WEST JEFFERSON — Ashe County scored first but Hibriten scored the most, earning a 34-21 non-conference win over the Huskies.
It took Ashe just a minute and 30 seconds to score as junior quarterback Colin Ellis found Judd Price wide open on the sideline and he scampered 60 yards for the touchdown. Kendall Richardson’s extra point put the Huskies ahead, 7-0.
Hibriten tied things up with 6:57 left in the first. Jamar Ferguson scored on an 11-yard run to the outside.
The Panthers took the lead on a six-yard scamper from Jarius Cotton at the 10:21 mark of the second quarter.
Hibriten would hold a 14-7 lead through the halftime break.
In the second half, the Panthers rushing attack started chipping away at the Ashe defense. With 3:17 left in the third quarter, 6-3, 238-pound fullback Shyheim Felder capped off a long drive with a score to put Hibriten ahead, 21-7.
Ashe struggled offensively on its next possession, giving the Panthers the ball back to open the fourth quarter.
Hibriten marched down the field and Cotton scored his second TD of the night, this one from seven yards out with 7:55 left in the game.
The Huskies answered back in just over two minutes on a nice trick play. Grant Thompson lateraled to Ellis and he found a streaking Price down the sideline for a 26-yard score with 5:27 left in the game.
However, the Panthers would not be denied as Trey Brown put the final nail in the coffin with a 20-yard burst up the middle for the team’s fifth rushing touchdown of the night.
“Hibriten is a good football team. They’re big up front, they’re big at fullback and they’re fast at the wing spots. We knew they were going to be tough,” said Ashe County head coach Brian Hampton.
Ashe did add a late touchdown run from Ellis to get to the final score of 34-21.
Ashe fell to 0-3 on the season while Hibriten improved to 3-1.
“We’ve played hard in all three games. The scoreboard doesn’t show the improvement but we have improved greatly,” said Coach Hampton. “I thought we prepared better this week, I thought we worked harder this week, but as a coach I think there are some things I have got to fix.”
The Huskies will go to Alexander Central for the final non-conference game of the year while Hibriten begins their conference play on the road against South Caldwell.
“We’re getting better. I told the guys we are a lot better football team than our 0-3 record,” said Hampton. “We’ve got another tough one next week, but that’s the way it’s supposed to be. You’re supposed to play people better than you to try and better yourself.”
- Luis Ramos returned from a knee injury that has kept him sidelined since the second half of last season’s game at Watauga. The senior defensive lineman played the first two quarters and according to Coach Hampton, the team will hope to play him for three quarters against Alexander Central and have him ready to play a full game for the conference opener at Alleghany in two weeks.
- The Huskies have been outscored 109-62 through three games.
- This is the first 0-3 start for Ashe County since 2010. The Huskies started 0-5 that season on the way to a 4-8 record.
Other area scores
Alexander Central 42, Bandys 20
Cloudland (TN) 36, Avery County 29
East Surry 42, West Stokes 28
Surry Central 21, Elkin 6
East Wilkes 27, North Stokes 17
Mount Airy 16, North Surry 15
A.C. Reynolds 43, Watauga 15
Alleghany 24, South Stokes 14
Starmount 35, Forbush 15
Wilkes Central 33, Patton 30
Grayson County (VA) 26, Tazewell (VA) 13
Johnson County (TN) 14, Sullivan Central (TN) 6
Wilkes Central: 4-0
East Wilkes: 3-0
West Wilkes: 1-2
North Wilkes: 1-2
Ashe County: 0-3
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-846-7164 or followed on Twitter @NathanHam87