It was too good to be true however, as the Rams regained their composure, put up a quick score before the half for a 21-8 lead and never looked back, rolling to the 42-8 win over the Cardinals.
The first half was as ugly a game penalty-wise as any could be. Starmount’s stud back M.J. Bryant took a pair of handoffs 75 yards for touchdowns, but luckily for East, holding penalties negated the scores.
At one point in the second quarter Starmount faced 3rd-and-30 from inside the 20-yard-line after a string of unsportsmanlike and clipping penalties pushed them back.
Bryant did find paydirt with 5:29 left in the first quarter on a 41-yard run followed by another Starmount score with 1:15 left in the first.
Then the penalty frenzy ensued and when the smoke cleared, Johnson found Kyle Shinault for a 37-yard touchdown pass down the left side with 4:01 until halftime.
A bad PAT snap and hold forced Johnson to run for his life down the left side and dive head first for the two-point conversion.
But unfortunately for the Cards, just a few plays later, Shinault had his eyes on a pick when the ball bounced out of his hands and down field into the arms of the Rams’ Israel Murphy, who went in untouched for a 67-yard score and a 21-8 lead at the half.
“We thought the momentum had gone to our side and I could see that interception giving us the ball back and all of a sudden you’re down,” East Surry coach David Diamont said. “But you have to recover from those. Good teams with speed do that to you and we talked about that. Good teams can score in split seconds and it’s the next play that you have to recover. You can’t have long memories.”
Starmout dominated the second half and left East Surry in the dust to move to 2-0 on the season.
Diamont said his team just was unable to get a push up front on offense and to corral the speedy Starmount backs on the defensive side.
“I think Starmount’s defensive line pushed our offensive people around all night,” Diamont said. “Our offensive lineman could never get to their linebackers and their linebackers just teed off on us. If we can’t run the football we are in trouble. On their offensive side they have a lot of weapons. They have four or five kids that are really good football players. They just took it to us.”
Bryant led the way for the Rams with 11 carries for 107 yards and two touchdowns. Murphy added 75 yards on six carries and one receiving touchdown. Overall the Rams had 260 yards rushing on 36 carries.
Conversely, East Surry managed only 90 yards on 33 carries. In the air Johnson was 7-for-14 for 92 yards with two interceptions.
Starmount 42, East Surry 8
14 7 7 14 — 42
0 8 0 0 — 8
S — 41 yard run Bryant (kick good) 5:29
S — 3 run Billips (kick good) 1:15
ES — Shinault from Johnson 37 (2-pt Johnson) 4:01
S — 67 Murphy from Barr (kick good) 2:39
S — Bryant 28 run (kick good) 10:45
S — McDaniel 16 run (kick good) 8:23
S — Barr 75 fumble ret. (kick good) 5:49