Patrick County’s football team has always relied on a power run game. This season they have the perfect running back to lead the ground-and-pound offense.
Dae’Shawn Penn, a junior, rushed for 256 yards in Friday’s 38-27 road win over Carroll County. He added four touchdowns on 16 carries. He finished the night averaging a perfect 16 yards per carry.
Penn led a Cougars squad that did nothing but run against the Cavaliers, finishing the night with a total 346 running yards on 32 offensive plays.
Junior fullback Carson Merriman added 79 yards on the ground, and junior quarterback Will Sprowl had 10.
The win was Patrick County’s first over Carroll since 2015.
Patrick County head coach David Morrison told the Bulletin prior to the season that he felt his team is “just a step away from really being something special.” Friday’s win was a good start in that direction. The Cougars were playing their first game as a member of VHSL Class 2, and the win came against a Cavaliers team that is in Class 3, adding points that will be crucial come time for the playoffs.
Cougars defensePatrick County allowed 257 yards of total offense Friday night – 193 rushing and 64 passing – and allowed Carroll to score on its first three possessions.
But the Cougars did force two Cavaliers turnovers, grabbing an interception and forcing a fumble. And the defense was stronger in the second half. After going into the half down 21-18, Patrick County held Carroll to no points in the third, and just six in the fourth. The Cougars scored 20 points in the second half for the come-from-behind win.
Bulldogs can’t contain PanthersMartinsville’s football team figured they’d take their lumps this season, and the first came Friday night at home against Morehead in a 40-0 loss.
Martinsville had just five yards rushing on 21 carries, and 44 passing yards on 5 completed receptions.
Morehead took the wind out of Martinsville’s sails early, scoring on their first two possessions.
Bassett shut out at RustburgBassett only mustered 86 total yards of offense Friday night at Rustburg, with just two runners putting up more than 10 yards on the ground in a 20-0 loss.
On the flip side, the Bengal defense allowed 204 yards of offense by the Devils, all on the ground. The bright side for Bassett is they held Rustburg to a 0-3 passing night, and came away with an interception.
Next weekPatrick County will look to carry the early season momentum back to Stuart Friday night, where they’ll take on Floyd County, a team that fell to Christiansburg 35-16 this week. Getting a win against the Buffaloes, a fellow Region 2C school, would be huge for the Cougars early in the season.
Next week doesn’t get any easier for Bassett or Martinsville. The Bengals go on the road to Pulaski County, a Class 4 school that reached the second round of the playoffs a season ago, and has a win so far this season over Northside.
Martinsville will also go on the road to Galax, a school that figures to be a lot closer to the Bulldogs in roster size than Morehead was. However, the Maroon Tide are no slouch. They reached the Class 1 state semifinals a season ago, and have a win over Glenvar so far this season.
Cara Cooper is the sports editor of the Martinsville Bulletin. You can reach her at (276)638-8801 ext. 241.