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Galax edged by Riverheads in Class 1 State Final

Maroon Tide rallies to tie the game at 24 before falling

SALEM, Va. – Riverheads defeated Galax in a 31-24 win to take the VHSL Class 1 state title Saturday at Salem Stadium.

This is the 4th straight state title win for Riverheads, and seventh title overall for the program. The title did not come easily for the Gladiators. They needed a 61 yard touchdown run by Cole Burton to snap a 24-all tie with 4:02 left in the 4th for the win. Zach Smiley had a pair of touchdowns in a 17-0 spurt that gave Riverheads the lead at the half. One of those scores was a 44-yard pick six with 1:01 left in the half.

That last time the two faced off was in 2015. Galax took the state title by a 7-6 score, but now falls as state runner-up in the 2019 final. Denver Brown had 35 and 17 yard touchdown runs on the day for the Maroon Tide. Galax closed to 24-21 on a 5 yard touchdown pass from Cole Pickett to Zach Johnson. A Galax field goal tied the score and set up the late game drama.

“Nobody gave us a chance in this game. We were supposed to get blown out. Nobody gave us a chance. But I had a feeling they’d show up, and we did. We had opportunities, we just didn’t finish when we had to and we gave up a run on a dive play. Other than that, it was a great effort.,” Galax head coach Mark Dixon said.

Galax finishes the season 12-2.