By ELIZABETH KANIPE
Radford and Galax both entered their game undefeated for the second year in a row. Last year Galax pulled out an overtime victory. Radford came into this game looking to avenge the loss from last year and get its first win over Galax in 7 years. It took a Bobcat defense that found a way to make stops and an offense that continued to get big plays to seal the win.
The Bobcats received the opening kickoff and were forced to punt without gaining a first down. Galax muffed the punt and Radford’s Isiah Austin dove on the ball at the Maroon Tide 2 yard line. Ricky Bailey gained one yard on first down. A penalty and two sacks and the Bobcats turned the ball over on downs, failing to take advantage of great field position.
Galax began their drive on their 15 yard line. They fed their workhorse Tedruhm Tucker the ball early and often. Tucker carried the ball 13 of the 17 carries of the drive. He scored 4 seconds into the second quarter on a 3 yard run. The extra point was good, giving Galax the 7-0 lead.
Radford took possession and quickly moved into Maroon Tide territory with a 15 yard Parker Prioleau reception and a 15 yard David Woodward run. On 3rd and 9 from the 32, Landen Clark threw over the middle to Prioleau which was tipped away by the defender. Radford went for it on fourth down and Clark hit Prioleau on the same route for the TD to tie the game with 9:59 left in the first half.
The Bobcats started making adjustments to the defense to stop the inside run game from Galax. Radford held and forced Galax to punt, giving the Bobcats possession at their own 14. Clark hit Marcell Baylor on a screen pass, and Baylor broke tackles to take it the distance to put Radford up 14-7 with 7:17 left in the half. Radford’s defense continued to adjust to Galax’s efforts to run plays up the middle. Galax was able to gain some yards on the outside with a QB keeper. On 2nd and 8, Galax QB Mason Cox rolled out and threw a pass under pressure. Radford’s Clark came up from his safety position and intercepted, giving Radford possession at the 49 yard line. Woodward gained 27 yards on 2 carries to get the Bobcats to the redzone. Clark then hit TJ Aursby on a fade route for a 19 yard TD.
With 2:24 left in the half, Galax needed to move the ball quickly. Tucker continued to get the bulk of the carries. With time running down, Cox rolled out and threw a deep pass to his receiver on a hitch-and-go route but, again, Clark was waiting for it and intercepted it,running it back to the Maroon Tide 48 yard line with 8 seconds left in the half. Clark scrambled out of the pocket and gained 14 yards but time ran out with the Bobcats leading 21-7 at the half.
Galax received the kickoff and again started pounding the ball up the middle with Tucker. He carried the ball 11 of the next 13 plays to get the ball into the redzone. Radford’s defense tightened up and held Tucker short on a 4th and 5 to turnover the ball on downs. Radford could not convert a first down after several Clark passes fell incomplete and they were forced to punt. The Maroon Tide started the drive at midfield and moved the sticks on 3 plays but on the next first down Cox fumbled the handoff to the running back and Radford’s Baylor fell on the ball to take possession. Both Radford and Galax were unable to gain first downs on the next series of possessions. On the Galax punt, the Bobcats took over on their own 19 yard line. On first down, Clark makes a great RPO read and hits Prioleau on a quick slant where he streaked down the middle of the field untouched for the final score with 10:23 left in the game.
Down by 3 scores, Galax continued to run the ball, running down the clock and gaining a few yards per play. Galax drove all the way to the Radford 14 yard line but turned the ball over on downs after a penalty. Radford took over and then punted where Galax ran out of time.
Clark had another big day passing. He went 8 for 12 for 236 yards and 4 TDs. Clark also finished with 2 defensive interceptions. Woodward led the Bobcats in rushing with 49 yards on 8 carries. Prioleau had 4 catches for 121 yards and 2 TDs and Baylor had 3 catches for 98 yards and 2 TDs. Tucker was the workhorse for Galax. He gained 191 yards on 40 carries. The Radford defense held Galax to 3 completions for 12 yards.
The Bobcats move to 4-0 on the season and will host an undefeated Christiansburg team on Friday. Radford lost last year’s match up 63-0 and will be looking to avenge that loss and stay undefeated.