East Surry at North Surry is the game of the week in football action tonight.
Both teams are 2-0, coming off good wins over quality teams.
Meanwhile, Mount Airy travels to Carroll County, Va., and Surry Central goes to Wilkes Central.
The Greyhounds are averaging 32 points per game so far, but it has been the defense that has carried the team in the first halves.
The Hounds are giving up 20 points per game, but most of that has come in the fourth while holding a big lead. They have given up just 13 points in the first three quarters and 27 in the fourth quarter, so maintaining that defensive edge will be a key this week.
East Surry’s defense has been even better. The Cardinals shut out Surry Central 20-0 and then held down Starmount in a 27-6 win.
The Cards are ranked sixth in the state for 1A teams, according to MaxPreps.
Eight different players have run the ball for East, but junior Lucas Koons has emerged as the workhorse.
Following in the footsteps of his brother Zach, Koons is the leading rusher with 281 yards and three touchdowns. The rest of the team has just 67 yards and two touchdowns.
Blaze Acord was a 2,000-yard rusher last year and racked up 334 yards in the first two games before going out with an injury.
However, he suffered a broken clavicle and could be out the season.
With Acord out, Dakota Goss and Corbin Bullins could see more action at running back.
North Coach Danny Lyons said his team responded well in practice this week, working hard to prepare rather than fretting over the injury. They are very excited, he said, and there should be a huge crowd as both schools come out to support their teams.
East’s John Dickenson and North’s Jacob Patten are both completing only about 30 percent on their passes, but it is because they are trying for big gains. They are averaging 16 and 15 yards per completion, respectively.
On defense, East’s J.T. Lichtenberger has been outstanding. He has averaged 14 tackles a game, has hurried the quarterback and blocked a punt.
For North Surry, linebacker Dakota Goss is the leading tackler and also has three sacks.
As for the Bears, Carroll County looks like a tough, hard-nosed team, said Coach Kelly Holder. They had a big win last week.
The Cavaliers were blown out 44-3 in Week One, but bounced back to crush Floyd County 55-14.
“We haven’t done a great job so far,” Holder said. The two losses were 23-13 and 14-7, meaning the Bears are averaging only 10 points per game.
“We are definitely trying to make sure we can execute better,” he said.
“Every coach and every player is accountable,” Holder said. “We’ve got to make sure we take care of ourselves.”
Yes, the coaches will game plan for Carroll County, but it comes down to each person doing his job, he explained.
While Mount Airy is 0-2, the coaching staff doesn’t feel any need to panic. Over the past few years, the Bears have lost one or two games in the first couple of week, then went on long winning streaks.
In 2010, the Bears lost to Starmount and Thomasville, then came back to win 10 straight games.
In 2011, the Bears lost to Starmount, then went 8-2 the rest of the regular season.
Last year, Mount Airy again lost to the Rams, then won 12 straight games before falling.
Surry Central bounced back from a one-sided loss to the Cardinals to beat the other Cards, from East Wilkes.
The Golden Eagles didn’t score in the first week, but posted 28 points in Week Two.
The Eagles posted 14 points in the first quarter on East Wilkes, then held on when the Cards scored two TDs in the fourth quarter for a 28-21 win.
Their next opponent hasn’t won a game yet. Wilkes Central lost to North Iredell 13-0, then was roughed up 52-16 by Hibriten.
Next week will be the big rivalry game between Mount Airy and North Surry. Surry Central will host Elkin, and East Surry goes to West Stokes.