Mount Airy (N.C.) shut down Carroll County in its home opener 28-7 Friday night.
The Granite Bears held a shutout until the closing seconds when many of the starters were already resting on the sideline.
Zaqwan Dobson lined up at halfback much of the night and led the Bears’ ground attack. He also posted their first two touchdowns.
Carroll County (0-2) took the opening kickoff out to the 27-yard line. On third down, Julius Coram and Andrew Jones combined on a sack that would set the tone for the night. Seniors Coram and Mason Timmerman would apply pressure on Conner Lundy all night.
A bad punt rolled out of bounds at the Cavaliers 43-yard line.
On a play-action pass, QB Logan Holder hit Jones for a first down to the 26-yard line. A couple of runs by Dobson moved it to the 10-yard line.
After a Holder keeper moved it to the 7, Dobson bowled over two defenders to score with 7:39 to go in the first quarter. A Mitchell Brown kick made it 7-0.
On the next drive, the Cavaliers ran for a first down, but a holding call led to a punt.
Neither team could move the ball after that. The punters traded kicks, then in the second quarter, Mount Airy punted again.
The Bears forced another fourth down. On the punt attempt, the player dropped the ball. He picked it up and tried again, but the Bears blocked it. Isaiah King recovered at the Cavalier 40-yard line.
A pass to Garrett Vanhoy picked up a first down at the 30, then runs by Dobson and Jones moved it to the 16 for another first down.
Three straight runs by Dobson resulted in a 2-yard TD with 7:11 left in the half.
The snap was bobbled, and Mount Airy missed the extra point for a 13-0 score. That was the first of three failed attempts on point-after tries.
Brown boomed the next kickoff back to the goal line for a touchback.
Carroll County started a nice drive with a pass for a first down, then a run up the gut for another first down. A QB scramble on third down got the Cavs’ third first down of the drive into Bear territory.
Then Lundy lofted a high, soft pass down the right sideline with no receiver in sight.
Safety Darius Gwyn slid over, caught the ball at the 42-yard line and raced 58 yards down the sideline for a score.
The next snap bounced back to the holder, and the Bears didn’t get a kick off. With 4:19 left in the half, the Bears were up 19-0.
Another long Brown kickoff came down in the Cavs’ red zone, but the return man took it all the way down the field for a touchdown.
However, a block in the back called back the score. The flag fell at the 37-yard line, and no one in that area was close enough to make a tackle.
Carroll County was content to call running plays in the final seconds and let the half end on an incomplete pass.
The Bears had the ball at the start of the second half, but stalled at the Cavs’ 34-yard line.
After a turnover on downs, Carroll County fumbled the ball, and David Licea fell on it at the 44-yard line.
Dobson went 33 yards down to the 11-yard line. Brown finished the drive with a 24-yard field goal with 6:52 left for a 22-0 lead.
Mount Airy forced two more punts from the visitors and had the ball at their 46-yard line early in the fourth quarter.
A defensive holding call helped the Bears convert one first down, and the ground game moved the ball into the red zone. E.J. Helton took a pitch to the right and scored from 14 yards out. With another bad special teams play, the Bears led 28-0 with 5:06 left.
The shutout was ruined by a Patrick Davis 24-yard run with only seconds left in the game.
The Bears finished with 225 yards of total offense to the Cavaliers’ 124. The Bears’ defense also racked up six sacks.
Zaqwan Dobson finished with 12 carries for 76 yards and two TDs. Devontae Dobson had four tries for 61 yards, including a 37-yard scamper.
Backup quarterback Logan Holder, in his second start for Austin Taylor, went 3-7 for 43 yards.
“We’re still not consistent running the ball,” said Coach Kelly Holder, but the team did have about 180 yards in the game.
“We did better tonight,” he said. “The offense is still a work in progress.”
The Bears (2-1) are at home again next week against Central Davidson.