Mount Airy kicked off week one of the 2021-22 high school football season with a rock-solid performance against North Surry.
The Granite Bears defense forced five North Surry turnovers and took advantage on the offensive end. Five different Mount Airy players scored in the team’s 53-0 win over the Greyhounds.
“We worked hard over the summer and I’m really proud of them,” said Mount Airy coach J.K. Adkins on his defense. “I thought out defensive coaches did a great job game planning as well. I thought we did a good job of taking away a really good player; we were going to make someone else beat us. Then, it’s easy to score points when you get good field position, and that was the story of the first half.”
North Surry was held to just 13 yards of total offense in the first half. Mount Airy only allowed one run longer than six yards from scrimmage, and also forced two interceptions. Zeb Stroup and Mario Revels each picked-off North quarterback Aaron Mauck.
Mauck was held to 6-of-22 passing for 23 yards on the night.
“We expected them, in some ways, to double or triple team [receiver Jahreece] Lynch and some other things,” said North Surry coach Patrick Taylor. “But, I give credit where credit is due: hats off to J.K. Adkins and his coaching staff tonight. They fixed a lot of things that we saw on film we saw on the scrimmages and they played at a level that made a difference tonight.”
North Surry forced a turnover on Mount Airy’s opening possession when Anthony Brown intercepted Bears quarterback Ian Gallimore. However, the Greyhounds failed to take advantage and had to punt after a three-and-out. Mount Airy proceeded to score on its five next possessions.
The Bears primarily operated out of an option-based offense and rarely threw the ball. Gallimore finished 4-of-8 for 52 yards and a touchdown in his first varsity start. His touchdown pass soared 23 yards to Revels in the second quarter.
The sophomore QB ran in a seven-yard touchdown for Mount Airy’s first TD of the year. Sacks from Deric Dandy and CamRon Webster forced another Greyhound punt. The ensuing Bears possession ended with Tyler Mason scoring his first rushing TD of the night and Josh Penn running the 2-point conversion.
Down two scores late in the first quarter, North reached midfield after a penalty was called on Mount Airy. Sophomore running back Jake Simmons ran for nine yards as the first-quarter clock expired for the Hounds’ longest play from scrimmage to that point.
Penalties put North into third- and fourth-and-long situations, and Mount Airy forced a turnover-on-downs with a sack from Blake Hawks. Revels was celebrating in the end zone a few plays later.
North Surry was called for 10 penalties in the first half. Many of these came in key moments, like when Mount Airy faced fourth-and-3 in the second quarter but moved the chains after a Greyhound false start. This opened the door for Mason to score his second TD, with a Dylan Tilley PAT increasing the lead to 29-0.
Penalties cost the Greyhounds on their next drive, pushing them back into Bear territory for fourth-and-forever. North tried to punt, but it was blocked by Dandy and picked up by Zeb Stroup who scored his first TD of the year. Walker Stroup nailed the PAT to make it 36-0.
“We made a lot of fundamental errors,” Taylor said. “This loss is on us, the coaches. The kids played hard all night. As I told the kids, we’re going to get a lot of stuff fixed on our end so their energy’s not wasted.”
After forcing a North Surry turnover-on-downs to open the second half, Mount Airy only needed 10 seconds to score again. Penn ran 53-yards on first-and-10 to score the final blow. Tilley’s PAT was the cherry on top as a running clock was instituted for the remainder of the game.
The final turnover of the game came when Granite Bear senior Reece Deaton fell on a Greyhound fumble in the third quarter.
Penn led the Bears with eight carries for 102 yards rushing and a touchdown. Mason had eight carries for 84 yards and two touchdowns, while Caleb Reid rushed six times for 45 yards. Mount Airy rushed for 235 total yards in the win, with Gallimore, Brison George and Logan Fonville also gaining ground for the Bears.
Mount Airy’s 52 yards passing put the team’s total yardage at 287 on the night.
”We’ve got some things that we need to clean up,” Adkins said. “The passing game’s got to be better. We missed a couple of shots that cost us big plays. We’ll fix it and we’ll just continue to get better from here on out.
Mount Airy travels to East Surry (1-0) next week, while North Surry travels to West Stokes (1-0). In week one: East Surry defeated Starmount 27-0, and West Stokes defeated South Stokes 49-6.
North Surry – 0, 0, 0, 0 = 0
Mount Airy – 14, 22, 7, 0 = 43
6:28 MAHS 6-0 – Ian Gallimore 7-yard rush TD, Dylan Tilley PAT blocked by Ryan Simmons
1:16 MAHS 14-0 – Tyler Mason 4-yard rushing TD, Josh Penn 2-point conversion
9:52 MAHS 22-0 – Ian Gallimore pass to Peyton Fonville 23-yard TD reception, Tyler Mason 2-point conversion
4:50 MAHS 29-0 – Tyler Mason 6-yard rushing TD, Dylan Tilley PAT
2:39 MAHS 36-0 – Zeb Stroup scoop-and-score after Deric Dandy blocked NSHS punt
10:10 MAHS 43-0 – Josh Penn 53-yard rushing TD, Walker Stroup PAT