Carroll County made a game of it for almost two and half quarters, but Christiansburg took charge down the stretch to post a 64-22 win in River Ridge football action on Oct. 18 in Hillsville.
The Cavaliers were put in a hole early when Christiansburg recovered two onside kicks in the first quarter, a tactic Cavaliers Head Coach Tom Hale said he had not seen in scouting the Blue Demons.
“We had not seen them do the onside kick, but at the same time, we practice every week. We just didn’t cover it. Our kickoff team has struggled all year long. We’re just not getting the job done,” said Hale.
Following a Carroll County punt, Christiansburg took over on its own 34-yard line. A penalty pushed the Blue Demons back five yards, but Logan Adkins rumbled for 27 yards and Tanner Reed took it the final 31 yards for a touchdown. Aaron Cridlin then tacked on a two-point conversion with a run up the middle.
Christiansburg then surprised Carroll on the first of its two onside kicks, recovering the ball on the Cavaliers’ 33-yard line. Six plays later, Kory Hendricks scored from 4 yards out and Jake Hamley’s PAT kick made it 15-0.
Carroll then put together the first of its three impressive scoring drives, going 73 yards in 11 plays. A 31-yard pass from Connor Lundy to Chris Marshall gave the Cavaliers a first down at the Christiansburg 43. The Cavaliers then mixed up the run and pass plays to move down field. Lundy got the score on a 1-yard run and Chase Goins added the PAT kick.
The first of four Carroll County sacks of Christiansburg quarterback Christopher Jackson put the Blue Demons in a third-and-12 situation, but Jackson scrambled for 21 yards on the next play and followed that with a 50-yard scoring pass to Hamley.
“Eight times we had them third and long, and they converted every one. We’re just not closing it out,” said Hale, who was also upset with his team’s inside run defense. “They are the first team all year that ran it inside on us with consistent success.”
Following the score that put Christiansburg up 22-7, the Blue Demons captured their second onside kick, taking possession at the Carroll County 29. Three plays later, Adkins scored from 1 yard out.
Later in the second quarter, Christiansburg got to the Carroll County 5-yard line, but Jackson fumbled the ball and Kendall Edwards recovered for the Cavaliers at the 14. Lundy picked up 12 yards on a scramble and the Cavaliers marched downfield using runs and short pass plays. However, once in Blue Demons’ territory, the Cavaliers went deep with Lundy connecting with Ethan Underwood on a 31-yard completion to the Christiansburg 10. Four plays later on fourth down, Lundy hit Trace Davis in the end zone to complete the 15-play, 86-yard drive.
A second Christiansburg fumble about a minute later gave Carroll an opportunity for another score before the half. A 15-yard pass from Lundy to Josh Blankenship and a 22-yarder from Lundy to Duncan Reece moved the Cavaliers to the Blue Demons’ 25 with four seconds remaining in the half. Chase Goins then came on to attempt a 41-yard field goal, but it came up short.
Christiansburg struck quickly in the third quarter when Hendricks took the kickoff 77 yards for a touchdown.
Carroll County answered the quick strike by driving 87 yards in eight plays. A 62-yard completion from Lundy to Chris Marshall put the Cavaliers in business at the Christiansburg 10. Lundy was sacked on the next play, but hit Davis with a 9-yard pass before connecting with Edwards on a 6-yard touchdown to cut Christiansburg’s lead to 36-20.
However, Hendricks once again showed off his speed, sprinting 53 yards for a touchdown with 6:59 left in the third quarter to make it a 43-20 game.
Carroll again moved showed it could move the ball, reaching the Christiansburg 17 in 10 plays. However, Lundy was sacked for a 13-yard loss and picked off on the next play at the Christiansburg 1. Two plays later, Carroll’s Dylan Stiltner sacked Jackson in the end zone for a safety with under a minute left in the third quarter. However, the Cavaliers didn’t threaten again and the Blue Demons tacked on three more scores to secure the victory.
Despite the lopsided win, Christiansburg finished with just over 20 yards of total offense more than Carroll.
Following the game, Hale said the realignment that took Carroll out of the Southwest District and put them in the River Ridge District has cost the Cavaliers the a title.
“I firmly believe that if we were in the Southwest District, we would be undefeated. That’s how different the competition is in the two districts.”
Christiansburg 22 7 14 21 - 64
Carroll County7 780 - 22
Cb – Reed 31 yd. run (Cridlin run)
Cb – Hendricks 3 yd. run (Hamley kick)
CC – Lundy 1 yd. run (Goins kick)
Cb – Hamley 50 yd. pass from Jackson (Hamley kick)
Cb – Adkins 1 yd. run (Hamley kick)
CC – Davis 7 yd. pass from Lundy (Goines kick)
Cb – Hendricks 77 yd. kickoff return (Hamley kick)
CC – Edwards 6 yd. pass from Lundy (Goins kick)
Cb – Hendricks 53 yd. run (Hamley)
CC – Safety (Stiltner tackled Hendricks in end zone)
Cb – Adkins 11 yd. run (Hamley kick)
Cb – Vaughn 3 yd. run (Hamley kick)
Cb – Wray 5 yd. run (Hamley kick)