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Devils seeking new streak

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Grayson County will shoot for a second straight win Friday when the Devils travel to Bland.

By Craig Worrell, Sports Editor

INDEPENDENCE -- Having ended one streak, Grayson County would like nothing better than to start a new one, this time one of a different sort. Coming off a bye week that followed the end of a 17-game slide, the Blue Devils will look for their second straight win this week when they return to action with a Mountain Empire District game Friday at Bland County. The defending MED champion Bears have felt the sting of a mass graduation and enter the contest 2-6 overall, 0-2 in the district, but despite the loss of 13 key seniors, McPherson has reason to be concerned about a couple of kids who hung around. “They do a good job running their offense,” McPherson said Monday. “They’re not as skilled as they were last year, of course, but they’ve got a couple really good football players. That No. 5 and the quarterback are good football players.” No. 5 is runningback Jacob Lambert, a 5-foot-10, 182-pound junior, and the Bears’ wing-T offense is steered by quarterback Dylan Kidd, a 5-8, 156-pound junior. “That Lambert kid is as good a football player as there is in the district,” McPherson said.  Lambert will line up in a variety of positions on offense and is averaging about 90 rushing yards per game, and can be a weapon in a number of ways, totaling 280 all-purpose yards two weeks ago in a 41-21 win over Northwood. “Both of those kids are dangerous. They can both score a lot of ways,” McPherson said. “The Lambert kid has picked up fumbles, returned interceptions, returned kickoffs, returned punts, he’s got rushing touchdowns, receiving touchdowns, there is some capability there. They’re well coached and they do things right.” The Bears dropped a14-12 loss to Narrows on Friday, failing on a two-point conversion in the final minutes. Grayson County has had a free Friday since edging Galax 16-14, something that may or may not be to the Blue Devils’ benefit. “You never know how they’ll react to [an open week],” said McPherson. “We had a good week. This is one of those years where I’d just as soon not have an off week because we’re healthy and we just came off a good win, so I’d just as soon played on Friday. After that win I was ready to get out and go on Monday.” McPherson said there was a little more spring in his team’s step following the Galax win, but added, “I don’t know if that was because we beat Galax or because we gave them a day off on Monday.” Whatever the case, the Blue Devils are coming off a pretty solid performance. “There were some areas I thought we could have done better, but we probably executed the way we wanted to,” McPherson said. “We played good defense, we bent but didn’t break to a point, we ran the football and we were good in the kicking game. That’s a good formula for us.” Hanging on to the football, both in terms of turnovers and time of possession, were keys. “The way we were turning the football over, we didn’t want to go in and lose the game by doing dumb things,” he said. “Even when they scored two real quick touchdowns and went up 14-2, they had a lot of momentum, we didn’t get too carried away. The only thing that would have made it better for us would have been if we had gone on down there on that last drive and punched it in with about four seconds left instead of having to give it back to them with five minutes left. But we were pretty good.” Making their stretch run, the Blue Devils will have the added depth from a JV team that has just completed its season. And there is still a lot to play for, as Grayson is 1-0 in the district and won’t face league leader Fort Chiswell until the final week of the regular season. “Three weeks to go and we’re in the thick of a lot of things,” McPherson said. “I think somebody is going to give Fort a run before the thing is over. It may not be us, but they may stub their toe somewhere along the line.”   WEEK 7

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Grayson County (1-6, 1-0) at Bland County (2-6, 0-2) Friday, 7:30 in Bastian   Last week Grayson County was idle Bland County lost to Narrows 14-12 Last meeting 2008 (Bland County won 29-14) Last Grayson County win 2007 (36-19) Common opponents None to date   The season  Grayson County                            Bland County lost to Alleghany, 21-20      8/28     lost to PH-Glade Spring 26-8 lost to Chilhowie 32-20       9/4       def. Craig County 28-21 lost to R. Retreat 14-6          9/11    lost to Covington 19-6 lost to Glenvar 7-0               9/18    lost to Holston 41-6 lost to Carroll Co. 25-6        9/25    lost to E.Montgomery 60-6 lost to Radford 42-14          10/2    def. Northwood 41-21 def. Galax 16-14                 10/9     lost to Fort Chiswell 35-0 Open                                   10/16   lost to Narrows 14-12 at Bland County                  10/23   Grayson County Narrows                              10/30  Galax Fort Chiswell                      11/6    Open   The series 1992–Grayson County 56-3 1993–Grayson County 22-7 1994–Bland County 14-13 1995–Grayson County 7-0 1996–Grayson County 27-6 1997–#Grayson County 45-0 1998–Grayson County 66-24 1999–Grayson County 39-6 2000–Grayson County 55-6 2001–Grayson County 33-12 2002–Grayson County 27-16 2003–Grayson County 48-20 2004–Grayson County 49-8 2005–Grayson County 41-6 2006–Grayson County 35-13 2007–Grayson County 36-19 2008–Bland County 29-14 # 1997 win forfeited due to ineligible player Overall Grayson County leads 14-3