PILOT MOUNTAIN — East Surry dominated Starmount on Friday but the visiting Rams tied the contest in the fourth and iced the win in overtime 14-7.
“I thought our defensive plan and players played so hard,” said Coach David Diamont. “This was a tremendous effort that this team has shown in the first two weeks.”
The Cardinals powered to an early lead in the first quarter with 9:54 on the clock on a 26-yard effort from Jon Dickenson to Jeremy Gilley and a successful extra point kick gave East Surry a 7-point lead. The Cardinal defense blunted Starmount’s offensive plans for the remainder of the quarter and held the Rams scoreless.
In the second quarter, East stopped Starmount’s drive to the nine. The Rams went for it on their fourth down but a veritable flock of Cardinals stopped the runner and gain a first down at their own 8-year line with four minutes left before halftime. Another Ram drive in the quarter was chilled on a quarterback sack by Junior Madison Chilton. A Ram fumble recovered by Lucas Koons signaled that the Cards were not slowing just before the buzzer sounded.
Starmount’s defense appeared to gel a bit in the third. An offsides penalty against the Rams with 10:29 left in the quarter set up a successful pass to Gilley for a first down at their 40-yard line. Austin Johnson pushed the ball down around the 45-yard mark but East was unable to muscle through and punted with 8:18 remaining before the final quarter.
The Card set off some offensive fireworks with 5:15 left in the quarter on a pass to Zach Koons for a first down. Koons next ran the ball to the Ram 35-yard line for another first down and another pass to Gilley set the Cardinals up in business on the Starmount five-yard line. Starmount’s defense pushed back as East was unable to connect on several attempts via the air route but held on to its seven-point lead at the end of the quarter.
East threatened with 8:46 left in regulation and had moved the ball up to Starmount’s 40-yard line but once again had to punt. A huge interception by R.J. Lawson at the 5:56 mark gave the Cardinals the ball at their own 46. Zach Koons moved it up to the 50 but an illegal procedure call moved the ball back yet again as East was unable to punch through.
It was here that offensive lightening struck. A little over 3:25 was left in the quarter as Ram Chaston Martin broke loose to run 79 yards in for six points just seconds later. The kick was good and the score was knotted at seven.
East worked the ball up to their own 41 with 1:57 left in the fourth but could not convert. Starmount’s offensive efforts ended up in with them punting with 45 seconds on the clock. East got the ball at their 47 and earned the first down but time ran out and it was all going to overtime.
East Surry won the toss and chose to play defense first. Starmount moved the ball in from the seven for a first down and hit pay dirt running it up the middle. They capped that with an extra point kick to make the score 14-7 in their favor. East was at the three yard line with their turn with the ball but were not able to convert.
The Cardinals had 201 yards while Starmount collected 166 total yards on offense.
“We were really disappointed to let this game slip away from us like this,” said Diamont. “The kids played so hard it was tough but we’ll be back.”
East is scheduled to play at West Montgomery on Aug. 31.
Reach David Broyles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1952.