Hounds’ defense makes big plays


By Jeff Linville - jlinville@MtAiryNews.com



North Surry’s Austin Schwartz (10) makes an interception near the goal line to save a touchdown against the Community School of Davidson in Friday’s 43-7 win.


Jeff Linville | The News

North’s Elijah Odum (64) knifes through the line and gets a safety for the first score of the game.


Jeff Linville | The News

Nick Badgett (3) catches a seam pass in stride and takes it 64 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter.


Jeff Linville | The News

Chase Schwartz, right, hands the ball off to Sammy McMillian at the 5-yard line, and the running back takes it into the end zone for one of his three touchdowns on the night.


Jeff Linville | The News

North Surry took down Community School of Davidson 43-7 Friday to stay perfect at 4-0.

The Greyhounds could have been caught looking ahead to next week’s game at rival Mount Airy, but didn’t disappoint the home crowd with big plays on offense, defense and special teams.

The defense opened the scoring with a safety, then the punt coverage team added a touchdown before the offense came up with a couple of scores of its own for a commanding first-half lead.

Maybe the team was looking ahead a little at the start, said head coach Danny Lyons. The team just came off an emotional win over East Surry last week, and has the rivalry game next week with the Bears, so it would be easy to have a let-down.

Filling in a hole on the schedule, North Surry welcomed a team from Davidson that the coaches didn’t know much about.

In the Spartans’ first two games, the offense had scored 78 points, and the quarterback had amassed 1,200 all-purpose yards, according to Lyons.

Luke Watts proved to be a good quarterback, and Austin Fekete a tough wide receiver to cover, Lyons noted.

Still, after a slow first quarter, the team came together and played a heck of a second quarter, he said.

The Hounds’ D came up with a safety to open scoring, then added three interceptions to maintain the goose egg on the visitor score, while the offense added three touchdowns for a 23-0 halftime lead.

North Surry opened the game by going three and out.

Then the Spartans showed off a quick-strike passing attack that picked up four first downs all the way to the 17-yard line.

The Hound reserves were chanting “bend but don’t break” when Davidson crossed midfield a couple of times in the first half. And then the defense held up both times.

North backed the Spartans up to the 32-yard line. On fourth and long, the Spartans lofted a ball high to the left. Austin Schwartz picked the ball off inside the 5-yard line and returned it to the Davidson 39-yard line.

The Hounds picked up three first downs and looked like they might have scored on a Sammy McMillian run to the far side of the field. The home crowd erupted before the side judge marked the ball out at the 3-yard line. Then the Hounds fumbled the ball in the middle of the field on the next play with the Spartans falling on the ball at the line of scrimmage.

On third-and-9 from the 4, the Spartans dropped back to pass, but Elijah Odum broke through the line for a safety. With 47 seconds left in the first period, North Surry led 2-0.

The Hounds had a promising drive stalled by an intentional grounding call, but then special teams made a big play.

Ethan Evans, who already had bombed a 53-yard punt in the first quarter, lofted a high punt that was coming down around the 10-yard line. The returner waved for a fair catch, then bobbled the ball. Because of the bobble, the fair catch no longer kept him safe, so once he secured the ball, the gunners tackled the returner and jarred the ball free. Avery Simmons picked the ball up and rumbled 10 yards into the end zone for a score to make it 9-0 after the Evans extra point with 8:22 left in the half.

On Davidson’s next possession, Simmons got his hands on a pass, but couldn’t pull it in for an interception. Still, the defense forced a punt.

McMillian ran twice for 13 yards for a first down to the 36-yard line. Then Chase Schwartz hooked up with Nick Badgett on a catch-and-run 64-yard touchdown to make it 16-0 with 5:41 left in the second.

Watts completed a deep bomb to the left side to Ryan Renshaw down to North’s 25-yard line. Simmons tackled Watts on one play that jarred the ball loose, but it rolled out of bounds before the Hounds could get it.

