Playing for keeps

Nathan Ham Sports Writer

November 7, 2013

This Friday marks one of the biggest football games that the Huskies have been a part of in quite a while.

Elkin and Ashe will square off on Senior Night, and for the Huskies, a conference title and a home playoff game are riding on this contest. Ashe needs a win for both of those to become reality.

For the first time in conference play, Ashe suffered defeat last week at the hands of Starmount. The Rams scored 20 unanswered points and shut the Huskies out in the second half to spoil Ashe’s chance at clinching the conference championship last week.

Johnathan Cox was held under 50 yards rushing for the first time all year since he returned from injury in the third game of the season.

Connor Bowers had a solid game with two TD passes.

Elkin is also coming off of a defeat, a 47-6 beat down at the hands of Alleghany. The Elks rushing defense was torn apart for a whopping 467 yards. Chandler Caudill ran for 232 yards and Jake Hampton ran for 212.

The Elks do most of their damage through the air. Josh Strickland has completed 108 of his 224 passes for 1,557 yards, 18 touchdowns and seven interceptions. The junior QB has added 119 rushing yards and five touchdowns on the ground.

Elkin has four big play wide receivers on the outside. Dakota King is the team leader with 35 catches for 688 yards and 11 touchdowns. Tyrek Hayes has 25 grabs for 318 yards and three scores. Jamiles Hayes had 20 catches for 297 yards and two TD’s and Daniel Brinegar has 22 grabs for 211 yards and a pair of scores.

Defensively, Strickland leads the team in tackles by a wide margin with 98. Will Altemueller has 69, Cory Anderson has 65 and King has 62. King also adds a lot more form his spot in the secondary, including four interceptions, five passes defended and two fumble recoveries.

If Ashe beats Elkin, the Huskies will clinch a share of the MVAC Championship and also have the highest seed out of the conference in the 2A bracket with the team’s victory over North Wilkes. Should Ashe lose and North Wilkes beat Wilkes Central, Ashe will certainly be a playoff team, but the odds of getting a home playoff game would be fairly slim at that point.

The top state playoff spot for the 1A teams comes down to the final week too. The winner of the Alleghany and Starmount game will receive the top seed from the conference.

Kickoff for the Ashe and Elkin game is set for 7:30 p.m. Senior Night festivities will take place prior to kickoff. Senior cheerleaders, players and parents will line up and introductions will begin at approximately 7:10 p.m. The National Anthem and coin toss will follow that before kickoff.

Other area games:

Alleghany at Starmount

Avery County at Mitchell

Bishop-McGuinness at North Stokes

East Wilkes at West Wilkes

Forbush at North Surry

Hickory at Hibriten

Mount Airy at East Surry

North Wilkes at Wilkes Central

South Stokes at Carver

Walkertown at Atkins

Watauga at South Caldwell

West Stokes at Surry Central