Carroll County (8-1) dominated the Bobcats with a punishing ground game that rolled up 375 yards rushing. The Cavaliers got off to a fast start as Josh Underwood directed a 6-play, 72-yard drive that ended with him scoring on a 1-yard quarterback sneak. Darwin Wengerd ran in the 2-point conversion to give Carroll an 8-0 lead with 6:32 left in the opening quarter.
The Cavalier defense got in on the action shortly after as Travis Hunter intercepted a Radford pass on the Bobcats’ third play from scrimmage. Carroll capitalized nine plays later as Brooks Hash rambled in from nine yards out for another touchdown to put the Cavs up 14-0. Matt Hawks had a crucial 8-yard run on 4th and 2 to keep the drive alive.
Carroll stoned Radford on its next possession as Graham Matthews, Travis Kinney and Brice Farmer all took turns sacking the Bobcats’ quarterback. Matthews forced a fumble on his sack and Dillon Burcham recovered to give the Cavs outstanding field position. On the first play after the turnover, Hawks threw a halfback pass to Tanner Reavis for a 32-yard gain down the left sideline. Jake Dillon scored a touchdown from a yard out five plays later, then added the 2-point conversion on a trap play to put Carroll ahead 22-0 with 7:31 left in the second quarter.
Like the Cavalier offense, Carroll’s defense continued to dominate on the following possession. On 3rd and long, Brady Guy scooped up a Radford fumble and scampered 47 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown. Hawks’ 2-point conversion run put the Cavaliers on top 30-0 with 5:58 still left in the opening half.
Carroll’s defense stood firm again on the next possession, forcing Radford to punt after a three and out. Wengerd scored six plays later on a 44-yard touchdown burst. Wengerd also toted in the 2-point conversion to give the dominant Cavs a 38-0 lead with 47 ticks remaining in the second quarter. Carroll nearly tacked on another score before the half as Wengerd scored on a 58-yard fumble return. The touchdown was negated due to a penalty, however, and the Cavs elected to take a knee to run out the clock on the first half.
The second half flew by with a continuous clock rolling because of the 35-point rule. Carroll continued to hammer away, however, as Hawks scored on a 7-yard run on the first possession of the third quarter to increase the Cavalier advantage to 44-0. Radford averted the shutout with a touchdown and 2-point conversion late in the third quarter for the game’s final points.
Carroll’s defense was phenomenal with five sacks, three fumble recoveries and an interception. Middle linebacker Dillon Burcham led the defensive effort with five tackles and a fumble recovery. Linebacker Travis Kinney came back after missing five games due to illness to record two sacks. Travis Hunter contributed two tackles and a fumble recovery, while Graham Matthews recorded two tackles, a fumble recovery and a sack. Brady Guy and Tanner Reavis each had two tackles.
Fullback Jake Dillon rushed 23 times for 135 yards and a touchdown and a 2-point conversion to lead the Cavalier offense, while Brooks Hash had 96 yards on only nine carries. Wengerd had 79 yards on just six carries. Matt Hawks had 20 yards on three carries and 32 yards passing.
“I was really worried about this game, but everyone stepped up for our last game. Kody Alley carried two times for 27 yards, but was still nicked up from the Floyd game. Logan Hodges was taken up to varsity and Jake Dillon had a monster game at fullback in his place,” Carroll County JV coach Mark Harmon said. “Dillon Burcham had a great game at middle backer playing in place of Hodges. It was great to see Jake and Dillon get their opportunity and make the most of it. Both are outstanding young men and are very hard workers.”
Harmon said everybody stepped up in the absence of several great players.
“Josh Underwood played the whole game with a painful hip pointer, but had to play after Travis Hunter received a concussion in the second quarter,” Harmon said. “Josh Underwood and Kody Alley really showed toughness by playing tonight. Kody was willing to play more but we as coaches decided to keep him out after those first two carries.”
Carroll finished the season with an 8-1 record with its only loss coming to an outstanding Christiansburg team. The Cavs were dominant in all eight wins, averaging over 33 points per game while only giving up 84 points all year.
“Our offense was great with our linemen leading the way — Graham Matthews, Dakota Blevins, Brice Farmer, Zach Austin, Tyler Roberts and Lucas Holder. Chase Stevens, Joey Frontiera and Chase Stevens really came on at the end of the year as linemen. I know we had the two best blocking wideouts of any team this year with Tanner Reavis and Cody Rigney,” Harmon said. “Josh Underwood did a great job running our offense, running and passing. Josh had four touchdown passes to four different guys and no interceptions. He also had six touchdowns running the ball. Our running backs improved every game and rarely put the ball on the ground. Dereck Surface had nine touchdowns at fullback until breaking his thumb, while Logan Hodges had two touchdowns in limited time at fullback and then Jake Dillon had his great performance in this game.”
Kody Alley rushed for over 1,300 yards and nine touchdowns for the season, while Wengerd and Brooks Hash had over 500 yards each. Brady Guy and Matthew Hawks had three touchdowns each this season.
“Our defense was great all year with different players leading us all year. Logan Hodges led us in tackles. Graham Matthews was our defensive hybrid playing Will backer and tackle. He recorded six sacks, a blocked punt, three forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries,” Harmon said. “We recorded over 40 sacks, nine interceptions and 21 forced fumbles in this our first year in the 3-5 defense. We had to shuffle our defensive starters around a lot because of injuries, but Travis Kinney, Brady Guy, Darwin Wengerd, Dakota Blevins, Brice Farmer, Lucas Holder, Kody Alley, and Travis Hunter led our team the whole year. I would like to thank everyone for their support — players, parents, and fans. Coach Smoot and Coach Singleton did a great job with these young men. This season, just like last year, is a credit to the outstanding program that Coach Hale has built here in Carroll County.