With a 30-28 win Sept. 9, Carroll Countys junior varsity football team handed Christiansburg its first loss in more than six years. The Cavaliers scored two touchdowns in the third quarter to rally for the historic victory.
(Christiansburg head varsity coach Tim Cromer) congratulated all of the JV players and commented on how hard they played before the game on Friday. Anyone that saw the game can tell you that it looked like David versus Goliath at Tommy Thompson Field, Carroll County JV coach Mark Harmon said. A number of Christiansburg parents thought it was a 63-game winning streak and commented on how hard our kids played and how they were kept off balance by our passing and running attack. All I know is that they are a great team from a great program and this was an unbelievable win. We are not a bad team, just a young team learning on the go and this was a big step forward.
Quarterback Connor Lundy led a balanced Carroll County offensive attack, completing 9-of-14 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown. Brady Guy led the ground game with 134 yards rushing on 12 carries, while Cameron Marshall gained 63 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries.
But it was the Carroll defense and special teams that got things started for the Cavaliers. After forcing a Christiansburg punt deep in its own territory, Carroll blocked the punt and Josh Combs recovered the loose ball for a touchdown. Lundy then connected with Guy on a two-point conversion pass to give Carroll a quick 8-0 advantage.
That lead didnt last long as Christiansburg responded with a pair of long touchdown runs to go ahead by a score of 14-8. The Cavs had an answer of their own as Marshall capped a 9-play drive with a 4-yard scoring scamper. Lundy ran in the 2-point conversion to put Carroll back in front 16-14. The explosive Demons rushing attack proved to be formidable, however, as Christiansburg added two more long touchdown runs to regain a 28-16 lead before the end of the first half.
Carroll missed out on another scoring opportunity late in the second quarter as Guy broke free on a 67-yard run. Josh Blankenship hauled in a pass at the Christiansburg 8, but was tackled as time expired on the first half.
Carroll dug into its bag of tricks to open the second half as Harmon called for an onside kick to start the third quarter. The Cavaliers recovered Ryan Ruizs onside kick and capitalized eight plays later when Guy scored on an 8-yard reverse. Marshall ran in the 2-point conversion to trim Christiansburgs lead to 28-24.
Carroll maintained possession and momentum as Harmon called for another onside kick after the touchdown. Once again the Cavaliers recovered Ruizs kick before methodically driving down the field with a 12-play drive. Lundy gave Carroll the lead for good with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Blankenship, putting the Cavaliers in front 30-28 at the end of the third quarter.
Carrolls defense stood up to the test on the following possession, throwing Christiansburg for a 2-yard loss on a 4th and 2 from the Cavalier 30. The offense then ran eight minutes off the clock before the Demons returned a punt to their own 42 with 2:44 remaining. Guy, who had a big night running the ball, made the tackle of the game, stopping an apparent Christiansburg score on 4th and 29. The tackle allowed Lundy to take a knee, setting off a huge Carroll County celebration.
Our whole team played great! We are starting to gel and I hope we can build on this. We got ahead and held on by being conservative in the fourth quarter to let the clock run out, Harmon said. Connor Lundy threw the ball as well as any JV quarterback that I have seen in 17 years of coaching and Brady Guy is a special running back and defender, but all of our kids had a special night.
Marshall led the Carroll receiving corps with three catches for 79 yards, while Guy had three receptions for 28 yards. Blankenship caught two passes for 15 yards and Taylor Stoneman hauled in an 8-yard pass.
Our offense kept us in the game and our defense had some key stops, but our defense has really struggled this year. Tackling has been our Achilles Heel and we have to work and improve this aspect of our football team. Austin Horton, Ryan Ruiz, and Tommy Frontiera played well from the defensive line. Cameron Marshall and Josh Combs led the linebackers, Harmon said. This was an incredible victory and we hope to build on this for the rest of the year. Coach Ryan Frazier made some key adjustments with the defensive line and Coach Russell Smoot and Coach Shawn Lundy did an outstanding job with the offense.
Carroll will be back in action Thursday when it hosts undefeated Grayson County.