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There was thunder and lightning on the field Friday night as Galax coasted to its first win over nearby rival Floyd County since 1995, taking a 37-21 nondistrict win.
Summer storms delayed the kickoff by 30 minutes, but the thunderous running of Tide senior Jordan Vaughan coupled with the lightning fast speed of Donte Peoples was too much for the Buffaloes.
Floyd County (0-2) appeared ready to put up a fight against Galax, stopping the Maroon Tide on its opening possession and quickly putting up seven points of its own.
After taking over on their own 20-yard line, the Buffaloes needed just three plays and 1:27 to drive the length of the field.
Floyd quarterback Gus Underwood found Cole Worrell open on the left side of the field on third-and-10 and Worrell broke free from a Tide defender en route to a 76-yard touchdown for the first score of the night.
The extra point made the game 7-0 with 7:13 left in the first quarter.
Galax trailed for just over a minute, however as the Tide quickly moved down the field on its second possession.
Taking over on its own 33, the Tide quickly moved into Buffalo territory when quarterback Austin Pack found Deion George on a screen pass. The 34-yard completion lined the Maroon Tide up for what it does best—pound the ball on the ground.
Vaughan thundered up the middle of the line three straight times, capping the drive off with a 2-yard-run at the 6:07 mark of the first quarter. Eli Brady’s extra point tied the game at 7.
The teams traded possessions before Floyd County again moved deep into Galax territory early in the second quarter.
After driving 53 yards, the Buffaloes faced a fourth-and-1 just outside the Tide 10-yard line.
Floyd tried to pound the ball up the middle with Dorian Harris, but he was quickly stuffed by a handful of Galax defenders and the ball changed hands by way of downs.
The lightning came on the next play when Pack took the snap and handed it off to the speedy Peoples, who got to the outside of the Buffalo defenders and quickly scooted down the field for a 90-yard touchdown run.
Following the extra point, Galax took a 14-7 lead for good with 5:55 left in the half.
Two drives later, Floyd took over on its own 21-yard-line with 2:17 left in the second quarter. The Buffaloes tried to run out the clock, but Galax had other plans—using its time outs to stop the clock.
On a fourth-and-2 from its own 29-yard-line, Floyd County opted to fake a punt.
Underwood missed his target and the Tide took over deep in Buffalo territory with 1:51 left in the half.
Galax needed only nine seconds however, as Vaughan scored his second touchdown of the night on the first play of the drive.
The extra point capped the score and the Tide took a 21-7 lead into the half.
The Maroon Tide stalled on its first possession of the second half but caught a break when Floyd County fumbled the punt.
Taking over on the Buffalo 33-yard line, Galax reached the end zone again in four plays and 1:12.
This time it was through the air, as Pack found George in the corner of the end zone for another six points.
A blocked extra point meant the Tide led 27-7.
Galax managed to drive deep into Floyd County’s territory on its next possession, but had to settle for a 31-yard field goal by Brady to take a 30-7 lead.
Floyd County wasn’t ready to give up, however, and managed to put together a seven-play, 56-yard drive late in the fourth quarter to close the gap to 30-13.
The Tide responded on the ensuing drive by handing the ball off to its speedy back again. Peoples took the ball and broke through three Buffalo defenders on his way to his second touchdown of the night—this time a 66-yarder.
The extra point gave the Tide a 37-13 lead with 1:52 left in the game.
Floyd County managed to put together one more scoring drive after taking over on its own 40-yard line. Sophomore Tristan Vest plunged through the second string Tide defense from the 2-yard line, scoring his second touchdown of the quarter. A successful two-point conversion closed the lead to 37-21.
Galax snapped an 11-game slide against the Buffaloes and improved to 2-0 on the season heading into next week’s game against Eastern Montgomery.
Vaughan led the way for Galax’s offense, carrying the ball 23 times for 180 yards (7.8 yards per carry), while the shifty Peoples carried the ball three times for 156 yards (though all 156 of those yards came on two carries).
Galax will welcome Eastern Montgomery to its home field Friday as the Tide celebrates homecoming.
Floyd County......7 0 0 14––21
Galax.................7 14 9 7––37
FC–Worrell 76 pass from Underwood (Spence kick) 7:12
Gal–Vaughan 2 run (Brady kick) 6:07
Gal–D.Peoples 90 run (Brady kick) 5:55
Gal–Vaughan 29 run (Brady kick) 1:42
Gal–George 8 pass from Pack (kick failed) 6:43
Gal–Brady 31 FG, 2:24
FC–Vest 2 run (pass failed) 2:13
Gal–D.Peoples 66 run (Brady kick) 1:52
FC–Vest 2 run (Bary run) 0:11
First downs 11 13
Rushes-yards 40-109 32-337
Yards passing 173 60
Comp-Att-Int 12-22-0 5-13-0
Return yards 96 80
Punts-average 6-36.0 6-32.0
Fumbles-lost 3-1 3-0
Penalties-yards 5-60 8-75
RUSHING—Floyd County, Underwood 12-49, Harris 17-30, Overstreet 4-17, Bary 2-11, Vest 5-2. Galax, Vaughan 23-180, D. Peoples 3-156, Fisher 5-13, Pack 1-(-12).
PASSING – Floyd County, Underwood 9-18-0-119, Bary 3-4-0-54. Galax, Pack 4-12-0-60.
RECEIVING–Floyd County, Worrell 4-109, Hollandsworth 2-22, Vaught 1-20, Harrell 2-18, Overstreet 2-4. Galax, George 2-42, Fisher 1-18, McKinney 1-0.