A couple of missed opportunities prevented Carroll County from building on an early lead against Cave Spring and that proved fatal in a 49-20 loss to the Knights.
“We’re like the ‘Bad News Bears,’” said Carroll Head Coach Tom Hale. “Defensively, we just can‘t give up the pass plays we did, and offensively we had opportunities, but just couldn’t finish plays.”
Carroll opened the game strong, driving 81 yards in 13 plays to grab a 6-0 lead. Quarterback Connor Lundy had a 14-yard run and completed a 21-yard pass to Blake Dalton in the drive that ended with Josh Blankenship scoring from 2 yards out. Lundy’s pass for a two-point conversion, however, was broken up in the end zone.
Cave Spring picked up two first downs on its first drive, but Carroll’s defense stepped it up to stop the Knights at the Cavaliers’ 42. With help from a 21-yard run by Blankenship, Carroll reached the Cave Spring 46. However, a long pass from Lundy to Duncan Reece was tipped and the Knights’ Ty Albritton hauled the ball in at the Cavaliers’ 9.
Cave Spring then drove 91 yards in 10 plays to tie the game on Tyler Ride’s 10-yard run. Daniel Seymour’s PAT kick put the Knights up 7-6.
Carroll failed to move the ball on its next possession and was forced to punt. Cave Spring’s return man fumbled the punt and the Cavaliers’ Brennan Vaught came up with the ball. However, due to an inadvertent whistle by an official, the down was replayed. However, it worked out fine as the Knights again fumbled the ball. This time, the Cavaliers’ Bronson Bowman came up with the ball at the Cave Spring 39.
Kendall Edwards picked up five yards on two running plays, but two passes failed to connect and Cave Spring took control of the ball. The Knights then covered 66 yards in six plays, getting their second score on an 8-yard pass from quarterback Alex Emery to Kyle Curtis.
Following a Carroll punt, Cave Spring extended its lead on a 56-yard scoring pass from Emery to Zac Foutz.
The Cavaliers had a chance to cut into the Knights’ 21-6 lead in the final minute of the first half after Blankenship turned the corner for a 46-yard gain down to the Cave Spring 23. A penalty moved Carroll back 10 yards before two passes fell incomplete.
Cave Spring opened the second half with a 10-play, 73-yard scoring drive. Jon Roach got the score on a 4-yard run.
Carroll, however, showed some life with a long scoring drive of its own. A big play in the 71-yard drive was a 40-yard hookup between Lundy and Dalton. Three plays later, Lundy took it in for the score from 19 yards out, and Blankenship tacked on the two-point conversion.
The Cavaliers’ final touchdown came with 3:07 left in the game when Lundy connected with Reece on a 24-yard scoring pass.
Carroll is again home on Oct.18, this time against Christiansburg, which beat Cave Spring 49-7 a few weeks ago.
“It doesn’t get any easier,” said Hale. “We face the three best teams in the River Ridge Conference in the coming weeks. This stretch is going to show the intestinal fortitude of the kids. They really have to suck it up.”
Cave Spring 0 21 7 21 - 49
Carroll Co.60 86 - 20
CC – Blankenship 2 yd. run
CS – Rice 10 yd. run (Seymour kick)
CS – Curtis 27 yd. pass from Emery (Seymour kick)
CS – Foutz 56 yd. pass from Emery (Seymour kick)
CS – Roach 4 yd. run (Seymour kick)
CC – Lundy 19 yrd. Run (Blankenship run)
CS – Emery 22 yd. run (Seymour kick)
CS – Curtis 2 yd. run (Seymour kick)
CC- Reece 24 yd. pass from Lundy (kick blocked)
Rushing Yds.40-279 33-189
Fumbles-lost 2 0
RUSHING – Roach 15-107, Emery 15-93, Rice 9-77, Curtis 1-2.
PASSING – Emery 12-14-0 251 yds.
RECEIVING – Foutz 6-163, Curtis 3-38, Albritton 2-50.
RUSHING – Blankenship 16-111, Lundy 4-39, Underwood 3-16, Edwards 7-15, Mollett 1-5, Stiltner 1-4, Vaught 1-(-1). PASSING – Lundy 11-25-2 104 yds.
RECEIVING - Dalton 2-61, Reece 3-28, Marshall 3-21, Davis 2-10, Blankeship 1-9, Edwards 1-9, Vaught 1-6.