Mount Airy scored a touchdown early in the game, and the defense made it hold up for a 7-0 win over Central Davidson Friday night.
The Spartans outgained the Bears, but Mount Airy’s defense continued to bend, but not break throughout the game.
From the opening kickoff, Central Davidson moved the ball downfield, picking up two first downs. Then the Bears held, forcing a punt.
The snap was bad and the Bears fell on the ball at the Spartan 45-yard line.
Devontae Dobson ran the ball twice for a first down at the 34-yard line.
Then on second-and-6, Andrew Jones broke a tackle on a fullback dive and rumbled 17 yards to the 13-yard line.
On the next play, Dobson took a toss and swept wide left down the sideline for a 13-yard touchdown.
With a kick by Mitchell Brown, the Bears led 7-0 with 5:09 left in the first quarter. That would prove to be the lone score by either team.
On the Bears’ next possession, Logan Holder hit Darius Gwyn with a pass for a first down at the 45-yard line. Two runs by Dobson crossed midfield and earned a first down at the Spartan 40-yard line.
Holder rolled out left and threw a pass toward the sideline that was picked off to end the threat.
At the start of the second quarter, on a third-and-3 play from the 46-yard line, the Spartans popped a runner free.
Julius Coram, who had a sack on the Spartans’ first passing play, chased down the running back and made a touchdown-saving tackle at the 6-yard line.
Central Davidson ran to the 3-yard line, but RB Saig Skeen shoved a Bear defender while they were both still on the ground, which drew a flag. The 15-yard penalty moved the ball back to the 18-yard line.
Davidson tried to loft a high pass to the left corner of the end zone, but 5-foot-6 Dobson knocked the ball away from 6-foot-5 Chris Pompey.
On fourth-and-goal from the 16-yard line, Coram flushed the quarterback out of the pocket. The QB tried to scramble but was tackled at the 9-yard line for a turnover on downs.
The Spartans again got the ball into the red zone near the end of the first half. With fourth-and-4 at the 29-yard line, the visiting team only got to the 26, again turning the ball over on downs.
After moving the ball to midfield, the Bears tried a deep bomb down the left sideline, but Holder was picked off for the second time.
Neither team scored in the third quarter, although the Bears did get close enough for a 35-yard field goal, which was blocked.
At the start of the fourth, Davidson moved the ball to the 20-yard line and stalled. With third-and-16 at the 26, the Bears brought Austin Taylor in to help at safety.
Taylor is the team’s starting quarterback, but hasn’t played since week one with an injury. In this game, he played just a few snaps on obvious passing downs and held the ball on field goal tries.
On the third-down pass, Taylor helped double Pompey as Gwyn batted the ball away.
On fourth down, the Spartans went away from Pompey and looked like they might score, but Dobson just got a fingertip on the ball enough to cause the receiver to misplay the pass.
Dobson, who had been on the sidelines moments earlier stretching out a leg cramp, went to the ground grabbing his left thigh.
The team worked to loosen up the muscle, but Dobson didn’t return for the final 11 minutes.
Near the end of the game, the Bears nearly gave away the lead.
On a tackle, a Bear player grabbed the runner’s face mask, resulting in a 15-yard penalty. Then the referees called another 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.
The 30 yards in penalties moved the Spartans into Bear territory.
Davidson moved inside the 10-yard line, but ran out of downs inside the 5.
The Bears took a knee in victory formation.
In just three quarters of play, Dobson was the Bears’ leading rusher with 78 yards on 18 carries. He also saved two touchdowns with passes defensed.
Middle linebacker Mason Timmerman was named the WPAQ player of the game for his efforts tackling inside the Spartans’ bunched offensive attack.
Timmerman said after the game that the Bears showed how much heart they had in closing out the win. He pointed out that defensive tackle Zane Valentine played his best despite a sore left knee.
Coach Kelly Holder said the linebackers did a great job and the defense as a whole on taking away the cutback lanes for runners.
While he said he’s used to putting plenty of points on the board, Holder was pleased with the way the team is learning and trying hard.
The passing attack wasn’t very good on the night, according to the coaches. Logan Holder was 2-9 for only 19 yards and two interceptions.
The coach said there were some missed throws and some dropped passes that hurt the team, but he believed the running game looked better this week.
All the backs run hard, he said, but Devontae provides a little bit more quickness.
The Bears finished with 140 yards rushing on 33 tries.
The Spartans (1-3) had 248 yards on 50 rushes and zero passing yards. Skeen led the way with 162 yards on 28 carries.
After back-to-back home games, the Bears (3-1) travel to West Stokes. The Wildcats are the defending 2A state champions, but have struggled so far this season at 1-3.