The North Surry Greyhounds started football season with an incredible rushing performance to earn a 25-6 victory against the visiting North Forsyth Vikings Friday night.
The smell of fattening concession food mixed with the sound of gladiators clashing in the cool August air signifies the beginning of a season that brings entire communities together to cheer for the hometown heroes. Ladies and gentleman, football season is back…but it almost didn’t happen today.
On-and-off rain throughout the day threatened to postpone the season opener. Thanks to the help of many volunteers that prepared the field at the last minute, the game was able to happen. North Surry Coach Danny Lyons was proud of his team’s performance despite the murky conditions.
“We had a good night under the conditions we played in,” Lyons said. “The field was a bit soupy with all the rain earlier in the day.”
After a 30-minute delay, North Surry came out firing on all cylinders. After receiving the opening kickoff, the Greyhounds put the ball into the hands of trusted senior running back Sammy McMillian. McMillian marched the Hounds down the field with seven straight carries, including a fourth-down conversion. McMillian set the stage for senior Avery Simmons to catch a touchdown pass on the eighth play of the opening drive. Just like that, North Surry was on the board.
North Forsyth went with a similar strategy by letting senior running back Tyrek McNeil try to replicate a successful ground game for the Vikings. McNeil was able to move the chains a few times for his team, but was ultimately held up by the Greyhound defense.
The second quarter saw the second score of the game go in favor of North Surry. McMillian was rewarded for his efforts earlier, running in a touchdown to increase the lead to 13-0 after a successful PAT. McMillian finished with 157 rushing yards for North Surry.
Despite not scoring in the second quarter, there was a lot of attention on McNeil’s rushing performance for the Vikings. Standing a modest 5’7”, McNeil played with the ferocity of a man six inches and 75 pounds heavier. McNeil was able to run into traffic and bounce off defenders to gain extra yards before being dragged down. Following a goal-line interception in favor of the Vikings, the ball was handed to McNeil, who ran nearly 50 yards and would’ve scored if it wasn’t for Greyhound senior Darius Duncan. Duncan chased down McNeil and forced a fumble that was recovered by North Surry late in the first half.
The Vikings needed to come out of halftime strong to prevent North Surry from running away with the game. Unfortunately for North Forsyth, two straight bad snaps led to a safety, not only giving the Greyhounds a 15-0 lead, but the ball as well.
North Forsyth’s defense stepped up in the third quarter, preventing another Greyhound TD, but its offense was unable to put points on the board. Possession flip-flopped until North Surry nailed a field goal for three points.
Going into the final quarter down 18-0, the Vikings’ defense appeared exhausted. McMillian and Ryan Smith inched the ball down the field while running time off the clock before Smith battled his way into the end zone to extend the lead to 25-0. Coach Lyons had very high praise for Smith, who gained 82 yards on seven carries.
“[Smith] hasn’t played in three years and we loved what we saw out of him,” Lyons said.
A touchdown in garbage time wasn’t enough to get North Forsyth back in the game, but prevented a shutout. The Vikings (0-1) look to bounce back next week when they travel to Pfafftown to face rival Ronald Reagan (0-1). North Surry (1-0) takes to the road as well as they face Elkin (1-0) next Friday.
Reach Cory at (336) 415-4702.