NARROWS, Va. — For the first time since 1979 the Narrows High football team has gone undefeated in the regular season.
Narrows knocked off Parry McCluer 41-7 Friday night at Harry Ragsdale Field behind what has been an unstoppable formula all season: a strong running game and a stingy defense.
“It’s a great testament to our kids, to our coaches, I’ve got the best coaches I feel like anywhere and our players worked really hard and I’m just so proud of them and they deserve everything they’ve gotten right here tonight,” Narrows head coach Kelly Lowe said.
The Green Wave (10-0, 5-0 Pioneer) racked up 362 yards on the ground and limited the Fighting Blues (3-7, 3-2) to 203 total yards for the third straight 10-win season for Narrows, a first in school history.
After allowing 100 yards on the ground in the first quarter the Narrows defense found its rhythm and allowed only 96 in the final three quarters.
“Parry McClure came out and stuck it to us in the first half, they played hard in the first half. They came out and gave us a fit but our kids hung in,” Lowe said.
The game was close early on but the Green Wave put the game out of reach in the second half with its running game and a defense that forced the Fighting Blues into seven fumbles but no turnovers.
“They were doing some things defensively to us that we weren’t use to and we’ve got to work on that but I’m really proud of our kids for the way they responded and hung in there and I thought we came out in the second half with a lot of energy,” Lowe said.
Narrows quarterback Chase Blaker found Blake Kirby for a 17-yard touchdown catch on fourth down.
The Green Wave found success on fourth down converting three of their five attempts with all of them leading to a touchdown.
“We felt like one or two yards we were going to get, couple of fourth downs we blew an assignment but I feel like you get us fourth and short yardage I’ll take our bunch any day,” Lowe said.
A 60-yard touchdown run by Chad Blaker in the third quarter and Chase Blaker scoring from 16 yards started the celebrations for the Pioneer District champions who scored 41 straight points.
The first play of the game, Parry McCluer running back Keaton Coleman broke free for a 60-yard run to set up a touchdown. John Snider punched it in from two yards out.
“They caught us off guard there early and put one to us but we hung in there and battled and we made a couple of adjustments,” Lowe said.
Coleman led Parry McCluer with 119 yards rushing and quarterback Ty Ruley had 70 yards but both were stifled in the second half as the Fighting Blues could not get a passing game going with only one completion on the night.
The response from the Green Wave after giving up the touchdown was strong as they drove down the field to tie the game. Matthew Morgan kept his balance despite stumbling to score from eight yards out.
“My line was blocking good, the holes were open all night and I was able to find them,” Morgan said.
A lead was taken by Narrows that it would not give up when Dustin Wiley caught a pass from Chase Blaker and broke a tackle before reaching the end zone just three minutes late.
The second quarter defenses were stout but the Green Wave found the end zone with thirty second left on a Chad Blaker two-yard run.
Morgan and the Blaker brothers combined for 338 rushing yards on the night complementing what each offers and keeping defenses on their toes about who will rush the ball.
“We’ve been playing together since little league,” Morgan said. “We all block for each other and trust each other. It’s just a great bond we have.”
Chase Blaker threw for 82 yards and rushed for 92 while Chad Blaker had 109 on the ground and Morgan finished with a team-high 137 yards rushing.
Narrows will host a playoff game next week as they are the second seed in Region 1C and if they were to win they would host the regional semifinal.
“It’s a new season... We’re looking to go 1-0 next week and keep it going,” Lowe said.
The last two years the Green Wave have had their season end in the regional semifinal.