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INDEPENDENCE –– Grayson County is not in the driver’s seat. The Blue Devils are not even riding shotgun. But they’re still there, somewhere in the back seat, maybe even the trunk. But they’re still there.
With two weeks left in the regular season, a lot of things need to happen for Grayson County to salvage a playoff spot. A great deal of those things are out of the Devils’ control. But not all of them.
“We just want to finish up strong and see what happens,” Grayson County coach Brett McPherson said as his team prepared for a Mountain Empire District game Friday at Narrows. “There are several scenarios out there. But we’re just focusing on us. We want to get to that last game and have it still mean something. If we can take care of this week, next week could get interesting.”
The Blue Devils (4-4 overall, 1-1 district) are sitting in the ninth spot in the Region C Division 2 standings, the last team in a virtual logjam for the sixth and final playoff berth.
“If James River were to get beat by Bath County, and all this is contingent on us winning out, that would probably do it for us,” he said. “There are a couple of other scenarios in the Three Rivers. It’s possible.”
The key words in that sentence are ‘winning out.’ For next week’s trip to Fort Chiswell to mean anything, Grayson must first take care of the Green Wave.
“Of course you’re playing them at Narrows, and if their state of mind is still good they’ll battle you,” McPherson said. “They’ll get up for you and battle you, so hopefully we’ll still be sharp and get out there and get on them quick.”
McPherson sees a lot of similarities between Narrows and last week’s opponent, Bland County.
“They do a lot of the same things,” he said. “They’re very similar as far as the size of their line and the ability of their backs. [Bland quarterback Dylan Kidd] is more athletic but [Narrows QB Brock] Lusk throws the ball better. They’ve got a couple of good backs, a real good fullback, and they’ll try to pound it.”
Fullback Joe Butler and halfback Tyler Conley lead the Green Wave ground attack, and Lusk is an experienced quarterback.
“He’s started a couple of years, so I wouldn’t be surprised of they jump into that spread every now and then,” McPherson said.
With the end of the regular season in sight, one would think the postseason would be a hot topic in locker room conversations. Not so, said McPherson.
“I don’t know if they even think too much about it,” he said. “I’ve never had one even ask me about it. That’s the truth. We have good practices and good kids, we just don’t have a lot of vocal leaders. I’m hoping somebody will step up and take over that role.”
Grayson ended a four-game slump with last week’s 48-7 win over Bland and nearly topped 500 yards in total offense in the process. Xavier Rodriguez rushed for 166 yards on 12 carries, including touchdown runs of 12, 15 and 90 yards, and quarterback Ethan Hash completed 7-of-13 passes for 177 yards. Eric Harvey had three catches for 106 yards and caught a 59-yard scoring toss.
Grayson County (4-4, 1-1) at Narrows (2-6, 1-1)
Friday, 7:30, Ragsdale Field
Grayson County defeated Bland County 48-7
Narrows lost to Fort Chiswell 48-8
2009 – Grayson County won 35-7
Last Narrows win
lost to Grayson County 48-7 last week
lost to Narrows 20-13 Oct. 15
Grayson County Narrows
D Alleghany NC 36-14 8/27 L to Jms Monroe WV 46-8
D Chilhowie 48-22 9/3 L to EastMont 48-6
D Rural Retreat 55-20 9/10 L to Craig County 34-6
L to Glenvar 27-7 9/17 L to Giles 42-14
L to Carroll Co. 36-35 OT 9/24 D Auburn 20-14
L to Radford 43-6 10/1 L to Covington 36-20
L to Galax 23-14 10/8 Open
Open 10/15 D Bland County 20-13
D Bland County 48-7 10/22 L to Ft. Chiswell 48-8
at Narrows 10/29 Grayson County
at Fort Chiswell 11/3 Galax
1988–Grayson Co. 28-0
1991–Grayson Co. 21-0
1992–Grayson Co. 20-19
1995–Grayson Co. 28-24
1996–Grayson Co. 41-22
1997–Grayson Co. 54-6
1999–Grayson Co. 34-14
2000–Grayson Co. 34-0
2001–Grayson Co. 48-14
2004–Grayson Co. 34-27
2006–Grayson Co. 36-20
2007–Grayson Co. 38-8
2009–Grayson Co. 35-7
Grayson County leads 13-9