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ELLISTON — An early deficit proved to be too much for the Tide to overcome Friday night en route to their first loss of the 2010 football season.
Galax (2-1) opened the season with two straight shutouts, but was unable to shut down Eastern Montgomery’s fast tempo offense and fell 38-26 on the Mustangs’ home turf.
Once down by 24 points in the first half, Galax managed to pull within 12 points, but never drew any closer.
Eastern Montgomery (3-0) won the game through the air, as senior quarterback Shawn Christian threw for a total of 360 yards.
The Tide fell behind early after failing to move the chains more than once on its opening possession.
Eastern Montgomery took over on its own 37 and quickly moved down the field. Christian completed five of his first six passes, and capped the drive off with a 9-yard scamper into the end zone to take the early lead.
On the ensuing possession, Galax again struggled to move the ball, and was forced to punt again.
Taking over on their own 36-yard line, the Mustangs needed just five plays and 1:38 to find the end zone again. This time the Mustangs moved the ball on the ground, and Michael Shelor broke free for a 38-yard run for his first touchdown of the night.
A missed extra point put Eastern Montgomery ahead 13-0 with 3:18 left in the first quarter.
The Tide’s third drive again provided minimal results, and a decision by Galax to go for it on fourth-and-two from their own 28 proved to be costly.
Galax senior Terrance Mazon bobbled the snap and was quickly taken down by a herd of Mustangs, turning the ball over.
EastMont wasted no time driving 24 yards, taking a 19-0 lead when Christian found Julian Stewart in full stride down the right sideline. Stewart hauled in the pass and put another six points on the board.
On the next drive, Galax took over from its own 45 after a 34-yard return by senior Jerad Brown. Four plays later, Mazon scrambled to avoid a sack and found an crease for the first time in the Mustang defense, capping the drive with a 12-yard run for a touchdown as the Tide pulled to within 12 in the final seconds of the first quarter.
Galax’s defense was again shredded however, and the Mustangs soon had a first-and-goal.
Two straight stops by the Tide defense and a fumbled snap led Eastern Montgomery to a 17-yard field goal attempt.
The kick missed wide right and the score remained 19-7.
A quick three-and-out again gave the ball to the Mustangs with 8:26 left in the half.
Two plays later, Shelor rumbled his way into the end zone again, putting Eastern Montgomery up 25-7.
On the Tide’s next possession, Mazon was picked off by Stewart.
The momentum continued for the home team, which used just 1:08 to go 47 yards and put another touchdown on the board.
Christian found Brad Wooten over the middle of the field and following a couple broken tackles, the Mustangs led 31-7.
Galax responded as the half ended, as running back Jordan Vaughan pounded the ball on the ground, moving into the red zone quickly.
Three straight stops by the Mustang defense put the Tide in a fourth-and-goal situation from just outside the 10-yard line.
Mazon took a quick three-step drop and floated the ball towards the corner of the end zone, where Brown awaited the pass.
Brown hauled in the rock over a Mustang defender and Galax had pulled back to within 18 points.
The second half provided far less points.
On the Mustangs’ second possession, Christian was picked off by Austin Pack just shy of midfield. Pack broke free and returned the interception to the 9-yard-line.
Two plays later, Vaughan found an opening on the right side of the line and put another Galax touchdown on the board.
The score pulled the Tide within 12 points, but Galax would never get any closer.
After trading scores in the fourth quarter, the Mustangs took home a 38-26 win.
Vaughan finished the game just shy of 100 yards, running 26 times for 95 yards, and Mazon added 47.
Wooten and Stewart each topped 100 receiving yards; Wooten making 11 catches for 137 yards and Stewart grabbing nine for another 125 yards.
The loss dropped Galax to 2-1 on the season as they prepare for a trip up I-81 yet again Friday night when they take on the Radford Bobcats.
EastMont 38, Galax 26
Galax.......................7 6 6 7––26
E. Montgomery.......19 12 0 7––38
EM–Christian 10 run (Wiley kick) 6:39
EM–Shelor 38 run (kick failed) 3:18
EM–Stewart 12 pass from Christian (kick failed) 1:54
Gal–Mazon 12 run (Fisher kick) 0:05
EM–Shelor 4 run (pass failed) 8:05
EM–Wooten 14 pass from Christian (pass failed) 6:50
Gal–Brown 11 pass from Mazon (kick failed) 1:28
Gal–Vaughan 5 run (run failed) 7:57
EM–Shelor 6 pass from Christian (Wiley kick) 1:25
Gal–J.Brown 86 kickoff return (Fisher kick) 1:07
First downs 10 18
Rushes-yards 33-141 32-108
Yards passing 47 360
Comp-Att-Int 3-13-1 26-35-1
Return yards 86 91
Punts-average 6-35.0 3-29.0
Fumbles-lost 4-0 2-0
Penalties-yards 5-25 6-55
RUSHING—Galax, Vaughan 26-95, Mazon 7-46. Eastern Montgomery, Shelor 18-95, Leonard 2-9, Wooten 1-4, Christian 11-0.
PASSING–Galax, Mazon 3-13-1-47. Eastern Montgomery, Christian 26-25-1-360.
RECEIVING–Galax, Sizemore 1-21, George 1-16, Brown 1-10. Eastern Montgomery, Wooten 11-137, Stewart 9-125, Vishneski 2-74, Shelor 3-18, East 1-6.