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Galax rumbled into the second round of the Region C Division 1 playoffs Friday night with a 55-21 thrashing of Rural Retreat.
The Maroon Tide (8-3) scored early and often, putting a touchdown on the board on its first five possessions.
After holding the Indians (4-7) to a three-and-out on the opening possession, Galax took over on the Indian 33-yard line. Junior Jacob Fisher handled the running duties on the opening possession, carrying the ball three straight times for a quick touchdown, giving the Tide a 6-0 lead with 9:35 left in the first quarter.
The Indians responded with a solid drive of their own, going 87 yards in 11 plays to take a 7-0 lead with 3:29 left in the first.
Galax began its second possession on its own 43-yard line and this time it was junior Jordan Vaughan who lined up in the backfield. Vaughan needed just five plays to go 54 yards and the Tide took a 12-7 lead after Vaughan barreled the final 6 yards for another Galax touchdown. The two-point conversion increased Galax’s lead to 14-7 with 1:13 left in the first.
From there things got ugly, as the Indians found little success moving the ball.
Galax managed scoring drives of 93 and 61 yards to finish out the first half and took a 29-7 lead into the locker room on rushing scores by Vaughan and Fisher.
Rural Retreat began the second half with a little trickery and successfully recovered an onside kick. The Indians managed to move the ball down the field quickly and quarterback Zayne Williams connected with Travis Foster for a 48-yard touchdown on the second play from scrimmage.
The Maroon Tide wasted no time stretching the lead back out after beginning on its own 30 with 10:24 left in the third quarter.
Vaughan handled the majority of the carries yet again, but it was Fisher who capped off the drive from one yard out to put the Tide back ahead by 23.
Rural Retreat again struggled to move the ball and turned it over on downs inside Galax territory late in the third quarter. Galax appeared to be headed towards a five-possession lead when the Indians’ Lukas Langston picked off Tide quarterback Terrance Mazon and went 60 yards for the touchdown, and the lead was suddenly only 15 points with 1:50 left in the third quarter.
A quick three-and-out from the Tide offense had fans on the edge of their seats, as momentum appeared to be shifting towards Rural Retreat. The Indians moved the ball to the Galax 23-yard line before Williams’ pass was intercepted by Galax’s Juan Ruiz, who returned the ball 33 yards to the Rural Retreat 42.
On the Tide’s first play from scrimmage, Jared Brown found open space and headed 42 yards for his first touchdown of the night, giving Galax a 42-21 lead.
Rural Retreat fumbled on its next possession and the Tide again pounded the ball on the ground, with Brown running on five of the six plays and scoring for the second time from 14 yards out.
Another Indian fumble gave Galax the ball on the Rural Retreat 48. This time it was freshman sensation Steven Peoples who lined up in the backfield and carried the ball three times before crossing the goal line with 1:18 left.
With the win, Galax extended its season and will travel to Bath County next Friday night for the second round of the playoffs. Rural Retreat, meanwhile, finished their season with a third straight loss and gave up the most points since a 55-20 loss to Grayson County in the third game of the season.
Vaughan and Fisher both eclipsed the 100-yard mark on the ground, with Brown carrying eight times for 135 yards and Vaughan adding 115 yards on 14 rushes. Mazon added another 140 yards through the air.
Rural Retreat......7 0 14 0––21
Galax............... 14 15 7 19––55
G–Fisher 9 run (kick failed) 9:35
RR–Williams 1 run (Lyall kick) 3:29
G–Vaughan 6 run (Fisher run) 1:13
G–Vaughan 9 run (Brown run) 5:42
G–Fisher 1 run (Brady kick) 1:21
RR–Foster 48 pass from Williams (kick failed) 10:32
G–Fisher 1 run (Brady kick) 6:59
RR–Langston 60 interception return (Foster pass from Williams)
G–Brown 42 run (Brady kick) 8:33
G–Brown 14 run (Brady kick) 3:09
G–S.Peoples 3 run (kick failed) 1:18
First downs 16 22
Rushes-yards 46-164 34-371
Yards passing 204 140
Comp-Att-Int 9-18-3 9-14-1
Return yards 100 120
Punts-average 1-33.0 2-43.0
Fumbles-lost 4-2 1-0
Penalties-yards 12-100 7-65
RUSHING—Rural Retreat, Anderson 14-107, Marshall 13-38, Caudill 2-9, Williams 4-7, Holman 1-3. Galax, Brown 8-135, Vaughan 14-115, Fisher 7-52, S.Peoples 3-38, Mazon 2-31.
PASSING–Rural Retreat, Williams 8-17-3-173, Langston 1-1-0-31. Galax, Mazon 9-14-0-140.
RECEIVING–Rural Retreat, Foster 4-101, Caudill 2-58, Linkous 1-21, Marshall 1-14, Dunsmore 1-10. Galax, George 4-58, Fisher 2-50, Pack 2-20.