Carroll County (1-5, 1-0 SWD) scored touchdowns on its first play from scrimmage in both halves, while the defense limited Abingdon (3-3, 0-1 SWD ) to three points and just 157 total yards.
“That was our approach, we are starting district play and it's a brand new season. We were 0-5, but now we are starting the district games and have to put that behind us and learn from it and move on,” Hale said. “Overall, I thought our kids played really well. We really wanted this win and I think that was a little bit of our problem offensively. They were trying so hard and made some little mental errors there, but the kids played a heck of a game.”
Abingdon opened the game with a long run deep into Carroll County territory. The Cavalier defense stood strong, however, forcing the Falcons to settle for a 27-yard field goal and a 3-0 lead. That cushion lasted all of one play as Brooks Hash busted loose on an 80-yard touchdown run down the left sideline on Carroll's first play from scrimmage. Logan Hodges ran in the 2-point conversion for an 8-3 lead that would stand until halftime.
While Carroll controlled the action most of the first half, it couldn't add to its lead as it turned the ball over three times in the first two quarters. Fortunately for the Cavs, there was another half, and another first play from scrimmage. This time, quarterback Connor Lundy hit Patrick Davis on a quick pass play that ended up in the end zone 80 yards later for a touchdown to open the third quarter. It was the first reception of the year for Davis. Hash also hauled in a pass from Josh Underwood on the 2-point conversion to increase the Carroll lead to 16-3.
“At halftime, coach (Doug) Reavis came to me and said he felt this would be a good pass play and let's put Patrick in there and see if he can outrun the kid,” Hale said. “And he did, and Connor hit him in stride. It was just a quick dump route about 10 to 15 yards downfield and he outran the kid trying to cover him.”
Even though the Cavaliers finished with 340 yards of offense, Carroll wasn't able to score again as Abingdon held the ball most of the second half. Dylan Burcham's interception with six minutes left sealed the victory and completed an outstanding defensive effort by Carroll.
“Defensively I thought we played a heck of a game. After the early field goal, they drove down the field to get in field goal range after we fumbled the ball. Those were really the only times they threatened to score,” Hale said. “Defensively we had several kids – Logan Hodges, Dylan Burcham, Chris Smoot, Josh Combs – just several of those kids on defense had a whale of a game.”
Hash led the Cavalier offense with 96 yards rushing on five carries, while Kody Alley picked up 76 yards on 11 carries. Lundy completed 2-of-8 passes for 81 yards and a touchdown.
Carroll's victory sets up a huge Southwest District showdown with undefeated Richlands, who comes into the game 7-0 after opening district play Friday with a 49-0 win over Marion. The Blue Tornado will roll into Hillsville on Friday for a 7:30 p.m. Kickoff.
“It feels good to get a win, but now we have our hands full,” Hale said.
Carroll Co. 8 0 8 0 – 16
Abingdon 3 0 0 0 – 3
A – Ludwig 27 field goal
CC – Hash 80 run (Hodges run)
CC – Davis 80 pass from Lundy (Hash pass from Underwood)
RUSHING – Hash 5-96, Alley 11-76, Lundy 2-43, Marshall 7-34, Hodges 4-10.
PASSING – Lundy 2-8-1 81 yds.
RECEIVING – Davis 1-80, Hash 1-1.