Let's load up the bus for a trip down Interstate 81 to Fort Chiswell where the home standing Pioneers welcomed Galax to town Friday night in a key Mountain Empire District showdown.
The Maroon Tide came in with double trouble in the form of the Peoples brothers, Donte and Steven, who have combined for more than 1,600 yards this season.
The Pioneers countered with tailback Daniel Hamm who has racked up more than 700 himself this season.
A pair of 4-1 teams and a pair of Friday Football Extra Players of the Week went at it under the lights in Max Meadows on Friday. It was 22-21 Pioneers at halftime, but we're skipping all those highlights. That's how good this game was.
The fireworks continued in the third quarter. Third-and -12 for the Tide from their own 41, a screen to Donte Peoples and he's got blockers. Down the sideline and cut it back once, then twice, 59 yards to the house. Peoples had 224 yards on the ground to go with 87 through the air.
It was 29-22 after a two-point conversion. Fort Chiswell marched down to the one at the start of the fourth quarter. But on 4th-and-goal the Tide defense rose up, stopping Brett Mabry in his tracks for a turnover on downs.
Galax then went on a 99-yard drive eating 9:44 off the clock, capped off by who else -- Donte Peoples -- with his fifth touchdown of the night. 36-22 with just 2:11 left in the game, this one was over. But no one told the Pioneers. On 4th-and-31 Mabry lofts a prayer to the endzone. Daniel Hamm, Fort Chiswell's do-everything back is there for the catch, Pioneers now down seven.
They needed the onside kick and Hamm, the senior, again delivered for his team. Fort Chiswell got to the 12 yard line with time for one final play. Mabry went to Desmond Perry, he fought and went over the goal line and they're only down one.
After a Galax penalty moves the point-after to the 2-yard line, Stephen James says lets go for it.
Mabry called his own number on the QB keeper, the conversion was good and the Pioneers stormed back to win the game 37-36.
"Been around these guys all my life, I know they got fight in them. When we step out here we fight. I thank God and I thank my line. Foremost my line, they did everything for me tonight,” Brett Mabry said
Daniel Hamm said, "I was like, ‘I need to make a play. I'm a senior, I need to make a play for my team.’ I got open, I saw the quarterback throw the ball so I went after it."
Stephen James said, "You always say keep playing and hopefully things are going to work out. Fortunately our kids didn't give in. Wow, that's all you can say."
Down two touchdowns with just over two minutes remaining Fort Chiswell pulled off one of the most incredible victories we'll see this season.
The Pioneers hope to keep the good times rolling into another home game next week against Narrows. Galax, after a gut-wrenching loss, travels home to face Graham.