McMichael Phoenix suffer big defeat at the hands of T.W. Andrews, miss playoffs | Ramey’s Rockingham Review

MAYODAN – In a crushing loss, the McMichael Phoenix were bested by the T.W. Andrews Red Raiders, 13-48, due to the speed and agility of QB Devin Hackstall and RB Correy McManus, Jr. This loss, coupled with their failure to take down Walkertown last week, has eliminated McMichael from the NCHSAA 2A Playoffs.

McMichael was first with the ball, but was forced to punt. T.W. Andrews started off with a quarterback draw, before a handoff to Correy McManus where he weaved his way through the defense and into the end zone. However, on the very next drive, McMichael would answer back with a couple of big plays, before Jace Dunn would launch it to Isaiah Belcher in the end zone! With the game tied, McMichael knew that they had to be aggressive. A beautifully-placed squib kick by Ethan Fox was almost recovered, taking the perfect bounce and popping out of the hands of Adam Reid. However, Johnathan Evans would make the recovery, and on the first play of the drive, Devin Hackstall would run it sixty yards to the house! 

Down by a touchdown, McMichael started the second quarter with a first-and-ten from the Red Raider thirty-five. On a trick play, Dunn pitched it to Tyvon Dalton, who sent it toward the end zone. Malliq Calloway just couldn’t come down with it, and after some tackles for loss, McMichael was out of field goal range and forced to punt. A bad punt and two more wild runs by McManus gave them another touchdown. Then, on the extra point, the placeholder miffed it and had to run it in himself. The score was now 7-22, and, unfortunately, it only got worse from there. McMichael pushed it downfield, before Dunn rocketed the football, only to be intercepted in the end zone. It appeared that T.W. Andrews was content with the two-possession lead, and would run the clock out, but McManus was able to get separation after the handoff! He then ran it all the way to the house, giving Andrews a 29-7 lead at the break.

Fox, McMichael’s star kicker, managed to recover his own onside kick to start off the third quarter! Unfortunately, the offense wasn’t able to capitalize, and punted. Andrews committed a personal foul on the return, and started from inside their five. The Red Raiders narrowly avoided a safety, and a vicious hit by Cody Yoakley caused Andrews to punt for the first time of the night. Dunn, regarded as possibly the best quarterback in the county, showed why he is thought of that way with his scrambling and launching ability. However, when he used his cannon of an arm to fire it toward the end zone, Ja’Neil Harris picked it off. McManus and Hackstall continued to feed off of one another in the run game, and Hackstall would get another quarterback rushing touchdown.

The fourth quarter didn’t start off well. After McMichael punted, McManus made another otherworldly run. A missed extra point brought the score to 7-42. The Fighting Phoenix finally got another touchdown when, on a fourth down, Dunn passed it to Tyvon Dalton for a forty-five yard touchdown. The extra point didn’t work, and it was now 13-42. With less than a minute to go, the Red Raiders decided that they would like to score again, and that’s just what they did. This time it was a QB draw for the backup, David Hill, Jr. The third XP in a row missed, and the final score was 13-48.

These past two games have certainly been the worst case scenario for McMichael, whom most believed were playoff bound. It certainly was an interesting season for the blue, full of ups and downs. McMichael was undoubtedly the most unpredictable team in Rockingham this year.

Not all teams in the Rock missed the playoffs. Rockingham will have two representatives, one in the 2A playoffs and one in the 3A. Following their 31-7 win over Atkins that improved their record to 7-3, the Rockingham County Cougars were placed as an 18 seed in the tournament. The always dominant Reidsville Rams, who defeated the Morehead Panthers, 61-10, last night, received the number one seed on the west side of the 2A bracket.

Reidsville will battle the 32-seeded Madison Patriots in the opening round of the playoffs for the second year in a row. The Rams blew them out of the water, 76-14, last year, and we should expect them to advance in the first round of this postseason. 

Rockingham will attempt to conquer the North Lincoln Knights, the 6-4 15 seed. Rockingham and North Lincoln have not had any common opponents this year, so we will go into this one without too much of an idea on what will happen.

This is bound to be an exciting postseason, and the fans of both Reidsville and Rockingham should be very excited for what’s to come.