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INDEPENDENCE - –– Alleghany scored the first and last touchdown in a game against the Grayson County Blue Devils last Friday night but what happened the rest of the game doomed the Trojans.
Behind a torrid defense, the Blue Devils handed the Trojans a 34-14 setback in a nondistrict game that was filled with penalties.
Alleghany took the opening kickoff to its own 38. Joshua Shepherd ripped off a 37-yard run to the Blue Devil 25. Luke Hampton picked up 6 yards to the 19 on first down and quarterback Kyle Hoffman gave the Trojans a first down at the 10. Shepherd lost a yard on a first down run and that’s where Alleghany’s offense sputtered.
Hoffman threw three incomplete passes and the Blue Devils took over on downs.
Grayson picked up a first down at the 25-yard line, and on second down quarterback Ethan Hash was intercepted by Eric Ramirez who was pulled down at the 1-yard-line. Hoffman scored on first down and Hampton ran for the extra point as the Trojans took the 8-0 lead with 8:25 to play in the first quarter.
Grayson answered and after Nathan Cowley gave the Blue Devils good field position on the kickoff runback at the Grayson 42, the Blue Devils marched down field and Eric Harvey caught a 14-yard pass from Hash for the touchdown with 5:58 showing on the clock. Mario Ruiz kicked the extra point and the Blue Devils trailed 8-7.
The Grayson defense turned in a good effort in the second period. The Trojans had driven deep into Blue Devil territory and with a fourth and one at the Grayson 4, Hoffman was smothered for a loss to end the threat.
Grayson took the lead with 1:52 left in the half when Xavier Rodriguez scored on a 17-yard run. Ruiz kicked the extra point for the Blue Devil lead, one they would not relinquish the rest of the game.
Alleghany had one more opportunity to score in the half. With less than 10 seconds remaining, Rodriguez picked off a Hoffman pass to end the half.
Rodriguez got in the scoring picture again on the opening drive of the second half. After Cowley broke free on the kickoff return, he was nailed at the Blue Devil 47. Two plays later, with 11:05 to play in the quarter, Rodriguez burned the Trojan defense for a 48-yard touchdown run. The kick was wide and the Blue Devils led 20-8.
Another Trojan miscue set up another Blue Devil touchdown. When Hoffman went back to punt, the ball was centered over his head. He fell on the ball at the 10. An offside penalty against Alleghany moved the ball to the 5. Hash bulled his way into the end zone on a quarterback sneak for the 5-yard TD. Ruiz kicked the extra point and the Blue Devils built their lead to 27-8.
The final Blue Devil touchdown was set up by a Hash to Harvey pass good to the Trojan 9-yard line. A personal foul penalty against the Trojans moved the ball to the 2. On first down, Cowley scored with 4:53 to play in the third period. Ruiz kicked the extra point for a 34-8 lead.
Hampton scored on a 12-yard run in the fourth period for the final score.
Blue Devil coach Brett McPherson said he was impressed with Alleghany the way they opened the game.
“Our boys were a little flat but when they got into the flow of the game, it made a big difference in the outcome,” McPherson said.
He said he felt they handled the “first-game jitters” well and they made a lot of outstanding plays against a good Alleghany team.
The Blue Devils will travel to Chilhowie this Friday night.
Alleghany, N.C.........8 0 0 6––14
Grayson County......7 7 20 0––34
All–Hoffman 1 run (Hampton kick)
GC–Harvey 14 pass from Hash (Ruiz kick)
GC–Rodriguez 17 run (Ruiz kick)
GC–Rodriguez 48 run (kick failed)
GC–Hash 5 run (Ruiz kick)
GC–Cowley 2 run (Ruiz kick)
All–Hampton 12 run (pass failed)
First downs 13 12
Rushes-yards 38-181 37-230
Yards passing 71 117
Comp-Att-Int 4-20-2 6-13-1
Return yards 83 66
Punts-average 4-10.8 1-35.0
Fumbles-lost 6-2 4-1
Penalties-yards 13-100 7-70
RUSHING—Alleghany, Hampton 15-116, Hoffman 18-31, Shepard 4-22, Garcia 1-(-2). Grayson County, Rodriguez 11-101, Hash 13-47, Ma.Rodgers 8-43, Watson 1-13, Warren 1-5, Roberts 3-(-6).
PASSING–Alleghany, Hoffman 4-20-2-71. Grayson County, Hash 5-11-1-95, Ma.Rodgers 1-2-0-22.
RECEIVING–Alleghany, Billings 3-63, Green 1-8. Grayson County, Harvey 4-95, Roberts 2-22.