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The Mountain Empire District portion of Galax’s schedule is still a few weeks away, but so far the Maroon Tide is 3-0 in Three Rivers District play.
Galax fell behind early before scoring 56 unanswered points, knocking off its third TRD opponent in as many weeks with a 56-12 thrashing of Eastern Montgomery in the Tide’s homecoming game Friday.
“They’ve got a young team and we’ve got a lot of older guys who have played a lot of football, kind of like the situation they were in last year,” Galax coach Mark Dixon said. “Our kids have played a lot of football and they were playing a lot of young guys.”
Led by Jordan Vaughan’s 199 yards on nine carries, Galax (3-0) amassed 424 yards on the ground, averaging an impressive 14 yards per carry.
Averages like that will happen when a team reels off nine gains of 20 or more yards.
Vaughan scored on touchdowns runs of 40, 73 and 58 yards, Deion George had a 31-yard TD run and caught a 29-yard scoring pass, Steven Peoples had a 22-yard TD run and Jacob Fisher returned a punt 59 yards for a touchdown.
Eastern Montgomery (1-2) got the big play parade going on its first possession. Galax’s Dante Ravenell had recovered a pooched opening kick at the Mustangs’ 33 and the Tide got as far as the 11 before a mix-up in the backfield resulted in Galax’s only real offensive miscue of the night. Chris Yarbrough scooped up a fumble and raced 84 yards for a touchdown and a 6-0 EastMont lead just 1:28 into the game.
The advantage didn’t last very long.
Galax scored on its next eight possessions, starting with Donte Peoples’ 13-yarder with 9:08 left in the first quarter. The first of eight straight PAT kicks by Eli Brady gave the Maroon Tide the lead for good.
“That opening drive was a little frustrating and that was my fault,” Dixon said. “I called a bad blocking scheme and Austin got hit, but other than that they’ve done what I’ve asked.”
A three-and-out by the Galax defense put the Tide in business at its own 47 and three straight Vaughan carries put the Tide in the end zone again, this time on a 46-yarder at 5:42 of the first.
Eastern Montgomery’s best drive of the first half lasted for 12 plays and ate up nearly six minutes of clock before Fisher picked off Christian Leonard at the Maroon Tide 18. Three plays later, Vaughan was off to the races again, slashing through the middle, picking up a good block from Fisher 20 yards downfield and sprinting the rest of the way for a 21-6 lead with 9:57 left in the half.
Galax stopped the Mustangs on downs at the EastMont 34 to give itself a short field with which to work, and George hauled in a 29-yard Austin Pack pass three plays later for a score and a 28-6 advantage.
Fisher’s highlight-reel punt return boosted the lead to 29 points moment later when he fielded the ball at his 41, cut inside a defender at the Mustang 20, slipped out of a tackle at the 10 and scored with 5:26 showing.
Vaughan’s fumble recovery at the Eastern Montgomery 31 set up the Tide’s sixth touchdown of the first half, a 31-yard George run on a reverse. Brady’s kick sent Galax into the half with a 42-6 lead.
Galax had 259 yards of offense at halftime despite running just 17 plays, with no scoring drive lasting more than four plays.
Galax scored on its second snap of the second half, thanks to a 26-yard kickoff return by Donte Peoples to the 42. Vaughan made a couple of nice cuts on a 58-yard run for a 49-6 lead 1:06 into the third period.
The Maroon Tide’s final drive was a marathon by comparison, lasting all of five plays. Steven Peoples carried the final 22 yards as Galax went ahead 56-6 at 2:36 of the third.
Eastern Montgomery added a late touchdowns on reserve quarterback Troy Rucker’s 2-yard burst with 7:54 to play.
Six straight Joseph Dixon carries netted 62 yards on Galax’s final possession, which ended with three straight kneel-downs inside the Mustang 5.
The 56 points provided Galax its most prolific offensive outing against a team not named Pocahontas since the Tide downed Fort Chiswell 56-41 in 2002.
“I’m excited about the offensive line, I’m excited about the running game, but defensively we’ve got to better,” said Dixon. “I know it doesn’t look like it but we’re blowing assignments, we don’t understand concepts, so we’ve got a lot of work to do before next week. We’ll find out a lot next week. The real deal is coming to town and we’ll find out what we’ve really got.”
Galax will wrap up its tour of the Three Rivers District this Friday with its toughest test to date as Radford looks to extend a win streak against the Tide that dates back to 1981 when both were members of the New River District.
E.Montgomery......6 0 0 6––12
Galax..................14 28 14 0––56
EM–Yarbrough 84 fumble return (run failed) 10:32
Gx–D.Peoples 13 run (Brady kick) 9:08
Gx–Vaughan 46 run (Brady kick) 5:42
Gx–Vaughan 73 run (Brady kick) 9:57
Gx–George 29 pass from Pack (Brady kick) 7:16
Gx–Fisher 59 punt return (Brady kick) 5:26
Gx–George 31 run (Brady kick) 2:43
Gx–Vaughan 58 run (Brady kick) 10:54
Gx–S.Peoples 22 run (Brady kick) 2:36
EM–Rucker 2 run (pass failed) 7:45
First downs 12 15
Rushes-yards 45-154 30-424
Yards passing 57 40
Comp-Att-Int 5-10-1 3-3-0
Return yards 167 84
Punts-average 2-30.0 0-0
Fumbles-lost 2-1 1-1
Penalties-yards 3-15 0-0
RUSHING—Eastern Montgomery, Sisson 16-61, Reed 12-55, Rucker 10-39, Leonard 7-(-1). Galax, Vaughan 9-199, J.Dixon 6-62, D.Peoples 5-51, S.Peoples 3-48, Fisher 2-41, George 1-31, Gable 3-(-3), Pack 1-(-5).
PASSING–Eastern Montgomery, Rucker 4-5-0-39, Leonard 1-5-1-18. Galax, Pack 3-3-0-40.
RECEIVING–Eastern Montgomery, Wiley 2-30, Reed 1-18, Epperly 1-7, Shrader 1-7. Galax, George 2-33, Fisher 1-7.