Cavaliers escape Galax 9-0

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Zack Surratt’s long TD broke open a 2-0 score as Carroll County claimed the win in the two teams’ annual benefit game.

By Craig Worrell, Sports Editor

Zack Surratt broke free on a 65-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter for the only offensive score of the night as Carroll County squeaked out a 9-0 win over Galax in the two teams’ annual benefit game Friday night. Leading 2-0 after three quarters, Carroll County got some breathing room on the one-play drive after a 15-play Galax series stalled, resulting in a punt to the Cavalier 35. Surratt took an inside reverse and darted untouched up the middle on the next play, crossing the goal line with 11 minutes left in the game. Mason King’s PAT provided the final margin. Surratt finished with 115 yards on nine rushes, with 107 of those yards coming on two carries. Otherwise, Galax allowed just 40 yards on 26 rushing attempts. “I can’t express my disappointment enough in our offensive performance,” Carroll County coach Tom Hale said. “It was bad. We’ve got work to do there.” The first half wasn’t a beauty contest for either team. The first quarter ended with the two teams combining for 22 yards, six penalties, four punts and one first down. Carroll and Galax managed a combined 104 yards and six first downs in the first half, much of that offset by 11 total penalties. “We’ve got plenty of room for improvement, but that’s the great thing about having these benefit, preseason-type games,” Galax coach Jared Van Acker said. “Playing against a big Division 4 team like that, I thought we looked pretty good. One big play and a safety off a bad snap.” That bad snap, in punt formation from the Galax 20 early in the second period, rolled out of the back of the end zone and accounted for the only points scored in the game’s first 37 minutes. “I thought our defense played real well,” said Van Acker. “Other than that one big play I thought we shut it down pretty good. But that’s the scary thing when you shut down an offense like that, is that one big play that will scoot through there. They got that one play.” “On one play we’d get it right, and we’d run it again and we’d miss an assignment,” Hale said. “I think our backs and receivers didn’t play a very good game. Early in the game our receivers were lining up wrong and getting penalties and our backs were doing the wrong motions. It was one of those nights offensively where if something could go wrong, it did.” And Galax didn’t give the Cavaliers a great deal of time to work out the kinks, either. The Tide had nearly twice as many offensive snaps, 64 to 33, as Carroll, and had four possessions of at least 12 plays each, two of which were sustained by roughing the punter penalties. Glen Love picked off a Terrance Mazon pass at the Cavalier 11 to stop a late first-half drive, and Galax drove 12 plays to the Cavalier 26 on its first possession of the second half before turning it over on downs. Jacob Fisher made three big third- and fourth-down catches to keep a Tide drive alive as Galax moved from its own 21 to the Carroll 35, but Mazon was sacked on fourth down to halt the threat early in the fourth. “I just can’t say enough positive things about our defense,” Hale said. “How many sacks did we have? Our defense played a heck of a game. We had our backs to the wall the whole game.” Following Surratt’s touchdown, Galax drove as far as the Carroll County 35 before Love’s second interception, this one at his own 8-yard line, stopped the Tide with less than four minutes to go. Galax managed 20 yards on 32 rushes, which included 17 tackles for a loss. Mazon completed 9-of-32 passes for 100 yards, with Fisher making four catches for 59 yards. Carroll County totaled 172 yards, including 57 yards on 2-of-4 passing by Blake Bowman. The Maroon Tide opens its regular season this week at Northwood, while Carroll County travels to Bassett for its season opener.   Carroll Co. 9, Galax 0 Benefit game   Carroll County     0  2  0  7––  9 Galax                   0  0  0  0––  0   Second quarter CC – Safety, ball snapped out of end zone, 9:59 Fourth quarter CC – Surratt 65 run (King kick), 11:00                                   CC         Gal First downs                 7    11 Rushes-yards      28-147    32-20 Yards passing            57    100 Comp-Att-Int        2-5-1     9-32-2 Return yards              73     62 Punts-average      2-40.3     2-31.0 Fumbles-lost            2-2     2-0 Penalties-yards       8-50    8-54     Individual statistics Rushing–Carroll County, Surratt 9-115, Caviness 7-20, Moreno 5-13, Bowman 7-(-1). Galax, Brown 8-54, Martin 3-3, Mazon 20-(-7), Fisher 1-(-20). Passing–Carroll County, Bowman 2-4-1-57, Moreno 0-1-0-0. Galax, Mazon 9-31-2-100, Testerman 0-1-0-0. Receiving–Carroll County, Caviness 1-37, Surratt 1-20. Galax, Fisher 4-59, Ruiz 1-22, Martin 2-17, Brown 1-6, Newman 1-(-4).