Defensive effort lifts Blue Ridge past North Cross

Blue Ridge’s football team knew it had a tough test waiting for it Thursday facing, VISAA Division II’s top team in North Cross, the squad they beat last year to win a state title.


They passed the test.


With a strong surge early in the fourth quarter, the Barons blew open their clash with the Raiders to win 27-7.


Much like the state title game a year ago, the defense gave the Barons a spark with Cameron Carr posting a pick six while Aden Britton finished with 11 total tackles, seven of them solo stops. Spencer Glenn had a sack and finished with nine total tackles. Juan Mareco had a tackle for a loss and finished with four total stops.


The Barons built a 12-7 lead before halftime with a 19-yard touchdown catch by Savion Helm from Xavier Kane and a 7-yard touchdown run by George McGuire. After a scoreless third quarter, the Barons tacked on two more scores in the final frame, with Carr picking off a pass and racing 73 yards for a touchdown while McGuire hauled in a 49-yard touchdown pass to extend the lead to 27-7 with 7:51 to play.


Blue Ridge overcame three turnovers and a tough night on third down (2-for-8) to pick up the win, piling up 366 yards of total offense with Kane going 9-for-15 for 158 yards and two touchdowns while throwing a pair of interceptions. He also rushed for 94 yards on 16 touches while Sammy Fort picked up 98 yards on 15 carries and scored on a 2-point conversion.


Helm had two catches for 60 yards and McGuire snagged 56 yards on two catches.


After a 16-day break, the Barons will take the field again at home October 14 against Randolph-Macon Academy.