The saying, ‘It’s hard to beat the same team twice,’ was not the case for the Maroon Tide. After escaping with a 21-14 victory in week seven, Galax blasted the Maroons 42-14 in the post season rematch. Blake Brown and Caxton Vaught combined for 349 rushing yards and four touchdowns to lead top-seeded Galax (10-2) over George Wythe (7-5).
After forcing the Maroon Tide to go three-and-out on their first possession, GW quarterback Cole Simmons marched the Maroons into Galax territory. He used his legs on a 3rd-and-11 and ran for 22 yards, down to the Tide 43-yard line. After a few short completions, GW found themselves 4th-and-2 at the Galax 35-yard line. Simmons handed the ball of to running back Ravvon Wells but the Maroon Tide defense wrapped him up in the backfield forcing a turnover-on-downs.
On the next possession for Galax, Brown carried the ball five times for 63 yards and scores from two-yards out. Maroon Tide jump out to a 7-0 lead late in the first.
GW was pinned deep on their next possession starting at their own 5-yard line. After a quick three-and-out, the Maroons attempted to punt the ball but it was blocked. However, Wells picked up the blocked punt and advanced it to the 28-yard line, giving the Maroons a fresh set out of downs.
Galax got the ball back and quarterback Cole Pickett, who scored five total touchdowns against East Montgomery last week, went to work. After a series of completions, Pickett connected with Landon Dickson from 14-yards out, extending the lead to 14-0 early in the second. Brown added another score for the Tide with 8:07 remaining in the half.
After trailing 21-0, the Maroons finally got on the board when Simmons plunged in from four-yards out. Galax led 21-7 at the break.
On the Maroons first possession of the second half, Simmons got thumped in the backfield and fumbled the ball. Galax recovered the fumble at the Maroons 19-yard line. Cade Ashworth, who forced the fumble, scored two plays later on a 17-yard pass from Pickett.
Leading 28-7, it looked like Galax might pull away in this one. That was until Simmons connected with Jaquez Younger who took it 87 yards for the score with 6:50 remaining in the third. That would be their last score as they trailed 28-14.
The next quarter and a half was all Caxton Vaught. He scored from 45-yards out late in the third and closed the game with a 7-yard touchdown run with 1:27 remaining in the game.
Vaught finished with 145 yards and two touchdowns on five carries. Brown finished with 204 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries. Pickett completed 7-of-17 passing for 71 yards and two touchdowns. Dickson caught three passes for 52 yards and a touchdown. Ashworth caught three passes for 50 yards and a touchdown. He also lead the defense with 7.5 total tackles and four tackles for loss.
For the Maroons, Simmons completed 20-of-42 passing for 248 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 74 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. Younger caught six passes for 124 yards and a touchdown.
Galax returns to the Region 1C championship to face Narrows. This will be a rematch from last year’s region championship where Galax edged Narrows 28-27.
Born in Pulaski, Va it only took a few years before I would end up in the beautiful Giles County where I would graduate in 2012 from Giles High School. Since the age of 4, Pearisburg has been my homeplace and I don’t have any plans to leave.
Sports have always been big in my family. My father was fortunate enough to be able to play football for the Spartans in 1978, which was the first year that Coach Steve Ragsdale introduced the single-wing offense which we will still run today.
My high school football career was cut short due to a knee injury that I sustained my junior year, but fortunately I was able to compete in the State Championship my senior year as a shot put thrower on the track and field team.
I now get to enjoy the football games in the stands with my father as we are known as, “them guys with the train horn,” which we take to every football game. GO SPARTANS!