WILKESBORO — Turnovers put the Huskies in a big hole early on and Wilkes Central would not allow the guys in purple to ever recover Friday night.
The Eagles forced five Ashe County turnovers in the first half and turned three of those into touchdowns on the way to a 42-20 victory.
The Husky giveaways started just 50 seconds into the game. Orian Mathis recovered Ashe’s first fumble of the night while the Huskies had already moved the ball into Wilkes Central territory.
A little over a minute later, Eagle quarterback Camden Wyatt threw a 57-yard touchdown pass to Jasiah Ferguson for a quick 6-0 lead.
On the next Ashe County possession, Grant Cowles picked up another Husky fumble, yet again stopping a promising drive by the visiting team.
At the 6:58 mark of the first, the Eagles quickly capitalized with an 82-yard scoring scamper by running back Justin Parsons. Wilkes Central converted a two-point conversion to move ahead 14-0.
With the Huskies driving into Eagle territory again, a miscue on the snap turned into the third Husky fumble of the quarter. This time, linebacker Tyler Boles picked the ball up in stride and ran all the way inside the Ashe County 20-yard line before running back Matthew Greer ran Boles down to force him out of bounds.
On the first play after the turnover, Wyatt dropped back and found JoJo Horton for a 14-yard touchdown. The Eagles were successful on another two-point play to make the score 22-0 with 4:22 left in the first quarter.
The nightmare first quarter continued on Ashe’s first play after the kickoff. The Eagles defense forced a fourth fumble and Horton was there to recover this one.
This time though, the Ashe defense came to life and forced an Eagle punt.
Ashe opened the second quarter with its first scoring drive of the game. Quarterback Colin Ellis capped off the drive with a one-yard TD plunge. The two-point conversion attempt was no good, making the score 22-6 in favor of the Eagles.
The Huskies got the ball back and started driving down the field about halfway through the second quarter. However, Eagle defensive back Terry Calhoun picked off a pass from Ellis with 6:44 left in the half to stop the drive.
Ashe got a big play from its defense late in the quarter. The Eagles were inside the Husky red zone inside a minute left to play, looking to go back in front by three touchdowns. With 37 seconds left, Ashe County linebacker Tristen Jones picked off a pass in the end zone after the ball was tipped. The game went to the halftime break with Wilkes Central leading 22-6.
The third quarter started rough for the Huskies. Horton scored from 65 yards out on another nice pass from Wyatt. The extra point made the score 29-6.
Ashe County’s first drive of the second half ended with a failed fourth down conversion at the 8:19 mark of the third.
Just one minute later, Wyatt added another TD pass, this one a 66 yarder to Mathis that put the Eagles comfortably ahead, 35-6.
The Huskies were once again stopped on fourth down on their next possession, and just like the last time, the Eagles turned that into points.
Boles capped off the Eagles sixth and final touchdown drive with a 27-yard score with 3:31 left in the third.
Ashe was able to add a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns. Greer cut through the Eagle defense for a 37-yard touchdown run with 5:41 left in the game and then an 11-yard TD run by Ellis with seven seconds left put the final points on the board.
Ashe fell to 2-4 overall and 1-1 in the Mountain Valley Athletic Conference while Wilkes Central moved to 4-2 overall and 2-0 in the MVAC.
Ashe will travel to West Wilkes next week while the Eagles will play at Starmount.
Week 7 area scores
Alexander Central 55, North Iredell 8
East Surry 33, South Stokes 21
East Wilkes 27, Alleghany 6
Hibriten 44, St. Stephens 0
Maiden 33, Newton-Conover 28
Mountain Heritage 36, Polk County 21
North Wilkes 28, Elkin 9
Patton 42, South Caldwell 14
Walkertown 49, Atkins 18
Watauga 61, Fred T. Foard 28
West Caldwell 33, Bandys 0
West Wilkes 37, Starmount 14
Winston-Salem Prep 22, Bishop McGuinness 20
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-489-3062.