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INDEPENDENCE –– One by one, Grayson County is picking them off. Alleghany, Chilhowie and Rural Retreat were all part of the Blue Devils’ 0-7 start a year ago, and all have fallen to Grayson in 2010.
The Devils will go after No. 4 tonight when they take on Glenvar in a nondistrict game in Salem.
Much of the Highlander roster returns from a team that edged the Blue Devils 7-0 in a rain-soaked game at Bill Strong Field last September. And mercy, they have some size.
“They’re massive,” Grayson County coach Brett McPherson said. “They are one of the biggest high school football teams I’ve seen in a long time. Just run it right at you. They don’t throw the ball a whole lot. They don’t make any bones about it, they’re coming right at you.”
Glenvar (2-0) is coming off a 42-0 pasting of Parry McCluer a week after scoring 27 unanswered points in rallying past James River 41-34. Tim Woods and Corey Bolden do most of the damage in the Highlanders’ ground-oriented attack. Woods has 304 yards and three touchdowns in two games, while the 6-foot, 235-pound Bolden has 244 yards and six scores. He is also 12-of-13 on PATs.
Glenvar will offer Grayson County nothing fancy, and with a line that can average 275, what’s the point? The Highlanders will pull a guard every now and then, but more often than not will simply try to wall off the defensive front and move the pile.
“It’s just going to come down to fundamental football,” McPherson said. “Can we consistently step and deliver a blow on the defensive line and play football and be physical? There aren’t going to be any games. No funky schemes. It’s going to be, who’s going to play football?”
McPherson said it will be crucial for the smaller, quicker Grayson defensive line to take the fight to the Highlanders.
“We’ve got to be physical,” he said. “And not just one or two plays, but we’ve got to make these people back off. Who’s going to be the first one to make your guy back off? Because those big guys, if they get their second foot in the ground they’re going to move you. We’ve got to knock them before they get that second foot in the ground.”
The Blue Devils don’t really know what to expect from Glenvar defensively, in part because the Highlanders' first two opponents have been spread teams, and in part because McPherson hasn’t seen a straight defense yet this year.
“We’ve just had a hard time figuring out how people are going to play us,” he said. “Are they going to double[-team] Eric [Harvey]? Are they going to double somebody else?
“We’re going to present some problems for them, getting on the edges.”
The Blue Devils have presented a lot of problems to opposing defenses thus far, already scoring more points in three games than they did an entire season in 2009 and 2008.
Grayson County (3-0) at Glenvar (2-0)
Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Grayson County defeated Rural Retreat 55-20
Glenvar defeated Parry McCluer 42-0
2009 – Glenvar won 7-0
Last Grayson County win
Grayson is 0-2 in the series
Glenvar leads 2-0
9/3 D James River 41-34
9/10 D Parry McCluer 42-0
9/17 Grayson County
10/1 at Rural Retreat
10/15 at Auburn
10/22 at Radford
11/3 at Floyd Co.
8/27 D Alleghany, NC 34-14
9/3 D Chilhowie 48-22
9/10 D Rural Retreat 55-20
9/17 at Glenvar
9/24 Carroll County
10/8 at Galax
10/22 Bland County
10/29 at Narrows
11/3 at Fort Chiswell