By HARRISON HAMLET
(RINGGOLD, Va.) – After Magna Vista’s explosive road win in Week One, Dan River’s athletic squad and a trip to Ringgold loomed in Week Two. The Warriors were able to handle the challenge, bringing a 20-6 win home thanks to a few key plays against the Wildcats.
Mirroring the start to their Week One win, Magna Vista was able to score defensively in the opening moments of Friday’s contest against Dan River. Freddie Roberts intercepted a Dan River pass, taking it back for a score to give the Warriors an early advantage.
Then, after forcing another Dan River turnover, Dryus Hairston and Isaac Ellison connected on a fade pass to give Magna Vista a 13-0 lead after the first quarter.
“We had a huge play to start the game on the road, just like the week before, then got another score off a turnover,” Magna Vista head coach Joe Favero said. “It was a great start, but things got a little sloppy and we struggled offensively until the third quarter.”
After halftime, a long drive positioned the Warriors’ offense near the Wildcats’ goal line, but Dan River’s defense forced a turnover on downs. Magna Vista responded on their next drive, taking a 20-0 lead.
It was then that the Wildcats made their push to get back into contention for the win, scoring to make the score 20-6 before what Joe Favero described as a key play in the game.
As the third quarter clock wound down, Dan River broke a long run and it appeared they would make it a one-score game. Just before the runner crossed the goal line, however, Rion Martin chased him down from behind and stripped the ball loose. Martin’s Magna Vista defensive teammates streamed in after him, and the Warriors recovered the ball to keep their 14-point lead intact.
“That was a little dicey, but a great hustle play,” Favero said. “I was proud of the kids, when the ball came out we had about five guys chasing him. Great hustle for our defense and a heads-up play by Rion Martin.”
The Magna Vista defense sealed the win from there, holding Dan River scoreless until the end of the game.
“If we continue to play the way we are defensively we have a chance to be pretty good on that side of the ball,” Favero said. “We are being physical at the point of attack and tackling well in space. We have caused a lot of turnovers through two games.”
Offensively, Louis Taylor rushed for 99 yards on 18 carries and Dryus Hairston went 6-for-13 passing for 125 yards and a score to lead the charge for Magna Vista.
With their home opener on September 13, Magna Vista (2-0) is already preparing for William Fleming (2-0) and their potent offensive attack, which Favero said will challenge his secondary.
“It’s important to win at home, we played really well on both sides in Week One, then took a step back offensively this week,” Favero said. “Hopefully focus improves in practice ahead of the game against Fleming. The kids understood it right away, they said ‘a lot of this was the way we practiced this week.’ The seniors own the team and what’s going on. We’ve got some great leaders in place.”