Eventually getting a first down at the 7-yard line, Watts rolled out right, threw toward the end zone, but a defender got a hand up to deflect the ball. Nick Rodriguez intercepted the ball just shy of the goal line and ran it all the way to midfield. A 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty was assessed on the tackle, giving the North Surry offense the ball at the Davidson 35-yard line.

Ryan Smith had a 17-yard run, then McMillian had runs of 21 and four yards, the latter down to the Spartans’ 1-foot line. From there, McMillian punched it in for a 23-0 lead with 58 seconds to go in the half.

Davidson would attempt to move down the field before the half, but Ryan Ward made an interception on the final play of the quarter.

“Ryan isn’t a starter,” said Lyons. “He’s a little undersized, but that’s his third pick of the season. He does good things for us when he comes in. He had two picks against Elkin. When you’ve got guys like him that are unselfish, it makes coaching fun.”

The defense managed another interception and two turnovers on downs in the second half, but the visiting Spartans did hook up on a 68-yard bomb to the 1-yard line before punching in their only score of the game in the third quarter.

“Sometimes number 10 came down with it regardless of coverage,” Lyons said of Fekete.

In the third quarter, the Spartans had the ball first and turned it over on downs. Smith and McMillian moved the ball steadily on the ground before McMillian scored again from 2 yards out to make it 29-0. The snap on the extra point was low, and there was no try.

Hayden Barrineau scored a 1-yard TD for Davidson’s only points of the game with 4:01 left in the third.

After North couldn’t move the ball and punted, the Spartans connected with a deep ball to the North 15-yard line. However, Darius Duncan and Clay Shumate broke up passes before Odum got his second sack to force fourth-and-20. The Hounds then got another turnover on downs.

Smith had a mild ankle sprain, so McMillian got the carries on the next drive and scored his third TD from 7 yards out to make it 36-7 with Izzy Garcia coming on to kick the extra point.

Keaton Ward made an interception on the next drive. Lyons said that was Ward’s third in two games.

On the next drive, Lyons brought in a kid called up from the JV team. A middle school track standout, Kaulin Smith took his first handoff up the middle, broke to the outside and scampered 64 yards for a touchdown to make it 43-7.

Smith is still young and developing, but already he might be the fastest kid in the program, said Lyons. Before this athlete is through, he could be earning all kinds of accolades in the hurdles.

McMillian finished the night with 21 carries for 171 yards and three touchdowns. Smith had 13 carries for 87 yards. Smith had two carries for 74 yards and a TD.

Lyons said the doctor didn’t think Smith’s ankle was that serious. Luke Johnson was on the ground on the sideline at one point. Lyons said Luke has had some knee problems, but the doctor and trainer seemed optimistic that it won’t keep him out a long time.

The Hounds are now 4-0, as are the Granite Bears who host next Friday’s game.

North Surry’s Austin Schwartz (10) makes an interception near the goal line to save a touchdown against the Community School of Davidson in Friday’s 43-7 win.
http://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/web1_0JAL7112_filtered.jpgNorth Surry’s Austin Schwartz (10) makes an interception near the goal line to save a touchdown against the Community School of Davidson in Friday’s 43-7 win. Jeff Linville | The News

North’s Elijah Odum (64) knifes through the line and gets a safety for the first score of the game.
http://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/web1_0JAL7123_filtered.jpgNorth’s Elijah Odum (64) knifes through the line and gets a safety for the first score of the game. Jeff Linville | The News

Nick Badgett (3) catches a seam pass in stride and takes it 64 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter.
http://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/web1_0JAL7128_filtered.jpgNick Badgett (3) catches a seam pass in stride and takes it 64 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. Jeff Linville | The News

Chase Schwartz, right, hands the ball off to Sammy McMillian at the 5-yard line, and the running back takes it into the end zone for one of his three touchdowns on the night.
http://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/web1_0JAL7131_filtered.jpgChase Schwartz, right, hands the ball off to Sammy McMillian at the 5-yard line, and the running back takes it into the end zone for one of his three touchdowns on the night. Jeff Linville | The News

By Jeff Linville

jlinville@MtAiryNews.com

Reach Jeff at 415-4692.

Reach Jeff at 415-4692.

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