- Special Sections
- Public Notices
MARTINSVILLE –– Making a stand just a few yards from its own end zone and with the game on the line, Martinsville went to its hurry-up defense.
Carroll County had driven to a second-and-3 at the Martinsville 12-yard line with less than a minute to play when the Bulldogs brought the house and came up with two tackles behind the line of scrimmage, holding on for an 18-14 win in a nondistrict game Friday at Dan Green Stadium.
“They sold the farm on a couple of plays there and beat us in the gaps and got some big plays on us,” Carroll County coach Tom Hale said. “They did what they needed to do to stop us, which was to get everybody up inside on us, and it worked.”
The Cavaliers fell to 0-5 on the year in what has become a string of discouraging losses. It was the fourth time in those five games that Carroll either led, was tied or trailed by a single point during the fourth quarter.
“I’m disappointed for our kids,” Hale said. “It’s been that kind of season. We’ve been right in it in four of five games and had a chance to win it, and just haven’t been able to put it together. I’m disappointed for our kids because they’ve played really well.”
Carroll County dominated both in total offense and time of possession (32:19 to 15:41), with more than half of Martinsville’s offensive production coming on two plays. The biggest of the two was a 50-yard touchdown pass on third-and-14 from Ishmael Hairston to Damian Patterson that erased a 14-11 Cavalier lead with 8:23 to play.
Starting from its own 20 following the kickoff, Carroll County worked methodically into position for a go-ahead score, converting a third-and-5 near midfield with a Logan Hodges 12-yard run, and later a fourth-and-1 from the Martinsville 22 with a 3-yard Hodges burst.
Connor Lundy hit Chris Smoot for a 7-yard gain to the 12 before Martinsville (2-3) overloaded the middle on consecutive plays, first catching Hodges four yards behind the line and then sacking Lundy at the 23.
Lundy’s fourth-down pass to Josh Blankenship with 34 seconds to play was tipped away inside the 10 by a pair of Bulldog defenders.
Other than the Patterson touchdown reception, Carroll County completely shut down the Bulldog offense in the second half, especially the ground game. The Bulldogs got zero rushing yards and two first downs after intermission and only 99 ground yards in the first half, 51 of that coming on one play. The Cavaliers outgained the Bulldogs 262 to 200 and racked up 20 first downs to Martinsville's seven.
“This is a good group and I feel good about our kids,” Hale said. “We’ve just got to get a few things corrected and maybe get some good luck and we’ll be alright. In every game we’ve seen, they’d laid the ball down a few times. Not tonight. We can’t seem to get a break.”
Carroll County took a 6-0 lead on its second possession, finishing off a 70-yard, 13-play drive with a 9-yard scoring strike from Lundy to Brooks Hash on fourth-and-4. The try for two failed.
The two teams swapped possessions before Martinsville answered with a three-play, 58-yard drive highlighted by Trey Hairston’s 51-yard sprint to the Carroll 7. Ishmael Hairston scored on a keeper two plays later, and a bad snap on the PAT resulted in a two-point conversion pass and an 8-6 Martinsville lead.
“We knew it would be difficult for us if they got out in space,” said Hale. “The big play in the first half wasn’t as much them being out there as it was us not seeing it and adjusting to it. The long pass play, they got us out in space, and we struggle with that.”
Zack Corcoran booted a 37-yard field goal to give Martinsville an 11-6 lead on its first possession of the second half. The 51-yard scoring drive was sustained when a punt was mishandled by the Cavs and recovered by the Bulldogs for a first down at the Carroll 10. Three running plays lost 10 yards before the Bulldogs settled for the field goal.
The Cavaliers took a 14-11 lead two minutes into the fourth quarter. Stopping Martinsville on downs at the 50, Carroll needed eight plays to take the lead. Jacob Mollett had an 18-yard run to the 1, and Lundy pushed over two plays later for the TD. Needing to go for two on the PAT, a holding call pushed the attempt back to the 12, but Lundy connected with Hodges in the end zone for the successful attempt.
Martinsville made a couple of key stops itself before its final stand of the night. The Cavaliers were stonewalled on fourth-and-1 inside the 10 just before the half and had a 14-yard Hash carry for a first down at the 13 nullified with holding penalty late in the third. That drive ended with a sack at the 41.
Mollett led Carroll with 114 yards on 22 attempts and Hodges gained 73 yards on 19 tries.
Ishmael Hairston averaged 120 rushing yards per game before being throttled to 12 yards by the Cavaliers. He was 6-of-8 passing for 101 yards.
Carroll County......0 6 0 8––14
Martinsville...........0 8 3 7––18
CC–Hash 9 pass from Lundy (pass failed) 8:54
M–I.Hairston 3 run (Patterson pass from T.Hairston) 3:08
M–Corcoran 37 FG, 7:37
CC–Lundy 1 run (Hodges pass from Lundy) 10:02
M–Patterson 50 pass from I.Hairston (Corcoran kick) 8:23
First downs 20 7
Rushes-yards 55-213 26-99
Yards passing 49 101
Comp-Att-Int 8-11-0 6-8-0
Return yards 80 38
Punts-average 2-38.0 2-27.0
Fumbles-lost 0-0 0-0
Penalties-yards 4-36 6-43
RUSHING—Carroll County, Mollett 22-114, Hodges 19-73, Hash 8-40, Alley 2-5, Lundy 4-(-19). Martinsville, T.Hairston 3-48, Williams 12-40, I.Hairston 10-12, Garcia 1-(-1).
PASSING–Carroll County, Lundy 8-11-0-49. Martinsville, I.Hairston 6-8-0-101.
RECEIVING–Carroll County, Smoot 4-40, Hash 2-10, Mollett 2-(-1). Martinsville, Patterson 2-52, T.Hairston 1-28, Tinsley 1-13, Williams 2-8.