North Surry broke a four-game losing streak to down West Stokes 24-21 after Caleb Ramey kicked a 31-yard field goal in overtime.
Greyhounds Coach Danny Lyons said, “This is probably the biggest win for the football team in 10 or 15 years.” Then he added, “Well, for the program.”
He called it a hopeful starting point for positive things to come during the rest of the season.
Lyons said the Greyhounds were big underdogs coming into the game and underscored its significance against West Stokes.
He said the Greyhounds put together four solid quarters.
“It was a team effort it really was,” said the coach.
All week, everyone prepared as a team and that was a key factor in the win, said Lyons.
North Surry drew first blood from 40 yards out on a trick play.
Quarterback Hunter Snow handed off to receiver Colton Acord on an end-around play.
Acord then looked downfield and passed to Ryan March for 57 yards down the sideline.
March made a one-handed catch at the 20-yard line and took it into the end zone with about seven minutes left in the first quarter, said Lyons.
Crossing over from the end of the first quarter and into the second, North Surry held the ball for more than eight minutes before scoring a second time.
Lyons said the Greyhounds were able to run the football for three or four yards at a time able to pull out first downs on 11 or 12 play drives.
The long possession kept the Wildcat offense off the field.
Lyons said the Hounds played really well getting first downs on the drive and netting yards both in rushing and passing. “It was pretty balanced, ” said Lyons.
Snow hit receiver Alex Edwards on a nine-yard pass to get a touchdown in the end zone and Ramey was perfect for the extra point. The Hounds led 14-0. Edwards also had an interception playing defense.
West Stokes finally got on the board on the last play of the first half. Quarterback Chris Manley lofted a ball into the end zone from about 20 yards out, and a West Stokes receiver pulled down the jump ball for a 14-7 halftime score.
North Surry moved down the field on a five-minute scoring drive in the third quarter.
Twice the Hounds scored, but had the plays called back by penalties.
Finally, Dakota Goss rushed for a 12-yard touchdown to make it 21-7.
Manley and tight end Grayson Cobb connected twice on scoring passes to tie the game in the fourth quarter 21-21 with two minutes left.
Cobb is a big 240-pound target, noted Lyons. The receiver grabbed the first touchdown pass from 20 yards out, and the second was even longer at 35 or 40 yards, the coach said.
That gave North Surry one final chance to win the game in regulation.
In a two-minute drill, Snow moved the ball down the field, hitting March on a pass near the sideline around the 15-yard line for a 27-yard completion.
Ryan March wasn’t able to get out of bounds to stop the clock, so the Hounds rushed to the line of scrimmage to spike the ball.
Lyons said he believed the spike was in time to save a couple of seconds for a 32-yard field goal try for Ramey. However, the officials ruled that time had expired.
Center Caleb Thomas showed great senior leadership in that moment, said Lyons.
“I was upset at the situation and he calmed me down,” said Lyons.
North Surry got the ball first on the 10-yard line at first and goal. They lost yards on a couple of plays, but were unable to score a touchdown. The Ramey 31-yard field goal gave his team a three-point lead and eventual win.
“I think that shows he is a calm poised kid, it was the kick of our season, it is great,” said Lyons.
West Stokes got the ball on the 10-yard line and gave the ball to halfback Rashad Witherspoon.
Snow, who also plays linebacker, came up and put a lick on the ball to knock it free at the five-yard line. The ball popped out and safety Nolan Stanley fell on the ball and preserved the win.
Defensive coordinator Patrick Taylor deserves credit for the good defense, said Lyons. The team has been using a 3-5 defense with man coverage on the outside. Over the past two weeks, the Hounds have been preparing to make a switch to a 3-4 front, with a zone defense, for the first time this season.
Lyons said the Hounds had to figure out in the bye week what they were going to do and playing zone paid off.
“It was sweet redemption for the secondary, they came up big,”said Lyons.
In addition to the game-saving fumble recovery, Stanley made an interception, noted Lyons.
Snow and Goss each had about a dozen tackles, and Ben Nichols tallied three sacks on Manley.
March broke up three pass attempts in the secondary.
Offensive stats as provided by Lyons:
Rushing: Goss had 23 carries for 86 yards, Snow had 12 carries for 49 yards, George Rumplasch recorded two carries for seven yards.
Passing: Snow threw 6/15 for 88 yards and a touchdown; Acord went 1/1 on for 57 yards and a touchdown on trick play.
Receiving: March recorded three catches for 101 yards, Tanner Hodgin recorded one catch for 35 yards, Edwards tallied one catch for nine yards and a touchdown, Rumplasch registered one catch for three yards.
Totals of Hounds were: 37 carries for 139 yards. In passing, they recorded 145 yards.
On defense: Snow recorded 13 tackles, Goss 10 tackles, Nichols registered three sacks. March had three batted balls at defensive end.
Special teams: Ramey was perfect 3/3 in extra points. He recorded a 31-yard field goal in overtime. Hodgin recorded six punts for 145 yards.
Interceptions: Edwards recorded one interception with three pass break-ups; Stanley registered one interception and a fumble recovery at end of overtime.
The game outcome was a credit to how good West Stokes, and how the Greyhounds rallied for the win, concluded Lyons.