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HILLSVILLE –– A loss is a loss, but Carroll County did its image – and perhaps more importantly, its self-image – some good last week.
Taking Basset down to the wire before falling 17-14 on a last-second field goal last week, the Cavaliers probably opened some eyes around the Southwest District, and probably boosted their self-confidence in the process.
“We were really getting after it defensively,” Carroll County coach Tom Hale said. “I thought our kids played really well. But we made a few mistakes that came back to get us.”
One of those areas for improvement would be open-field tackling. Not the type of thing you’d want to be unsure of when facing a guy like Jacob Reynolds.
Friday, Reynolds will lead Patrick County to Tommy Thompson Field as Carroll County looks to get in the win column against its second Piedmont District foe in as many weeks.
“They’ve got the Reynolds kid back at quarterback, and that pretty much sums it all up,” said Hale. “I think last year he put up 300 yards on us, and we eked out a win on them. But he is one heck of an athlete and we’ve got to contain him.”
‘Eking out a win’ is putting it mildly. Had it been a college or NFL game, last year’s finish would have forever had a title, such as ‘The Stunner in Stuart,’ or ‘The Fairystone Freak,’ or, for Cougars fans, ‘The Claudville Calamity.’
The Cavaliers trailed 27-14 before scoring with a little more than three minutes to play. Still down 27-21 with 71 yards to cover and less than a minute to do so, Carroll County tied the game with a 51-yard Blake Bowman-to-Tyler Reavis touchdown pass. With zeroes on the clock, Mason King booted the PAT for the win.
The miracle finish was necessary largely due to Reynolds, who ran for 123 yards and three touchdowns.
“We can’t let it be third and long and let him get loose on us, which happened quite often last year,” Hale said. “From what we’ve seen on film, in all of their scrimmages and in their benefit game and in their first game last week, he’s the guy who keeps them in it.”
Reynolds ran for two touchdowns and threw for another as the Cougars rallied from a 20-0 second-quarter deficit and into a 21-20 fourth-quarter lead Friday, only to fall to North Stokes, N.C. 26-21.
As will be the case most of the year, the Cavaliers will be outsized up front again this week.
“Up front they’re big,” Hale said. “They’re always big. Big ol’ boys up front on both sides of the ball.”
Facing an even larger size disadvantage last week, Carroll’s line earned nothing but praise from Hale.
“I thought those guys up front went after it really, really hard,” he said. “There are lots of things we can improve on, but man, the effort was really there. They didn’t let the fact that we have 170-pound guards and centers deter our kids at all.”
The size advantage carries over to Jalen Reynolds, a runningback whom Hale estimates to be in the 250-pound range. But with Patrick fielding newcomers at eight positions, the key will be containing Jacob Reynolds.
“You can’t design a defense where you’re not going to have at times kids that have to make plays one-on-one,” Hale said. “I wish we could figure that out, but numerous times last year, and in our game Friday, we had kids in a one-on-one situation, and they’ve got to make those plays. We’ve got to do a better job this week.”
Patrick County at Carroll County
Friday, 7:30, Tommy Thompson Field
Radio: FM 101.1
Patrick County lost to North Stokes, N.C. 26-21
Carroll County lost to Bassett 17-14
2009 – Carroll County won 28-27
Last Patrick County win
None to date
1974–Carroll Co. 12-2 1992–Carroll Co. 28-26
1975–Patrick Co. 20-0 1993–Patrick Co. 27-0
1982–Patrick Co. 26-14 1994–Patrick Co. 28-6
1983–Carroll Co. 22-8 1995–Patrick Co. 34-6
1984–Carroll Co. 28-6 1996–Carroll Co. 12-0
1985–Tie 0-0 1997–Carroll Co. 24-20
1986–Patrick Co. 26-7 1998–Carroll Co. 25-0
1987–Patrick Co. 12-7 2001–Patrick Co. 20-7
1988–Carroll Co. 14-6 2002–Carroll Co. 40-6
1989–Carroll Co. 23-6 2007–Carroll Co. 27-13
1990–Carroll Co. 38-0 2008–Patrick Co. 35-0
1991–Patrick Co. 19-7 2009–Carroll Co. 28-27
Carroll County leads 13-10-1
Patrick County Carroll County
L to N.Stokes 26-21 8/27 L to Bassett 17-14
at Carroll County 9/3 Patrick County
at Floyd County 9/10 at Christiansburg
at Staunton River 9/17 at Tazewell
Lord Botetourt 9/24 at Grayson Co.
William Byrd 10/1 Open
at Tunstall 10/8 Abingdon
Open 10/15 Marion
Magna Vista 10/22 at Grundy
at Bassett 10/29 at Richlands
Martinsville 11/3 Graham