Rye Cove improved to 4-4 overall on the year behind 4 total touchdowns from Mason Hardin and a stellar defensive effort that limited the Twin Valley offense to 50 total yards.
Coming off of a stellar performance last week against Unaka, Hardin made sure to give an encore to the home standing crowd. Hardin threw a touchdown pass to tight end Andrew Jessee and ran for another three touchdowns on the ground. Hardin finished the night with 18 carries for 221 yards. The stout Rye Cove defense held the Panthers to 1.7 yards per play and only allowed 40 rushing yards on the night. Twin Valley would finish the night 1 for 7 on third downs and 0 for 4 on fourth down.
Ashton Starnes and Matthew Hardin led the defensive unit with 8 and 5 tackles, respectively. The Rye Cove rushing attack that ran for 296 yards dominated the time of possession 29:34 to 18:26 and averaged 7 yards per carry. Jonathan Howell chipped in on the rushing attack with 45 yards on 8 carries. Holding a 16-0 lead after the first quarter and a 24-0 lead at halftime, the game was never in doubt. Tyler Darnell threw a 18 yard touchdown pass to Jesse Barnette and Hardin added his final touchdown of the evening in the third to close scoring for the Eagles. Larry Justice scored a touchdown for the Panthers with 3:05 remaining in the game to avoid the shutout.
Xzavier Ward led the Panthers on the ground with 28 yards rushing while Dalton White recorded 7 tackles on the defensive side of the ball.
Rye Cove (4-4, 0-3) is set to host J.I. Burton (6-2, 3-0) this Friday at the Eagles Nest in Clinchport. Twin Valley continues its stretch of games against Cumberland opponents as they travel to Castlewood to take on the 5-3 Blue Devils Friday night at B.C. White Stadium.