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By LARRY CHAMBERS
Landmark News Service
SPARTA, N.C. – Grayson County put on another offensive show last Friday night when the Blue Devils opened the season with a 55-12 victory over the Alleghany Trojans in a nondistrict game.
The Blue Devils made it look easy as they built up a 20-0 lead after the first period and led 48-6 at halftime.
Grayson wasted no time in getting on the scoreboard, which wasn’t working and the referees had to keep the time on the field.
Spencer Roberts got a good return to the 25. Darren Anderson picked up five yards on first down before Xavier Rodriguez weaved his way through the Trojan defense and raced 70 yards for the touchdown. But the touchdown was called back because of an illegal block in the back call against the Blue Devils, giving them the ball at the Alleghany 40.
There was no gain on first down and Rodriguez picked up eight to the 32 and Anderson picked up the first down on a run to the 28.
Rodriguez proved he wasn’t giving up on the touchdown and broke through the Trojan defense for a second time and zipped into the end zone on a 28-yard touchdown run. Mario Ruiz kicked the extra point for a 7-0 lead.
After Alleghany went three and out, a short punt gave the Blue Devils the ball at the Alleghany 31. Behind the running of Anderson and Rodriguez, the Blue Devils drove to the 1-yard line before fumbling and Adam Gambill recovered and returned the ball to the Trojan 29.
Once again, Alleghany failed to move the ball against the stingy Blue Devil defense and was forced to punt.
Roberts found himself on the end of a short scoring drive when he hauled in a 25-yard touchdown pass from Max Rodgers. The kick was good for a 14-0 lead.
The aggressive Blue Devil defense forced another Alleghany turnover when Zack Vaughan batted the football into the air and intercepted it at the Alleghany 13. Two plays later, Rodriguez crossed the goal line for his second touchdown of the quarter. The extra point kick was wide and the Blue Devils led 20-0 as the period ended.
With 11:34 left in the second period, it was Anderson’s turn to get on the scoreboard. He broke several tackles and scored on a 25-yard run. Ruiz kicked the extra point for a 27-0 lead.
The Blue Devils tacked on another score with 8:00 left in scored on a 6-yard run. Ruiz kicked the extra point and the Blue Devils led 34-0.
Lucas Rudy helped set up another scoring drive when he intercepted a Grant Caudill pass at the Grayson County 48. A pass from Rodgers to Dylan Morris was good to the 25 and Rodgers found his brother Mikey going down the sidelines for a 25-yard touchdown. Ruiz kicked the extra point for a 41-0 lead.
The Trojans put together a good drive and capped it off when Caudill hit Ryan Billings with a 9-yard scoring pass in the corner of the end zone. The run was no good and the Trojans cut the Blue Devil lead to 41-6.
With time running out in the half, the Blue Devils got a good return on the kickoff and Rodgers wasted little time in finding his brother for a second touchdown, this time good from 61 yards out. Ruiz kicked the extra point and the Blue Devils led 48-7 at halftime.
The Blue Devils scored their final touchdown in the third period when the Rodgers brothers teamed up again with Mikey scoring on a 36-yard pass play. Ruiz kicked the extra point for a 55-6 lead.
The Trojans didn’t give up and early in the fourth period, Billings scored his second touchdown of the game, hauling in a 12-yard pass from Caudill.
With reserves running the show, the Blue Devils had one last scoring drive after Vaughan returned the kickoff after the Alleghany touchdown to the Alleghany 5-yard-line. But after four running plays and a 5-yard illegal procedure call, the Trojan defense played tough and the Trojans took over on downs.
The Trojans had a touchdown called back in the fourth when Ethan Atwood broke several tackles and scored on an 88-yard run. But it was called back because an illegal block in the back call.
Rodriguez finished with 115 yards on eight first-quarter carries and Max Rodgers was 10-of-12 passing for 264 yards and four touchdowns in his first varsity start. Mikey Rodgers had five catches for 157 yards and three scores as the Blue Devils churned out 455 yards in total offense.
Blue Devil coach Brett McPherson said he felt his team started slow but played well when they gained their momentum. He was pleased with the play by his linebackers.
He applauded his offense for having only one turnover.
Grayson County......20 28 7 0––55
Alleghany, NC...........0 6 6 0––12
GC – Rodriguez 28 run (Ruiz kick)
GC – Roberts 31 pass from Mx.Rodgers (Ruiz kick)
GC – Rodriguez 11 run (kick failed)
GC – Anderson 25 run (Ruiz kick)
GC – Smith 6 run (Ruiz kick)
GC – Mk.Rodgers 25 pass from Mx.Rodgers (Ruiz kick)
All – Billings 10 pass from G.Caudill (run failed)
GC – Mk.Rodgers 61 pass from Mx.Rodgers (Ruiz kick)
GC – Mk.Rodgers 36 pass from Mx.Rodgers (Ruiz kick)
All – Billings 14 pass from G.Caudill (run failed)
First downs 11 10
Rushes-yards 27-191 30-69
Yards passing 264 93
Comp-Att-Int 10-13-0 10-26-3
Return yards 72 156
Punts-average 0-0 5-20.1
Fumbles-lost 1-1 0-0
Penalties-yards 5-80 4-20
RUSHING—Grayson County, Rodriguez 8-115, Anderson 7-60, Mx.Rodgers 2-10, Smith 3-10, J.Bilbrey 5-7, Williams 2-(-6). Alleghany, C.Caudill 9-39, Atwood 6-25, Edwards 6-11, Hampton 1-4, Billings 1-4, G.Caudill 6-(-28).
PASSING – Grayson County – Mx.Rodgers 10-12-0-264, Osborne 0-1-0-0. Alleghany, G.Caudill 10-26-3-93.
RECEIVING – Grayson County, Mk.Rodgers 5-157, Roberts 2-56, Anderson 2-31, Morris 1-20. Alleghany, Atwood 3-43, Billings 6-36, Edwards 1-14.