North Surry rallied in the second half, but East Surry held on to win 35-32 in Saturday’s makeup date from Friday.
The Cardinals led 21-7 at the half, but the Greyhounds scored two touchdowns in three and a half minutes in the third quarter to cut the lead to 21-19.
Both teams would score twice, with East holding a three-point edge with a couple of minutes left.
Needing to run out the clock, East came up short and faced fourth down and 2 yards to go. Rather than punt to a hot North offense, coach David Diamont elected to stay on the field.
Lined up in the I formation, fullback Staymon Johnson took the quick hitter and picked up the first down. That allowed East to run out the clock.
It was an ironic ending — having the game decided on a grinding two-yard run when the story coming into the game was the impressive passing by the two teams. The tale of the two Smiths: North’s Avery and East’s Tyler.
Tyler Smith struck first, going deep to Kim Taylor for about 50 yards. Eventually the Cards reached the 1-yard line, and Smith scored himself to make it 7-0.
After both teams punted twice, North took over at its 18-yard line after a booming punt from Smith.
The Hounds put together three first downs to reach the 23-yard line.
Avery Smith was sacked back to the 31, but then hit sophomore Carson Todd for a 31-yard touchdown pass to make it 7-all with 1:25 left in the quarter.
A roughing-the-pass penalty helped East Surry change field position, but the Cards still had to punt.
When the Hounds punted back, the Cards took over at the 44-yard line.
Tight end Charlie Freeman caught a first-down ball, then Joey Ray broke off a 25-yard run to the 8-yard line. From the 6, Ray scored on an option toss to make it 14-7.
With 2:29 left in the half, East Surry took over with great field position again, at their 47.
Ray broke free for 21 yards. Then on third-and-10, Smith found Freeman again for another key first down.
From the 9, Ray rushed to the 4-yard line and was hit by defenders. The East linemen then shoved the pile to the end zone so that Ray could score, which had the North sideline screaming for a penalty flag.
With no flag, East scored with just 17 seconds left to go up 21-7.
The Hounds didn’t hang their heads as they played better in the second half of their two wins to start the season.
And in the third quarter, they showed that trend would continue.
Spreading receivers out wide opened up some inside running lanes for Avery Smith and tailback Andrew Smith.
Going for it on fourth and 1, the Hounds converted and then picked up two more first downs all the way to the 14-yard line. Then Smith hit Luke Mauldin for a touchdown catch. The extra point missed to make it 21-13.
East Surry went three-and-out to give the ball back to North. Tyler Smith hit another booming punt, but Colton Acord returned it out to his 37-yard line.
Andrew and Avery Smith each picked up first downs before the QB hit Reid Stanley on a 28-yard post pattern for a touchdown just 3:30 after the previous TD. North didn’t convert the two-point try, so it was 21-19 then.
Just when all the momentum was going to the home team, North’s squib kick took a friendly hop right to Eddie Scott who broke a tackle and raced all the way to the North 35.
With the ball at the 21, Tyler Smith lofted a ball toward the end zone, but it floated a little left, and Acord, playing safety, picked it off in the end zone and raced out to the 37-yard line.
However, there was a flag on North’s cornerback for not allowing the receiver to adjust to the throw. That gave East a first down at the 10-yard line.
Ray rushed to the 4, then Tyler Smith kept the ball on an option play for a 4-yard score to make it 28-19.
On the ensuing kickoff, Andrew Smith bobbled the ball near the right sideline, picked it up, made one player miss and then he raced about 80 yards up the right side to the end zone to make it 28-25 with 1:58 left in the third. Another two-point try failed.
However, just like the previous time North scored, a squib kick would be picked up by Scott, who again broke tackles and ran up the field all the way to the North 30-yard line.
Ray broke a tackle and survived a huge lick to reach the 6-yard line. Then he scored from there to make it 35-25.
Mixing runs and passes, North again drove down the field and scored its fourth TD of the second half, with Stanley getting his second TD catch. The extra point made it 35-28, but North would get no closer.
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