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INDEPENDENCE –– For the second week in a row, Grayson County was given the golden opportunity to make a heroic comeback from a three-touchdown halftime deficit.
Pulling it off two weeks in a row was too much to ask.
After giving up a score on the game’s opening series, Radford scored 43 unanswered points and rolled Grayson County 43-6 in a nondistrict game Friday at Bill Strong Field.
“They’re a better football team than us,” Grayson County coach Brett McPherson said. “They played better than us, they’re athletic, they’re physical, and we just didn’t match up. We were a click behind all night long on tackling, blocking, everything we did.”
After listless openings in the first halves of its previous two games, Grayson County (3-3) took the opening kickoff and sliced through the Bobcat defense for a nine-play, 78-yard scoring drive that included a fortuitous do-over. A 35-yard Eric Harvey reception to the Radford 43 opened the drive, and five running plays had the Blue Devils at the Bobcat 6 when an inadvertent whistle nullified what would have been either a Radford fumble recovery or a significant loss of yardage for the Devils. The whistle blew before possession was established on the fumble, and the down was replayed from the 6. Two plays later, Ethan Hash kept on a read option and darted around the left side for what would be Grayson’s only points of the night as the PAT was blocked, leaving the Devils up 6-0 at 8:13 of the first.
Radford’s response was quick and continuous.
The Bobcats (4-1), marched 77 yards on nine running plays, with quarterback Dontae Carter squirting out of a mass of tacklers and sprinting in from 21 yards out.
Caleb Findley’s PAT hooked left to leave the score knotted at 6, but Radford took the lead for good on Grayson’s next series when Hash was sacked in the end zone for a safety and an 8-6 Bobcat lead.
Following Grayson’s free kick, Radford needed just three plays to cover 44 yards, with William Minter dashing 33 yards to the 11 and Kevin Adkins bashing over from the 6 two plays later. Findley’s kick was true and Radford held a 15-6 lead.
An interception by Carter set up Radford’s next series, a 79-yard drive ending with Minter’s 5-yard TD run.
Adkins took a quick shovel pass and turned it into a 15-yard score late in the half as the Bobcats took a 29-6 lead into the break.
Adkins broke up the middle for a 38-yard touchdown run three plays into the second half, and the Bobcats capped the scoring with Harrison Williams’ 1-yard run, pushing the lead to 43-6 with 6:54 still remaining in the third.
“That’s the most athletic team I’ve seen this year,” McPherson said. “We’ve seen some pretty good football teams this year, and they were the most athletic team we’ve seen.”
The 37-point spread resulted in a continuously-running clock and no serious threats by either team.
Radford scored on its first six possessions, with Grayson’s first defensive stop coming on the next-to-last play of the third quarter when Logan Watson stripped Radford’s Hunter Marshall of the ball.
The Bobcats outgained the Blue Devils 433-162, including a 378-84 advantage on the ground. Grayson netted just 84 yards after its opening drive.
Carter finished with 143 yards on 17 carries and completed 4-of-5 passes for 55 yards. Adkins added 85 rushing yards on six attempts and Minter carried seven times for 71 yards.
“We’ve just got to come in Monday and get back to basics, maybe go back to some week-1 stuff,” McPherson said. “Full gear on Monday, bring your running shoes.”
The Blue Devils open Mountain Empire District play Friday when they travel to Galax.
Radford..................15 14 14 0––43
Grayson County......6 0 0 0–– 6
GC–Hash 3 run (kick blocked) 8:13
Rad–D.Carter 21 run (kick failed) 4:11
Rad–Safety, Hash tackled in end zone, 1:53
Rad–Adkins 6 run (Findley kick) 0:53
Rad–Minter 5 run (Findley kick) 5:17
Rad–Adkins 15 pass from D.Carter (Findley kick) 0:44
Rad–Adkins 38 run (Findley kick) 11:09
Rad–Williams 1 run (Findley kick) 6:54
First downs 22 9
Rushes-yards 51-378 25-84
Yards passing 55 78
Comp-Att-Int 4-5-0 7-18-3
Return yards 71 96
Punts-average 2-26.5 3-31.0
Fumbles-lost 2-1 2-1
Penalties-yards 4-40 3-11
RUSHING—Radford, D.Carter 17-143, Adkins 6-85, Minter 7-71, Dark 4-28, Worles 5-18, I.Carter 3-17, Marshall 3-9, Williams 3-7, Griffits 1-2, Mulkey 1-0, Baylor 1-(-2). Grayson County, Rodriguez 10-44, Anderson 4-15, Mx.Rodgers 2-13, Hash 8-7, Watson 1-3.
PASSING–D.Carter 4-5-0-55. Grayson County, Hash 7-13-3-78, Mx.Rodgers 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING–Radford, Minter 3-40, Adkins 1-15. Grayson County, Harvey 3-55, Mk.Rodgers 4-23.