BOONE — In a score resembling a basketball blowout, the Watauga Pioneers used a powerful rushing attack to beat the Ashe County Huskies, 78-48.
Watauga running back Evan Suggs tied a Watauga school record with six touchdowns in a single game, leading a rushing attack that was almost unstoppable.
Six touchdowns were scored between the two teams in the very first quarter of play.
Watauga fired the opening shot with a six-yard TD run from senior quarterback Hamilton Castle with 9:23 left in the first.
The Huskies answered back in just over a minute with a 27-yard strike from Colin Ellis to Judd Price. The extra point was blocked, giving the Pioneers a 7-6 lead at the 8:14 mark of the quarter.
The Pioneers put up three touchdowns on the scoreboard over a span of 2:30, aided by a defensive stop and a fumbled kickoff by the Huskies.
Suggs scored his second touchdown of the night on an 18-yard scamper with 7:12 on the clock. After a punt by Ashe, the Pioneers quickly scored again, this one an 11-yard score by Suggs for his third TD.
Following a fumbled kickoff by Ashe, Castle slashed through the Ashe defense for another touchdown that put Watauga in front, 28-6, with 4:42 still left in the first quarter.
Ashe was able to claw right back into with a pair of scores. Ellis tossed his second touchdown of the night, this one a 42-yard throw to sophomore Corbin Colidron. Ashe still trailed 28-12 after another blocked extra point attempt.
With 30 seconds left to play in the first, it appeared the senior linebacker Matthew Greer had scooped up a fumble and returned it 55 yards for a touchdown, but an inadvertent whistle brought the return back.
Ashe still had the ball and capitalized quickly with a third TD pass from Ellis, this one a 22-yard toss to Simon Houck on fourth down. Ashe converted the two-point conversion and pulled to within eight points at 28-20.
Unfortunately for the Huskies, Watauga took over the game after that. On the very first play after the kickoff, Suggs ripped off a 61-yard touchdown run to put Watauga back in front, 36-20.
The Pioneers had one more score in them before the half. Castle found pay dirt again from nine yards out to put the home team ahead 43-20.
Ashe moved the ball all the day down to the Pioneer five-yard line, but turned the ball over on downs with 3:20 left to play in the half, leaving the score 43-20 at the half.
The Huskies opened the third quarter with a fourth TD from Ellis. This time a 61-yard throw to Price for his second receiving score. Ashe still trailed, 43-26.
Watauga put the game out of reach in the third quarter with four more touchdowns. Suggs scored from 14 yards out at the 9:24 mark of the third and again from 15 yards out with just over five minutes left in the third.
Suggs tied the school record with his sixth touchdown with a little over two minutes left in the third on a seven-yard run.
The Huskies stopped the bleeding momentarily with a fifth touchdown pass from Ellis to a fourth different receiver. This time Grant Thompson outran the Pioneer secondary for a 68-yard touchdown with 1:38 left in the third.
Two plays later, Watauga crossed the 70-point mark with a 65-yard TD scamper by Corey West to take a 71-34 lead going to the fourth.
Ellis accounted for his sixth touchdown of the evening, this time using his legs to score from seven yards out with 10:43 left in the game.
Joey Watson scored Watauga’s final points with a two-yard run in the fourth.
Ellis finished his night with a sixth TD pass, a 29-yard toss to Price.
Watauga improved to 1-1 while Ashe dropped to 1-1
The Huskies will be off this Friday night while Watauga will host Avery County.
Mountain Heritage 58, Erwin 31
McDowell 22, Avery 17
East Surry 28, Starmount 27
Surry Central 21, East Wilkes 20
Alleghany 28, Grayson County 18
Hibriten 49, Maiden 20
Forbush 24, North Iredell 14
North Surry 40, Elkin 6
North Wilkes 35, South Stokes 19
South Davidson 14, North Stokes 13
West Caldwell 44, South Caldwell 0
Wilkes Central 36, West Iredell 20
Mount Airy 21, West Stokes 7
West Wilkes 30, Pine Lake Prep 0
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-489-3062.