The Report from Ramey at The ROCK: Rockingham County Game of the Week | McMichael @ Morehead(Also ROCK results on Reidsville and Rockingham County HS)

Rockingham County Game of the Week | McMichael @ Morehead
from Jason “Jay” Ramey, Jr., covering Rockingham County sports for

In a breathtaking county rivalry matchup, the McMichael Phoenix defeated the Morehead Panthers on their home field, 34-28. On McMichael’s side of the field, a banner hung over the fence which read, “HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF – 30-27, 43-3, 63-34,” in reference to the last three times the two high schools had met under the Friday Night Lights. And tonight, history repeated itself once again.

The bad blood was evident throughout the game. Scuffle after scuffle broke out, albeit none of them becoming major, and the McMichael team was booed relentlessly by the Morehead faithful. The coaches were also aware of the magnitude of the rivalry, taking many more risks than usual. More turnovers on downs took place than punts. However, both teams took care of the football remarkably well, with no interceptions or fumbles being allowed by either team.

In the first quarter, Morehead came out swinging with a fourth-and-ten go-for-it decision. It paid off when Elijah Townshend, a freshman in his first game at quarterback, tossed it to short to Brittyn Barnes. Barnes made it fifteen yards to the end zone, and Morehead was at a 7-0 advantage. Both teams then turned it over on downs, before Jayden Moore of the Phoenix battled his way in for a game-tying rush touchdown.

In the second quarter, the offenses really started to explode. Moore took a short pass for his second touchdown of the night, but McMichael only had the lead for a very short period of time. When Barnes took the kick, he passed it lateral to Daquay Matthews, who took it all the way to the house! 14-14, all tied up! The wildness continued when Morehead attempted an onside kick, which Matthews, who was busy tonight, recovered. However, it was ruled that it hadn’t made it the ten yards it needed to travel, and was called back. Running back Michael Vázquez then floated a pass up to Cody Peters, who made it worth six points. Heading into the half, McMichael led, 21-14.

In the third quarter, Matthews continued to showcase his stellar playmaking ability with a sixty yard touchdown! Once again, following a massive Matthews play, McMichael was able to score and negate it. Moore took a pass to complete the trifecta of touchdowns, and the Phoenix were now ahead, 28-21.

The fourth quarter then came, and Morehead soon found themselves at a fourth-and-ten. In desperation, Townshend launched one to Barnes, and a pass interference was called on the defense! Morehead stayed alive! Townshend then capitalized on this play with a thirty-yard completion to Barnes for the touchdown. Tie ballgame, 28-28!

Head Coach Tony McCants displayed his clock management skills by winding it down all the way to two minutes and twenty-six seconds. On a fourth-and-two at the seventeen, rather than kicking the field goal, they opted to make the try, and everyone pushed Moore forward to get the first! Moore, who already had two receiving touchdowns, then punched in his second rushing touchdown to give McMichael the 34-28 lead with fifty-nine seconds to go!

Ethan Fox missed the extra point, and Morehead now had the ability to take the lead, but only a minute to do so. After a few odd plays, Morehead finally got one to go their way with a pass to Barnes. Once again, they got it to Barnes, who powered his way out of bounds. With forty-three yards and twenty-eight seconds to go, McMichael middle linebacker Vázquez tracked down the QB for a sack of negative seven yards! On the next play, Milliq Calloway nearly ended the game with an INT, but couldn’t come down with it. Now, with only thirteen seconds to go, Morehead took the snap. However, they fumbled it, and when they recovered, McMichael brought them down to run the clock out and end the game! Final score, 34-28, in a heart pounding matchup!

What a game by both teams. Moore looked better than ever, McMichael left it all on the field, and Morehead played arguably their best game of the season. Rockingham County rivalry matchups continue to be the most entertaining in the state. So far, Rockingham beat McMichael, 20-7, Rockingham beat Morehead, 22-20, Reidsville beat Rockingham, 28-19, and now, another thriller is added to the list after the amazing game we just saw. There will certainly be more to come in the following county rivalry games.

Speaking of the county, yesterday, Reidsville and Rockingham both won away games. The Rams defeated North Forsyth, 28-7, and Rockingham shut out and blew out Southern Guilford, 45-0. Rockingham advances to 3-1, while Reidsville moves to 4-1. Next week, Reidsville gets a well-deserved bye, as McMichael hosts North Forsyth, Morehead travels to King to battle West Stokes, and Rockingham heads to Greensboro to take on Ben L. Smith.