By ANTHONY STEVENS
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
HONAKER, Va. —
The football season continues for the Tigers and there might have been a little revenge in the mix. Galax ended Honaker’s season in the Group A, Western Section, Division 1 playoffs last year, the Tigers returned the favor this year. On a gorgeous Saturday afternoon Honaker defeated the Maroon Tide 42-14 at Fuller Field at EMATS Stadium.
“My kids just really played well,” Honaker coach Doug Hubbard said. “Defensively we gave them some plays but you will do that when you face a good football team. But when we had to we made the play.
“We didn’t stop (Steven) Peoples but we contained him just enough. My goodness, he’s a good back. But they had a hard time with some of our kids on offense.”
Although playing with an injured ankle and limping on occasion, Peoples put on a show. He finished with 230 yards rushing on 29 attempts and scored both of Galax’s touchdowns.
“I couldn’t be any prouder of what these kids have done,” said Galax coach Mark Dixon whose team was hit hard by graduation after playing in the state championship game last year. “They answered the call considering how many kids were gone from last year’s team.”
Galax started the game with a squib kick, it was recovered by the Tigers Avin Parrott to get the ball in good field position at the Honaker 45. It took the Tigers only five plays to punch it in. Quarterback Ty Hall completed a 33-yard pass to Payton Ball to set up the TD. Hall then scored on a six-yard quarterback keeper. Mackenzie Phillips who didn’t miss an extra point the entire game gave Honaker a 7-0 lead.
“The coaches had told me all week that I would have some cut back lanes to run in,” said Hall who finished with 82 yards rushing and scored four touchdowns. “We could tell from the film that the quarterback sneak was open against other teams they had played. When we got down in the red zone it was pretty open in the middle and I just tried to take advantage of it.”
On the Maroon Tide’s first possession they lost a fumble that was recovered by the Tigers Devin Viers. Hall quickly scored his second TD as they went up 14-0.
Galax answered on their next possession with six straight runs by Peoples. He scored on a 17-yard scamper to cut the Honaker lead in half 14-7.
That is where the score remained until late in the first half. The Tigers used an eight-play, 63-yard drive with Hall scoring his third TD on a five-yard run. The Maroon Tide’s next possession, Casey Dye stripped the ball from Peoples and recovered the fumble. Hall connected with Ball on a 29-yard scoring strike and Honaker took a commanding 28-7 lead with one minute to play in the first half.
“The turnovers were more about how good of a football team Honaker is,” commented Dixon. “They speed you up and make you play faster than you want and you make mistakes. They were able to speed us up and we couldn’t play at the pace they were playing.
“If we blocked everyone perfectly and got into space, one of their kids would chase us down. They just had a large room for error and that’s what good team’s have.”
Galax tried to fight back taking the second half kickoff and driving for a score. Peoples scored his second TD to cut the margin to 28-14 with 9:43 to play in the third quarter. But after the teams traded punts, Dye broke free on an 85-yard TD run to put the game away for the Tigers.
Hall scored his final TD on a 36-yard rush midway through the fourth quarter for the final margin.
Honaker (11-1) have now won 11 straight games at EMATS Stadium. They will host J.I. Burton on Saturday afternoon with a 1 o’clock kickoff scheduled.
At Emats Field
Galax........................................7 0 7 0 — 14
Honaker................................14 14 7 7 — 42
HON—Hall 6 run (Phillips kick), 9:17
HON—Hall 3 run (Phillips kick), 6:49
GAL—S. Peoples 17 run (Brady kick), 1:11
HON—Hall 5 run (Phillips kick), 1:16
HON—Ball 29 pass from Hall (Phillips kick), 1:00
GAL—S. Peoples 4 run (Brady kick), 9:43
HON—Dye 85 run (Phillips kick), 1:48
HON—Hall 36 run (Phillips kick), 6:24
First Downs: GAL 14, HON 11; Rushes-Yards: GAL 42-260, HON 39-255; Passing Yards: GAL 48, HON 90; Comp-Att-Int: GAL 8-16-1, HON 5-11-0; Fumbles-Lost: GAL 3-2, HON 1-1; Penalties-Yards: GAL 7-55, HON 3-35; Punts-Average: GAL 3-34.7, HON 3-36.3.
RUSHING—Galax, S. Peoples 29-230, Smith 3-0, Poole 2-(-2), Dixon 6-36, Harris 1-4, Brown 1-(-8). Honaker, Ray 4-18, Ball 5-6, Hall 11-82, Shelton 2-2, Lester 1-3, Dye 8-134, A. Smith 3-2, Johnson 2-3, Parrott 1-1, J. Smith 1-3, Horn 1-2.
PASSING—Galax, Poole 8-16-1-48. Honaker, Hall 5-11-0-90.
RECEIVING—Galax, Gable 2-17, Brown 3-35, Dixon 1-(-5), Isom 1-5, S. Peoples 1-(-4). Honaker, Ball 2-62, Shelton 1-7, Harmon 1-13, Horton 1-8