WEST JEFFERSON — East Wilkes played spoiler for Ashe County’s Homecoming on Friday night with a 54-21 victory over the Huskies.
The first quarter was a little slow for both teams offensively. The Cardinals came up with the only score of the period with a one-yard touchdown plunge from Austin Jolly to take a 7-0 lead with 5:21 left to play.
The Husky defense came up big with a fumble recovery from Ethan Shepherd with 1:46 left in the quarter to put Ashe’s offense in a good scoring spot.
Ashe capitalized on the turnover with a one-yard touchdown run from quarterback Colin Ellis. The extra point from Dylan Little tied the game up at 7-7.
After that, the second quarter was all East Wilkes. Junior quarterback Bryce Vestal threw a 64-yard touchdown pass to Damien Reid to give the Cardinals a 14-7 advantage.
On the very next drive, Vestal threw another 64-yard touchdown pass, this one to Jared Wood for a 20-7 lead with 7:14 left in the half.
With a little over two minutes to play until halftime, Vestal threw his third touchdown of the half to a third different receiver. This scoring pass went to Jolly from 58 yards out. The Cardinals held a 26-7 lead at the half.
Things only got worse for the Huskies to start the third quarter. Jolly scampered into the end zone from 20 yards out with 9:18 left in the third.
The Cardinals took a 40-7 lead on a 30-yard TD run by fullback Jayveon Ross with a little under eight minutes to go in the third.
Ashe got its second score of the night threw the air. Ellis found junior wideout Grant Thompson for a seven-yard touchdown. The Huskies still trailed 40-13 with 4:40 to go in the quarter.
East Wilkes had the answer yet again on its next drive. Reid capped off the scoring drive with a seven-yard TD run. The Cardinals held a comfortable 47-13 lead going to the fourth.
Both teams added on one more score in the fourth quarter. Ellis got his third score of the day and his second rushing TD.
Ellis was 13-36 passing on the day with 163 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Ellis added 30 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Ellis did not get much help in the passing game with his receivers dropping 11 passes.
Thompson was the lone bright spot in the passing game with seven catches for 111 yards and a touchdown.
The East Wilkes defense held the Huskies to just 221 total yards of offense.
The Cardinals are 7-1 overall and a perfect 4-0 in the Mountain Valley Athletic Conference, keeping pace with Wilkes Central who also moved to 4-0 on Friday night.
Ashe saw its overall record drop to 2-6 overall with a 1-3 record in MVAC competition.
This week, the Huskies will be on their home field for the final time for Senior Night. Ashe will take on North Wilkes. Senior players and cheerleaders will be recognized prior to kickoff. Senior football players are: Colin Ellis, Dylan Little, Judd Price, Dante Shuler, Tristen Jones, Matthew Greer, Skye Sullivan, Sam Henson, Ethan Shepherd and Will Taylor.
Wilkes Central 35, Alleghany 34
West Wilkes 38, Elkin 35
North Wilkes 49, Starmount 20
Carver 18, North Surry 7
East Surry 17, Winston-Salem Prep 13
Freedom 55, South Caldwell 27
Hibriten 28, Watauga 27
Lake Norman 45, Alexander Central 21
Mount Airy 49, Bishop McGuinness 0
Polk County 46, Avery County 7
Surry Central 55, South Stokes 38
West Caldwell 35, West Lincoln 13
West Stokes 42, Forbush 21
1. East Wilkes: 7-1, 4-0
2. Wilkes Central: 6-2, 4-0
3. West Wilkes: 6-2, 3-1
4. North Wilkes: 5-3, 3-1
5. Ashe County: 2-6, 1-3
6. Starmount: 1-7, 1-3
7. Alleghany: 4-4, 0-4
8. Elkin: 0-8, 0-4
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-489-3062.