zone as time expired.

The call backfired, however, as Castlewood’s Aaron Kennedy picked off Pack on the 1-yard-line and returned it 99 yards for another Blue Devil touchdown.

Following the two point conversion, Galax’s lead shrunk to 33-16 with half a game to play.

Galax pounded the ball on the ground for much of the second half and scored on four of its five possessions to score 60 or more points for the second straight weekend. Vaughan added two rushing scores, Donte Peoples ran in from 17 yards out and Frankie Shalabi nabbed a 25-yard scoring pass from Pack midway through the fourth.

Donte Peoples led the way for Galax with 132 yards on 13 carries and Vaughan pounded out 114 yards on 20 carries.



Castlewood........8    8    0    8––24

Galax................7  26  14  13––60


First quarter

Ca–Hileman 3 run (Hileman run) 6:11

Gx–Fisher 16 pass from Pack (Brady kick) 2:13

Second quarter

Gx–Vaughan 1 run (Brady kick) 10:10

Gx–Safety, intentional grounding in end zone, 9:07

Gx–D.Peoples 16 run (Brady kick) 5:11

Gx–Vaughan 4 run (Brady kick), 4:01

Gx–Brady 20 FG, 0:19

Ca–Kennedy 99 interception return (Rasnick run) 0:00

Third quarter

Gx–Vaughan 2 run (Brady kick) 8:59

Gx–D.Peoples 17 run (Brady kick) 3:32

Fourth quarter

Ca–Rasnick 1 run (Hileman run) 9:16

Gx–Shalabi 25 pass from Pack (kick failed) 6:05

Gx–Vaughan 10 run (Brady kick) 1:22



                               Ca    Gx

First downs                 9    20

Rushes-yards       35-68    39-287

Yards passing           134    77

Comp-Att-Int       7-26-1    6-12-2

Return yards             188    88

Punts-average      4-33.0    1-24.0

Fumbles-lost             3-2    1-1

Penalties-yards       5-25    5-40




RUSHING—Castlewood, Hileman 9-38, Rasnick 14-24, Trent 7-16, Edmonds 5-(-10). Galax, D.Peoples 13-132, Vaughan 20-114, S.Peoples 6-41.

PASSING–Castlewood, Hileman 7-23-1-123, Edmonds 1-2-0-14, Kennedy 1-1-0-(-3). Galax, Pack 6-12-2-77.

RECEIVING–Castlewood, Kennedy 4-93, Edmonds 2-22, Gibson 3-19. Galax, George 3-33, Shalabi 1-25, Fisher 1-16, Vaughan 1-3.