Grayson County rips into Floyd County 64-40

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The Blue Devils exploded for 47 points in the first half of their benefit game win over Floyd.

By Landmark News Service

FLOYD – It sounds like a basketball score but it was actually the first football game of the season between Grayson County and Floyd County.

When the dust settled, the Blue Devils came away with a 64-40 victory in a benefit game that doesn’t count in the regular season record.

But the players approached the game as the opportunity to open the season with a victory and build some momentum for this Friday night’s opening game against the Alleghany Trojans in Sparta, N.C.

The Blue Devils scored on its first offensive series. After Spencer Roberts returned the opening kickoff to Blue Devil 29, quarterback Max Rodgers hit brother Mikey Rodgers with a perfect strike to the Floyd 36.

Xavier Rodriguez broke through the Floyd line and raced into the end zone for a 36-yard touchdown run. Ruiz kicked the extra point and with less a minute ticked off the clock, the Blue Devils led 7-0.

But Floyd answered with its own scoring drive. After returning the kickoff to its own 41, running back Dorian Harris had his number called often and he responded with big gainers, finally scoring his first touchdown on a 3-yard run with 8:55 left in the first period. The kick was blocked and the Blue Devils held a slim one point lead.

Grayson added to its lead on the next drive. After Roberts got a good kickoff return to the Blue Devil 38, Blue Devil runners Rodriguez and Darren Anderson took turns and Anderson finished off the drive with a 4-yard touchdown. Ruiz kicked the extra point for a 14-6 Blue Devil lead.

The Blue Devil defense failed to stop Floyd and the Buffaloes pulled to within two when quarterback Gus Underwood hooked up with Cole Worrell for a 22-yard touchdown with 4:28 to play in the first period. Harris tried the extra point run but the Blue Devil defense smothered him short of the end zone.

After Grayson failed to pick up a first down, Rodriguez dropped back to punt but the ball sailed over his head. He tried to pick up first down yardage but was stopped short, turning the ball over to Floyd at its own 38.

Harris took advantage of the Blue Devils miscue and three plays later, scored from 10 yards out. The kick was good and the Buffaloes took their first and only lead of the night at 19-14.

Floyd’s advantage was short-lived as the Blue Devils marched down field with Anderson scoring on a 12-yard run with 11:04 to play in the second period. Ruiz’s kick was good and the Blue Devils led 21-19.

After Floyd fumbled and Jacob Parnell recovered for Grayson, the Blue Devils put together another scoring drive and with 7:33 to play, Anderson crossed the goal line but the ball popped loose and after the scramble in the end zone, Dillon Morris recovered for the Blue Devils. The kick was wide and the Blue Devils led 27-19.

Matt Hollingsworth and Underwood hooked up on a pass play for a 60-yard touchdown and Zack Harris scored on the extra point run to tie the score at 27 with 6:24 to play in the half.

After a fumble by Harris, Rodriguez scored on a 10-yard run and Anderson scored the 2-point run for a 35-27 Blue Devil advantage.

Grayson recovered another fumble late in the quarter and with 1:18 to play in the half, Anderson scored on a 6-yard run. Ruiz kicked the extra point and the Blue Devils took a 42-27 lead into the dressing room.

The Blue Devils resumed their offensive show in the third period when Rodriguez scored on a 20-yard run with 7:55 to play in the period. Ruiz kicked the extra point for a 49-27 lead.

Floyd trimmed the lead with 2:32 in the third when Worrell scored on a 36-yard touchdown pass from Underwood and the extra point kick cut the lead to 49-34.

Anderson had the run of the night in the third when he raced 68 yards for a touchdown. But it was called back because of an illegal block in the back call.  The Blue Devils got the ball at the Floyd 36 and four plays later, John Bilbrey scored on a 9-yard run for the touchdown as the horn sounded ending the third. Ruiz kicked the extra point for a 56-34 lead.

Harrell finished off Floyd’s scoring on a touchdown pass from Underwood with 8:35 to play and the Blue Devils, using reserves late in the game, ended its scoring with 5:33 to play when Isaac Osborne hit Lucas Rudy on a 19-yard scoring pass. Ruiz kicked the extra point.

Blue Devil coach Brett McPherson said after the game that he was pleased with the way his offensive unit played but the defense had some lapses and gave up some long touchdown passes.

He said they used several players working on a starting lineup. He said he had only one player that played both ways.