Cars, trucks, and the occasional scooter lined the sides of Highway 89 as fans from across the county took part in a rare edition of Thursday night varsity football.
No planes landed at North Surry High School, but if they did, they would have to dodge the barrage of passes that led Mount Airy to a 41-10 victory. Granite Bear quarterback Holden Poindexter threw for five touchdowns for the team’s fifth straight win. The athletic duo of Donavon and Greg Greene were involved in five of the team’s six TDs.
Fresh off a blowout victory over Community School of Davidson, North (2-3) looked to build momentum with its first home victory of the season. Doing it against the undefeated Bears (5-0) would just make the “W” that much sweeter.
It took the teams five minutes of game time to feel each other out. Once Mount Airy got the offense rolling, it seemed like they couldn’t be stopped. The Bears started a drive on their own 14-yard line, but quickly advanced on a 15-yard run from Johnathon Smith. Poindexter then connected with Donavon Greene on a pass that appeared to give Greene an open field to the end zone. Instead, the senior was chased down by Colten Sechrist around the Bears’ 45.
Short runs from Johnathon Smith advanced the ball, but Poindexter wasn’t in a waiting mood. He found Greg Greene downfield and connected with the junior for a 48-yard touchdown reception. Jackson Tumbarello added the PAT to make it 7-0 with 5:12 left in the first.
North started on its own 35 and immediately entered Bear territory on a 16-yard run from Ryan Smith. Three Mount Airy defenders were required to bring the big man down. Ryan continued to plow through Bears before handing the reins to Chandler Hawks.
Hawks had two short runs to set up third-and-8 just outside the red zone. QB Carson Hawks went for a fade on third down, but the pass was intercepted by Greg Greene.
Mount Airy began this drive just four yards from its own end zone. On the first play, Poindexter led Kaulin Smith on a bomb of a throw for a 96-yard touchdown pass to go up 14-0.
The Hounds reset with 2:38 left in the first. Starting again on the 35, Ryan Smith broke tackle after tackle once more to cross the 50-yard line. Chandler Hawks ran for back-to-back plays to give Ryan a rest before third-and-2.
Then Ryan Smith turned the requisite 2-yard run into a 38-yard run, as he was dragged down on the Bears’ 4. The senior punched the ball in with 27.1 left in the first. Ethan Evans converted the PAT to make it 14-7.
Mount Airy struck early in the second quarter on just the third play of the drive. This time it was Donavon Greene that caught a deep pass from Poindexter. The 69-yard touchdown pass and ensuing PAT from Tumbarello made it 21-7 in the favor of the Bears.
Slow and steady was the mantra for the Hounds’ next drive as Ryan Smith and Chandler Hawks moved the chains. Chandler was held up on a run and tackled for a loss by Mount Airy’s Sam Eberdt and Rayquan Brown. An incomplete pass set up third-and-13. A 31-yard pass to Nick Badgett bailed the Hounds out and moved the chains.
Coach Danny Lyons and the Greyhound offense went into their bag of tricks by running a reverse pass on the next second down. Carson Hawks immediately handed the ball to Ryan Smith, who then flipped it to Nick Badgett. Badgett let the ball fly to Kaleb Hunter downfield. Hunter completed the trick play and put the Hounds on the 9.
Short runs and a delay of game penalty forced fourth down for North Surry. Evans lined up for a 26-yard field goal attempt, but the ball sailed wide.
The Hounds got another chance after a deflection from Jordyn Ward forced the Bears to punt after just three downs. Badgett returned the kick from his own 45 to the Mount Airy 30, but a block in the back penalty on the Greyhounds moved the ball back into North Surry territory.
Ryan Smith bulldozed through defenders, but North soon had to turn to the passing game to give the running back a break. Incomplete passes gave Evans an opportunity at redemption. He converted a 40-yard field goal to cut the Bears’ lead to 21-10. An uneventful final two minutes of the first half sent the teams to the locker room.
Whatever the Mount Airy coaches said at the break must’ve fired the Bears up, because they not only scored 20 points in the half, but held North Surry scoreless in the third and fourth quarters.
Mount Airy started the half on the ground, with Johnathon Smith and Poindexter getting their chances to move the chains. On his own 45, Johnathon shot out of a cannon up the middle of the field for a 20-yard gain. If not for North Surry defensive back Clay Shumate, he would’ve reached the end zone.
Shumate’s stop just prolonged the inevitable as Poindexter connected with Donavon Greene for a 35-yard TD pass on the very next play. A missed PAT made it 27-10 with 10:42 to play in the third quarter.
North got an immediate first down off a Chandler Hawks run on the next drive but that was it. Eric Olvera sacked Carson Hawks for a 7-yard loss, followed by two incomplete passes. North punted back to Mount Airy just 1:17 after receiving.
Evans’ punt looked destined to land around the Bears’ 10-yard line, where Greg Greene was waiting. The high kick was dropped by Greg, giving Dylan Richards of North Surry the opportunity to dive on the ball at Mount Airy 7.
Once again having troubles in the red zone, a false start and two defensive stops made it fourth down once again. Evans pulled the field goal wide as the Bears began on their own 20.
Mount Airy nearly increased its lead less than a minute into the drive on a screen pass to Johnathon Smith. A chop block on the Bears brought the ball back and erased the touchdown.
The Granite Bears would soon find the end zone again, as Donavon Greene took a pass from Poindexter almost all the way to paydirt. Donavon fumbled inside the 5-yard line, and the ball rolled into the end zone. Lineman Eli Stroup dove on the ball to secure the TD. It was 34-10 after the PAT.
Pinned inside their own five after the kickoff, North had to punt back to Mount Airy after a three-and-out. From this point on, the Hounds’ defense just wasn’t the same.
The Bears put the exclamation point on the game with a 41-yard touchdown pass to Greg Greene in the fourth quarter. The pass capped off Mount Airy’s 41-point performance to advance to 5-0.
Mount Airy will host Surry Central (0-4) next week. North Surry will begin conference play when it hosts Atkins (0-5) next Friday.
Reach Cory on Twitter @MrCoryLeeSmith