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INDEPENDENCE –– Grayson County and Rural Retreat will both seek to improve to 3-0 on the year tonight when the two meet for a nondistrict game at Rural Retreat Community Stadium.
While both teams put up some impressive offensive numbers, what stands out about last week’s action was the defensive job done by the Blue Devils in their 40-7 win over Chilhowie.
“I was tickled to death with our defense,” Grayson County coach Brett McPherson said. “[Chilhowie] has two explosive backs, and except for one play we contained them pretty well.”
The Blue Devils surrendered 188 yards rushing, with 81 coming on one touchdown run by Brett Johnson. Though Grayson County allowed 112 yards through the air, the Blue Devils also came up with four interceptions.
“I thought our outside linebacker play was really good, the defensive backs kept everything in front of them and we got a lot of pressure on the quarterback,” McPherson said.
After struggling defensively in their benefit game, the Blue Devils have allowed three touchdowns in two regular season games.
“We’re trying to play it like, you ends keep it inside, you defensive backs keep it in front, and you front six go after some stuff,” said McPherson. “We feel like if we’re good on the edges and good in the secondary we can be a little more creative up front. We’ve got some quickness.”
Grayson finished with 445 yards of total offense, including 361 rushing yards, but lost four fumbles in a soggy second half.
“We were sloppy,” McPherson said. “It was one of those things where, we know it’s going to happen sometime, but when are we going to come out and do something like this? We get a little too excited and try to take every play to the house, and sometimes you’ve just got to hammer it in there and get your three yards. We just have to hold on to the football.”
Dominique Epps and Tyler Caudill led Rural Retreat in its 42-0 win last week over Bland County, Epps with 41 yards and two touchdowns, Caudill with 51 yards and another two scores.
Chris Mulgrew (six carries, 91 yards vs. Fort Chiswell), Jordan Corvin (8 for 70), Lukas Langston (86 yards vs. Bland) and quarterback Zayne Williams (146 rush yards in two games) give the Indians a nice set of weapons from which to choose.
Grayson County has shown some impressive diversity itself. Halfback Xavier Rodriguez has two 100-yard games thus far, fullback Darren Anderson gained 111 yards last week and Mikey Rodgers had a 150-yard receiving night in Week 1. Quarterback Max Rodgers is 17-of-25 for 348 yards and five touchdowns, and also has a 49-yard rushing score to his credit.
Grayson County (2-0) at Rural Retreat (2-0)
Rural Retreat Community Stadium
Grayson County defeated Chilhowie 40-7
Rural Retreat defeated Bland County 42-0
2010 –Grayson County won 55-20
Last Rural Retreat win
None to date
1988–Grayson Co. 6-0 2003–Grayson Co. 21-14
1989–R.Retreat 23-20 2004–R.Retreat 28-14
1996–R.Retreat 40-28 2005–R.Retreat 41-7
1997–R.Retreat 20-19 2006–Grayson Co. 38-28
1998–R.Retreat 21-20 2007–R.Retreat 22-20
1999–R.Retreat 36-14 2008–R.Retreat 20-14
2000–R.Retreat 20-16 2009–R.Retreat 14-6
2010–Grayson Co. 55-20
Rural Retreat leads 11-4
Grayson County Rural Retreat
D Alleghany NC 55-12 8/26 D Ft. Chiswell 28-22
D Chilhowie 40-7 9/2 D Bland Co. 42-0
at Rural Retreat 9/9 Grayson County
Clintwood 9/16 at Marion
at Carroll County 9/23 Narrows
Open 9/30 Open
Graham 10/7 at Chilhowie
at Bland County 10/14 Patrick Henry
Fort Chiswell 10/21 at Holston
Narrows 10/28 Northwood
Galax 11/4 at George Wythe