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Loyd Star must tackle to slay Dragons

Loyd Star (3-2) coach Brian Ford didn’t have to get technical when he was preparing his team this week for their game Friday night at Pisgah (4-1).

For his team to stop the Dragons, Ford needs his players to do one thing and do it well.

“We’ve got to tackle them,” said Ford. “They’re going to line up and run it right at you.”

The Dragons are coming off of a 37-12 win over West Lincoln, and the Pisgah offense is averaging 349 yards per game on the ground. It features the double-headed attack of senior running back Noah Thweatt and junior running back Dillon Usry.

Behind a physical offensive line, Thweatt has rushed for 779 yards this season, while Usry has added 522 yards of his own. Thweatt has scored nine touchdowns and Usry has added eight.

The Dragons do not have a passing touchdown thus far this season.

The Pisgah defense isn’t chopped liver, either. They’re holding opponents to 12 points per game.

Loyd Star is ending a three-week stretch against some very physical defenses. Two weeks ago, the Wesson Cobras got the best of them 40-21; last week in a home game delayed by lightning, the Hornets were beaten 41-21 by Stringer.

The Hornets have had eight different players score a rushing touchdown this season, led by sophomore Eric Birch with five rushing TDs. Senior Zach Nevels is next with four rushing scores, and senior Zach Baker leads the team with 440 yards on the ground through five games.

Baker leads the defense with two sacks this season, and senior linebacker Braden Ezell averages a team-high 6.6 tackles per game.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Sand Hill.

Story by Cliff Furr