Hounds rip Vernonia 54-7 in both teams' regular-season finale

It was, at times, a frustrating season for the Gaston football team, but the Greyhounds went out on a high note with a 54-7 romp against Vernonia last Friday in both teams’ Northwest League finale.

Gaston (4-5, 2-3) was eliminated from state playoff contention two weeks ago with a loss to Knappa, but that didn’t diminish the excitement of the team’s season-ending victory, which marked the end of the road for eight seniors who helped guide the Greyhounds to the most successful four-year run in program history.

“It was nice to get this win. We kind of forgot what it felt like,” Gaston head coach Reeve Woodward said. “It was a good way to send the senior boys out. They’ve been a big part of some great teams.

“More than anything I’m going to miss them as people. They were a great group of kids. There was no drama, no issues like that. We had a lot of fun together.”

Senior Austin Morey led the way with 214 yards rushing and two touchdowns, and he passed for 75 yards and another score. Fellow senior Jordan Delay, an offensive lineman, also scored the first touchdown of his varsity career on a 40-yard run.

Sophomore Ian Mann added 156 rushing yards and two touchdowns, and Jarad Davis had a one-handed interception in the fourth quarter that he returned 55 yards for a score.

“I told the boys that this season was a really good life lesson,” Woodward said. “We had a lot of adversity, and a big part of growing up and becoming a man is learning how to respond to adversity.

“After getting knocked out last week we could have rolled over, but we came out and played hard.”

Morey and Delay both started as true freshmen back in 2010, and helped the Greyhounds win 27 games over four years — including a 15-5 record in Northwest League play — while earning three straight Class 2A state playoff bids from 2010 to 2012.

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