MAYODAN – The fruits of a long, hot summer of work bore a little fruit Friday night in the Reidsville Rams’ season-opening 32-0 non-conference football win over McMichael at Macfield Stadium.
And, even though it wasn’t exactly a thing of beauty, 19-year Reidsville coach Jimmy Teague was happy to get the season off to a good start.
“We’ve got a lot of young guys playing and they were a little nervous at first,” said Teague. “There are a lot of jayvee guys that have moved up. A lot of the first guys and a lot of the backups were jayvees last year. But, these guys have worked hard all summer and it’s good to get the first win out of the way.’
All that said despite the fact the game was delayed at the start for nearly an hour due to a heavy downpour that featured stormy conditions in the area.
“I didn’t think the delay effected us much, other than the fact we had to restretch,” said Teague. “And, the field conditions were not as bad as I thought they’d be. But, we would have been nervous even without the delay.”
The field conditions seemed to bother the Phoenix more so.
McMichael put the ball on the ground seven times and lost two of them. Quarterback Forrest Bullins was intercepted three times in the first half before exiting late in the first half due to injury.
Bullins was just 5 of 12 passing for 37 yards before being replaced by Jake Kemp, who was 3 of 5 but gained just two yards.
“We’re young and it showed. Other than that I have no other comment,” said McMichael coach Charles Shields.
The Phoenix managed just 133 yards in total offense. Kemp was the leading rusher with 51 yards on nine attempts while John Hall had 35 yards on 10 tries.
“When number 11 (senior Sylvester Shaffer) went out on the first play that really hurt their offense,” said Teague. “We had schemed to take him away all week and unfortunately for them he went out on the first play and that hurt their offense a lot.”
Sophomores Dayton Koontz, Zeb Williams, and Ty Hundley played well defensively for the Phoenix. Koontz and senior Michael Freeman recovered fumbles and senior Nyquis Chavis had an interception.
On the other side of the ball, the Rams racked up 193 yards rushing and 129 in the air (322 total offense).
Jayron Rankin had a game-high 59 yards on 11 carries and two touchdowns while Jawan Hammock had 48 on nine tries. Quarterback Devante Williams completed 6 of 11 passes for 129 yards and one TD, a 37-yarder to Jack Nimmons.
Mike Golden led a stingy Reidsville defense with eight tackles while Nimmons had six. Eric Poteat had two interceptions and Rankin had one.
Poteat’s first interception and return to the Phoenix 11 set up Reidsville’s first score, a five-yard burst up the middle by Rankin with 4:13 left in the first quarter.
The Rams’ first sustained drive covered 64 yards in nine plays and ended with a one-yard plunge by Rankin. Brad Green’s PAT made it a 13-0 game with 2:52 on the first half clock.
Reidsville made it 19-0 when L.J. Cobb scored from 11 yards out at the end of a four-play, 55-yard drive.
Rankin’s pick set up a one-yard run by Williams for a 25-0 RHS lead with 2:35 left in the first half.
Reidsville finished off a 26-point second quarter explosion when Williams connected with Nimmons from 37 yards out two minutes later. Green booted his second PAT for a 32-0 halftime lead for the Rams.
Reidsville threatened one more time, but Freeman recovered a Hammock fumble at the Phoenix one on the first possession of the second half.
“We’ve still got a lot of kinks to work out,” said Teague. “But, like I said, we’ve got a lot of young guys playing and they settled down after the first quarter.”
Reidsville makes its home debut Friday when it hosts rival Rockingham County for a 7:30 kickoff in Community Stadium.
McMichael hits the road for a non-conference affair in Ridgeway, Va., against Magna Vista.