The Galax Maroon Tide have been on fire since dropping a 42-28 decision to the Northside Vikings back in late September. Since the loss, they have averaged 53 points per contest while yielding the opposition to 28 points and also pitching two shutouts against Fort Chiswell and Grayson County. The Mustangs from Eastern Montgomery have limped in to the playoffs as they started their year 0-5 before earning their first win of the season against Bath County in mid October.
Coach Jordan Stewart and his Mustangs have struggled this season but are looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead against one of the toughest teams in Southwest Virginia. The Mustangs finished the season at 2-8 with wins over Bath County and Craig County, WV. They also dropped a close game against Grayson County in early October. Scoring points has been a struggle this season as the Mustangs have been shut out twice and are only averaging 15 points per game. Eastern Montgomery must put points on the board and a lot of them if they hope to upset the Maroon Tide.
The Maroon Tide (8-1) are one of the more powerful teams this side of Roanoke and are looking to get back to Salem. The Maroon Tide have lost in the state semi finals for the last three years and are looking to ride the arm of quarterback Cole Pickett. Pickett has thrown for 1,734 yards and 27 touchdowns this season while rushing for 8 more. Pickett’s favorite receiver is Zach Johnson. Johnson has hauled in 17 touchdown receptions and has 659 receiving yards. Tailback Denver Brown has accumulated 1,419 rushing yards this season while galloping for 15 touchdowns. Brown is averaging 10.5 yards per carry. Riley Jo Vaught is a tackling machine for the Maroon Tide and has piled up over 100 tackles on the season.
This will be the fourth meeting between the two in the playoffs. Galax came away with victories in 2001 and 2018, both of those games being in Galax while Eastern Montgomery came away with a 41-21 win in 2010 in Elliston. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Galax Friday night.