Makel Stone had never experienced a victory on the gridiron over Dan River since he joined Altavista’s varsity football roster. In fact, it had been seven years since the Colonels topped the Wildcats. Tack on another year to find the last time Altavista won in Ringgold.
Stone helped seal a dramatic victory that ended both droughts.
Stone’s pick-6 late in the fourth quarter secured Altavista’s 34-21 win at Dan River on Friday night and helped the Colonels enter their open week with momentum heading into the regular season’s stretch run.
Stone had one of four Altavista interceptions (Anthony Clay, Marquel Dawkins and Landon Brown had the others), and Randle Ford recovered a fumble to give the Colonels five takeaways.
“We’ve been struggling the past couple of weeks,” Altavista coach Andy Cox said. “It was an ugly win, but it was good to get back in the win column.”
The victory, the first for Altavista (2-5, 1-2 Dogwood District) over Dan River since 2014 and the first in Ringgold since 2013, ended the Colonels’ four-game losing streak in the 2021 campaign.
Altavista was outscored 154-23 in losses to Rustburg, Amelia County, William Campbell and Appomattox, but was able to secure the triumph over the Wildcats (0-6, 0-2) thanks to a strong second quarter.
Altavista overcame a sluggish first quarter to take a 21-7 halftime lead.
“That was big to go into half up,” Cox said.
Dawkins rushed for 51 yards and two first-half touchdowns on 10 carries to help set the tone.
“Marquel had a hell of a game tonight,” Cox said.
Stone rushed for 93 yards and added a rushing touchdown.
Jordan Pippin rushed for 32 yards and a touchdown, and he completed an 11-yard pass to Brown.
Altavista enters its off week after playing all seven games on its schedule without a postponement or cancellation. The victory will give the Colonels momentum heading into an Oct. 22 home game against Gretna.
“It’s a great time to have the bye next week due to the fact we have Gretna the following week,” Cox said. “Altavista and Gretna, for us that’s the biggest rivalry we have on the schedule. … We’re definitely excited about it.”
Appomattox 56, Gretna 18
Appomattox didn’t waste any time seizing control over Gretna at Bragg Stadium.
The Raiders took a commanding, six-touchdown lead at halftime, added two more second-half scores and cruised to their most lopsided victory in the series in five seasons.
The 38-point margin of victory is the largest in the series since 2016, when the Raiders won 47-6 in Appomattox.
Appomattox (5-1, 3-0 Dogwood) led 42-0 at halftime and added two more second-half scores to extend the advantage to 56-0.
The Hawks (2-3, 1-1) scored a trio of late touchdowns.
Rustburg 28, Liberty 21
Every time it appeared Rustburg would seize command, Liberty responded.
The Red Devils never led by more than seven points. The Minutemen, however, were never able to take the lead.
Rustburg had an answer each time Liberty tied the game at Hugh T. Pendleton Sports Complex, and the Red Devils scored the game-winning touchdown with 2:58 remaining to edge the Minutemen.
The Red Devils (3-3, 1-2 Seminole) led 7-0 and 14-7 in the first quarter, and then took a 21-14 halftime lead thanks to a touchdown with 2:09 left in the half.
Neither team scored in the third quarter. The Minutemen (3-3, 0-3) scored to tie the game early in the fourth, but were unable to stop Rustburg’s game-winning drive.
Rustburg was able to avenge its 34-22 loss in the spring to Liberty, which represented the Minutemen’s lone triumph in the condensed season.