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HILLSVILLE –– Carroll County battled evenly for more than three quarters for the second straight week only to come up short again in the fourth quarter, dropping a 21-6 nondistrict loss to Mount Airy, N.C., Friday at Tommy Thompson Field.
The Granite Bears (2-1) held a slim 7-6 lead entering the fourth quarter but put together a quick six-play, 81-yard drive to widen the margin to 13 points two minutes into the fourth.
Mount Airy fullback Zaqwan Dobson got his first four carries of the night on the drive, including a 45-yard burst down to the Cavaliers’ 3-yard line. The 5-foot-9, 225-pounder dove over on the next play and Dylan Wright added the PAT for a 14-6 Bears lead with 9:52 to play.
Carroll County (0-2) went three-and-out on its next series and Mount Airy put the game away with a 71-yard scoring drive. Ty Simmons carried six times for 56 yards in the eight-play series, darting in from 18 yards out with 3:57 to play.
“We didn’t answer the bell there in the fourth quarter,” said Carroll County coach Tom Hale, whose Cavaliers lost on a last-minute score in their season opener. “They didn’t do anything that we hadn’t seen. They were doing stuff that we were stopping in the first half, and they were knocking us off the ball and beating us to the hole. When they start pounding at us we’ve got to rise up, and we didn’t do that, on either side of the ball. It was a 7-6 game here on our home field and we didn’t get after it in the fourth quarter, and they did.”
Carroll County was up to the task in the first three quarters, holding Mount Airy without a first down until five minutes had passed in the second period. Five straight Kashous Martin carries moved the Bears from the Carroll County 43 to the 2, and he scored two plays later from a yard away to put Mount Airy on top 7-0 with 6:40 to go in the first half.
The second of Josh Underwood’s two first-half interceptions set up an answering score for Carroll County. Underwood picked off Austin Taylor’s pass at his own 30 and his return put the Cavaliers in business at the Mount Airy 41.
Following a 4-yard Logan Hodges carry, Brooks Hash hauled in a Conner Lundy pass at the 20, sidestepped Bears defensive back Jokton Moore at the 5 and completed the 37-yard scoring play with 1:08 left in the half.
The run for two failed and the Cavaliers went to the half trailing 7-6.
Otherwise, Carroll County found the going tough against the Mount Airy defense, managing 73 yards on the ground, including a minus-33 yards on seven sacks. Hodges led the way with 62 yards on 14 rushing attempts.
“We just couldn’t get it going,” said Hale. “We couldn’t get our fullback established. They did a good job of shutting our trap down. We didn’t block them very well on the perimeter. We had our moments but we couldn’t get anything going consistently on offense.”
The Bears rolled up 335 yards in total offense, including 286 on the ground. Martin carried 16 times for 98 yards, Simmons added 79 yards on 10 attempts and Dobson accounted for 66 yards on five carries.
Taylor was 4-of-12 with two interceptions for 49 yards and added 43 yards on eight rushes.
Mount Airy, N.C.......0 7 0 14––21
Carroll County.........0 6 0 0–– 6
MA–Martin 1 run (Wright kick) 6:40
CC–Hash 37 pass from Lundy (run failed) 1:08
MA–Dobson 3 run (Wright kick) 9:52
MA–Simmons 18 run (Wright kick) 3:57
First downs 15 7
Rushes-yards 39-286 39-73
Yards passing 49 49
Comp-Att-Int 4-12-2 2-12-1
Return yards 73 128
Punts-average 2-26.5 8-35.4
Fumbles-lost 1-1 0-0
Penalties-yards 5-55 4-16
RUSHING—Mount Airy, Martin 16-98, Simmons 10-79, Dobson 5-66, Taylor 8-43. Carroll County, Hodges 14-62, Hash 9-27, Alley 7-15, Marshall 1-4, Underwood 1-(-2), Lundy 7-(-33).
PASSING – Mount Airy, Taylor 4-12-2-49. Carroll County, Lundy 2-12-1-49.
RECEIVING – Mount Airy, Martin 1-17, Gwyn 1-15, Joyce 1-11, Dobson 1-6. Carroll County, Hash 1-37, Smoot 1-12.