KERNERSVILLE — East Surry overcame Bishop McGuinness and the elements for a 20-7 win Friday night.
The entire first half was played in a heavy downpour, noted Coach David Diamont.
The teams were tied 7-7 at the half, but East Surry got a big lift from special teams, then added an insurance score off a touchdown for the win.
Bishop is usually a ball-control offense, Diamont explained. There are a lot of spins and motion in the backfield. If a defender gets to staring into the backfield to see what is going on, he can get caught out of position in his gap or blindsided by a blocker he wasn’t looking for.
That’s the game plan that East Surry was expecting, but the Villains went with a change.
“They threw the ball quite a bit more than we thought they would,” he said. Bishop spread their players out, then threw slants, fades and passes into the flat.
Some of the passes were jump balls deep downfield. Their players caught a couple, and the referees flagged East with a couple of pass interference calls as well.
“They were pretty successful to begin with, then our defense began to play really well,” he said. The defense improved, adapted and picked off a couple of passes.
Bishop scored first in the game, getting a long touchdown pass. However, the Cardinals would keep the Villains out of the end zone the rest of the way.
Diamont said he went with a more conservative approach because of the rain. The offense featured a heavy dose of running back Zach Koons, who finished with 151 yards on 25 carries (6.0 yards per carry) and two touchdowns.
Koons’ first score tied the game 7-7 after an Ethan Atkins extra point. Despite the treacherous footing, Atkins was two for three on point-after attempts.
The rain eased up in the second half.
Bishop kicked off to Jeremy Gilley, who broke free right up the seam at full speed and was gone, said Diamont. It was a major turning point in the game.
Then later in the half, Gilley picked off a pass to protect the 14-7 lead.
Koons’ second touchdown provided insurance, and the defense did the rest.
Quarterback John Dickenson went out with a bruised left shoulder last week, but returned this week.
The junior went 5-12 passing. Diamont said the completion percentage should have been higher, but the weather could have been a factor.
East Surry (4-3) travels to South Stokes (5-1) next week. Both teams are 2-1 in the Northwest Conference.
Note: Coach Diamont gave thanks to Bishop McGuinness for helping the Cards Friday night.
The team bus wouldn’t start. After more than an hour of people trying to get the bus working, Bishop provided a bus and driver to get the players home.