Week 8 NRV Game

Week 8 NRV Game 542 356 SWVA High School Sports

Galax defense makes 21 first half points hold up in Division 1-Region C Finals win

Galax, Va. – The Maroon Tide is not an easy team to play especially in the playoffs, and they showed why at Friday Night’s Division 1C Regional Finals. Galax beat a very good Narrows Green Wave team 21-0. Coach Kelly Lowe’s Narrows team had only given up one score all year long but Galax put three TDs on the board in the first half and then their hard hitting defense made it stand up. Narrows settled down in the second half on defense, stopping two Maroon Tide drives, forcing a fumble at the Narrows one and intercepting Galax QB 8 Cole Pickett. That was the only thing that Pickett didn’t do well Friday. The 6’3, 195-lb Senior threw for 203 yards on a 15/19 night with one score in the air and one on the ground. Most of that came in the first half. It seemed every time Galax needed to extend a drive,

Pickett either threw a receiver open or took off and picked it up himself. Coach Kelly Lowe was disappointed with the outcome but gave credit to The Maroon, “We got started slow, but hats off to Galax. They are a great football team. But I’m really proud of the way our kids responded in the second half… came out, played aggressive and hard.”

The Green Wave takes the field

First Quarter – Narrows received the opening kick to start the contest. The Green Wave found the going on the ground tough from the jump. The Galax defense stuffed the first two runs for 3-yards total, and when QB 11 Neil Bowman’s pass fell incomplete, the visitors had to punt. Galax took over on their own nineteen and went to the air right away.

Galax QB 8 Cole Pickett finds HB 10 Kolby Barnes

QB/FS 8 Cole Pickett, found his H-back/LB 10 Kolby Barnes for six yards. Mixing the pass and run, The Maroon steadily moved the ball downfield. Keeping the Green Wave guessing was part of the strategy. Galax Coach Shane Allen said as much after the game, “We knew they were not going to let us just run the football. They loaded the box and made us throw the football.”

But then stepped in “ole reliable” – TE 44 Zach Horton. Horton caught the Peery toss out into the flat and took it the balance for six points. K 6 Bryson Harvey banged through the point after and at the Cavs led 7-0 at the 7:13 mark. Christiansburg second offensive series went much like the first. A Cavalier sack of QB 8 Graham for a five yard loss by LB/FB/TE 24 Nic Pitzer and DB 8 Cade Lang put the Blue Demons behind the sticks looking at second down. Two plays later, the Demons would punt it back to LB to their own forty-five, giving them another short field. The wind didn’t help Christiansburg, as P 7 Hunter did a good job keeping his punts low. The combination of no first downs by the Blue Demons and then having to punt into that wind worked in the Cavalier’s favor.

HB/LB 10 Barnes gets behind the defense for a big catch

Twice Narrows pushed Galax to third down, but each time The Maroon answered the call. RB/DB 9 Keaton Beeman collected five yards on a third and three at their own thirty-seven. But the back breaker for Narrows, was a third and fifteen at the Green Wave twenty seven. This is where QB 8 Pickett’s skill set really came to the ‘fore. Finding WR 28 Sam Olinger in a crease the duo combined for a yard more than needed to move the sticks. The drive would end with a TD pass to WR 2 Kolton Keatley from 10 yards out.

Maroon WR 2 Kolton Keatley splits two defenders for a 10-yard touchdown catch

Pickett moved the ball around through the air all night, utilizing six different receivers.

Coach Allen was happy with his QB’s performance, “It helps when you have a four year starter back there (at QB) and with the receivers we have.” With Galax finding success throwing the ball and with their balanced rushing attack, that put a lot of pressure on the Green Wave defense. Prior to that first TD toss, the Green Wave had only surrendered one score all year, a lone TD and 2 point to conversion the week before.

Second Quarter – The Galax defense frustrated the Narrows offense as the game continued. A big part of playoff football is making the big play when the big play presents itself.

FS/QB 8 Pickett picks off a Narrow’s pass

On The Maroon’s second drive, Coach Allen’s Charges were on the move again. Following up their 81-yard opening drive, Galax added a 76-yard march. Three big pass plays and double digit run highlighted the seven play series. Again, QB 8 Pickett guided the home team through another long third down to keep the drive going. Staring at third and eleven on the Narrow’s forty, Pickett threw RB 9 Beeman open, waiting for the pattern to develop. Credit the Galax offensive line for giving Pickett time to find his receivers. When the Green Wave finally started to get pressure, Pickett showed his feet and picked up positive yardage.

Galax RB 7 Javonte Reeves darts around the right end for six points

RB 7 Javonte Reeves took the ball around the right end from 11-yards out and Galax led 14-0 at the 11:28 mark.
The Maroon would add one more with 2:53 until halftime. The 74-yard drive was all passing until the end. Pickett made good on passes of 18, 23, and 14 yards to advance the ball to the Green Wave twenty. Again a big pass for a third down and eleven pick up from Narrows forty-three kept the drive alive. The play before LB 23 Ty Robertson had finally dropped Pickett for a sack, but it mattered little when the Senior picked up the first down on the next toss.
QB 8 Pickett finished off the drive himself. As Coach Kelly Lowe started to bring more and more pressure, Pickett was flushed from the pocket. But the heady Senior stepped away from the pressure and took off.

Narrows DB 18 Derek Johnston sends Galax QB 8 Pickett head over heels

DB 18 Derek Johnston sent the signalcaller head over heels at the one, but Pickett bulled in from a yard out to make it a 21-0 game at the break.

Pickett takes it in from the one for Galax

Second Half – Narrows came out and played defense in the second half like the Green Wave faithful had seen all year. The Narrows defense gave up yards but no points on The Maroon’s first drive.

Narrows Head Coach Kelly Lowe fires up his defense in the second half

A big hit on Pickett at the goal line forced a fumble at their own goaline.

Narrows DB 14 Logan Green gets the pick

The next time Galax had the ball DB 14 Logan Green picked off Pickett in the middle of the field in Green Wave territory. The defense had regained their swagger, but the offense couldn’t solve the hard nosed Galax D.
Narrows was held to 70 total yards rushing and only 7 first downs for the night. Galax Coach Allen was happy with the Regional Championship, but said there was work that needed to be done. “We made way too many mistakes in that second half. We have to clean that up. We’ve got to go play a really good Holston team. They are dynamic.”   – Cap’n Crunch

Galax Head Coach Shane Allen accepts the Region 3C Championship trophy

Rushing – 
Galax – Beeman 6-28, Reeves 5-23, TD, Pickett 10-17, TD, Ashworth 1-7, Team 2-(-11)  Narrows – Bowman 11-40, Jacob Robertson 6-18, Snidow 3-9, Ty Robertson 3-3
Passing – 
Galax– Pickett 15-19, 203, TD, INT  Narrows – Bowman 3-15, 42, INT
Galax – Keatley 4-78, TD, Beeman 4-71, Ashworth 4-27, Olinger 2-22, Vera 1-21, Barnes 1-18  Narrows – Green 2-32, Pruett 1-10
Galax– Vera 1-38 yd avg  Narrows – Bowman 3-31 yd avg

First Quarter
Galax: Pickett 9-yd TD pass to Keatley; Vera PAT good
Second Quarter
Galax: Reeves 11-yd TD run ; Vera PAT good
Galax: Pickett 1-yd TD run; Vera PAT good

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