By Randy Arrington
LURAY, Sept. 24 — The Bulldogs kept the ball for nearly 31 minutes and racked up more than 400 yards of offense to defeat visiting Skyline, 45-27, Friday night in the first regular-season meeting between the two non-district opponents.
Luray marched down the field on their first possession behind a strong performance from their “all-purpose” running back Brady Jenkins. The junior broke loose on a 61-yard scamper that took the ball to the 8-yard line, before he plunged in from one yard out to give Luray an early 6-0 lead. The seven-play drive covered 85 yards and took more than four minutes off the clock.
The Bulldogs would score again just 86 seconds later, as junior Kenny Frye ran it in from 1-yard out to cap off a nine-play, 28 yard drive to give Luray an early 13-0 lead. Skyline handed Luray great field position after failing on a 4th-and-6 attempt at a fake punt from their own 28 yard line, and the Bulldogs ate another 4:38 off the clock.
After a four-and-out on their first possession, the Hawks put together back-to-back, one-play scoring drives that saw sophomore Aidan Vaught break loose for runs of 69 and 14 yards, respectively. After posting 148 yards against Handley on Saturday, including a 77-yard touchdown run, Vaught put up 83 yards and two touchdowns on two touches against Luray on Friday night in a span of less than two minutes. Skyline’s second touchdown was set up by a Luray fumble that put the Hawks on the 14 yard line. After missing a PAT following the first touchdown, senior Nathan Haskins caught a two-point conversion after the second score to put Skyline up 14-13.
Luray then took their first possession of the second quarter 65 yards downfield on six plays behind the stellar play of junior Caden Stevens. Luray’s “clutch” player caught a 26-yard pass during that drive that later set up an 18-yard touchdown grab to put the Bulldogs back on top. Stevens would then catch a two-point conversion to give Luray a 21-14 lead.
After forcing a three-and-out, Luray would fumble the punt and give Skyline the ball back with good field position at the Luray 41. However, after one first down, the Hawks fell short on a 4th-and-1 attempt. In their final drive of the first half, the Bulldogs went 72 yards before setting up for a 27-yard field goal by freshman Jakob Choat to give Luray a 24-14 lead heading into the half. The field goal was set up by a 50-yard pass to sophomore Ryder Liscomb.
By the half, Luray was leading the time of possession battle by a three-to-one margin and had racked up 258 yards of offense. The Bulldogs scored on four of their first six possession, but turned the ball over twice on two fumbles.
The Bulldogs opened the second half by intercepting a Blake Appleton pass and putting together a six-play, 54-yard drive that ended with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Stevens. Luray lead 31-14 midway through the third quarter, but Skyline didn’t lay down.
Although Luray was able to recover an ensuing squib kick, the Bulldogs couldn’t muster more than one first down on the drive after getting the ball to the Skyline 15 and turning it over on downs. The Hawks went four-and-out and once again gave Luray great field position after failing on a fourth down attempt deep in their own territory. The Bulldogs only took two plays to find the end zone as Kenny Frye limped across the goal line from 15 yards out. Luray held a 38-14 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
After being outscored 14-0 in the third quarter, Skyline would outscore the home team 13-7 in the final frame with touchdown passes of 34 yards to Vaught and 29 yards to senior Ethan Caperton. Luray scored its final points off a 41-yard run by Frye to cap off their first possession of the fourth quarter.
The Bulldogs, who were averaging 296 yards per game, racked up nearly 450 yards of offense Friday night against the Hawks, and held the ball for nearly 31 minutes. Skyline posted about 275 yards of offense and only had the ball for just over 17 minutes. Two of the Hawks’ touchdowns took less than 30 seconds combined, and eight of their 11 possessions were less than two minutes.
Following a narrow 14-8 loss to Strasburg on Aug. 27, Skyline came into Friday night’s game at 0-2 after a 56-13 loss at Handley on Saturday. Most of the Hawks had been under quarantine for COVID-19 between those two games, and at least half the team had only stepped back on the practice field three days before facing Handley. Skyline (0-3) now travels to Meridian High School in Falls Church next Friday, Oct. 1.
Luray (4-0) remains undefeated and sits at the top of the Bull Run District along with Clarke County, who defeated Strasburg Friday night 22-12. With a key 13-7 win over Central (Woodstock) last week, Clarke is now sitting in a good position, waiting to face-off with the Bulldogs on Oct. 29.
Luray faces a gauntlet of games in October starting next Friday when they travel to two-time, 2A state runner-up Stuarts Draft in a key Region B matchup. The following week, the Bulldogs host Central (Oct. 8), before traveling to East Rock (Oct. 15) and then Strasburg (Oct. 22).
The PVN Sports broadcast crew selected
as the Blue Ridge Bank “Player of the Game“.
Frye recorded three touchdowns on the night on runs of ,1, 15 and 41 yards. For the second-straight week Honorable Mention “props” have to go to junior Caden Stevens, who caught two touchdown passes of 18 and 19 yards, and added a two-point conversion. Brady Jenkins finished the night with three touchdowns – throwing for two and running for one.
To check schedules, rosters, results and standings for local high school sports,
see the Bull Run District website.