BOONVILLE — The Ashe County Huskies ended a four-game losing streak with an impressive 42-7 victory over the Starmount Rams on Friday night.
Ashe took a 42-0 lead before the Rams scored their lone touchdown of the night late in the fourth quarter.
It took the Huskies just a little over two minutes to score their first touchdown. Senior quarterback Colin Ellis got things rolling with a six-yard touchdown run that gave the Huskies a 7-0 lead.
After a quick three-and-out by the Rams, Ashe scored quickly again, this time a 67-yard pass from Ellis to junior wide receiver Grant Thompson to give the Huskies a 14-0 lead with 8:10 still to play in the first quarter.
Starmount put a nice offensive drive together on the next possession, bringing the ball down inside the Ashe County five-yard line. On fourth and goal from the two, the Husky defense stood tall and kept the Rams out of the end zone.
The Huskies went on a drive of their own and jumped ahead to a 21-0 lead after Ellis gashed the Rams’ defense for a 35-yard rushing score with 7:44 left in the second quarter.
Ashe added a huge touchdown on the final play of the first half when Ellis dropped back to find Kai Christoferson for a 23-yard TD as the clock hit zero. The Huskies took a 28-0 lead to the half.
In the third quarter, Ellis scored his fifth touchdown of the night, this one a 20-yard run to put Ashe in front 35-0 at the 7:06 mark of the third.
The Huskies’ final touchdown came from running back John Reavis, who punched the ball in from two yards out with 10:45 left in the game.
Brendon Eads accounted for Starmount’s only score of the game, a seven-yard run with 5:05 left in the game.
Husky linebacker Sam Henson was a perfect 6-for-6 on extra point attempts.
Ashe is now 3-7 overall and 2-4 in conference play while Starmount is 1-9 overall and 1-5 in the conference.
Ellis continued his outstanding offensive season by completing 19-of-36 passes for 295 yards and two touchdowns. The senior also added 133 rushing yards on 14 carries with three touchdowns.
Simon Houck had his best game of the season, leading the Huskies with nine catches for 112 yards. Thompson had four grabs for 113 yards and a touchdown, Matthew Greer had three catches for 49 yards and Jake Richardson added one catch for six yards.
Reavis finished the game with 15 rushing yards and a score. Greer added 14 rushing yards and Alex Lacroix had six yards on the ground.
For the season, Ellis surpassed the 3,000-yard mark, now sitting at 3,131 passing yards while Thompson also passed the 1,000-yard receiving mark with 1,035 yards with one game remaining.
While the season certainly hasn’t been what Ashe hoped it would, the team held their heads high and played one of their best games of the year.
“Nobody deserves a win more than this group. They keep showing up on Mondays and going to work and that says a lot about them. It’s like they finally realized that our opportunities to play together are running out, let’s do one together and see what happens. They put a complete game together,” said Ashe County head coach Brian Hampton. “Defensively we did a great job and made plays we haven’t made all year. It shows what we could do and what we can do if we all do our jobs.
Offensively, Ellis keeps making plays each and every week to try and keep his team in the ballgame.
“Colin is special, I’ve said it all year and I still believe he’s the best offensive football player in this league. Unfortunately we didn’t win enough games for him to win the award,” said Hampton. “He will get nominated because I’ll nominate him and if he doesn’t get it I understand why, but at the same time I still believe he’s the best offensive player in the league.”
With a depleted wide receiving corps, it did appear on this night that the young guys that have had to step up to help the offense most certainly had their best game of the year.
“One thing about our receivers is they’re just now getting comfortable in their positions, it’s been new to them, a couple of them have been playing it two weeks at the most,” Hampton said. “It’s not a question of their effort, it’s just knowledge of a new position. There’s a learning curve there, but I thought they stepped up and caught the ball well and did some good things after the catch.”
Ashe will wrap up the regular season at Elkin on Friday night. The Elks are still winless on the season with an 0-10 record overall and an 0-6 record in conference action.
Wilkes Central 25, East Wilkes 0
North Wilkes 38, West Wilkes 35
Alleghany 40, Elkin 35
Watauga 49, Hickory 13
Lincolnton 33, West Caldwell 20
Hibriten 40, Patton 0
Mount AIry 42, Walkertown 14
Mountain Heritage 57, Avery County 3
North Surry 40, South Stokes 35
South Caldwell 28, Fred T. Foard 20
Statesville 28, Alexander Central 27
Surry Central 41, Forbush 25
Carver 46, West Stokes 2
Winston-Salem Prep 28, Atkins 26
Wilkes Central: 8-2, 6-0
East Wilkes: 8-2, 5-1
North Wilkes: 7-3, 5-1
West Wilkes: 7-3, 4-2
Ashe County: 3-7, 2-4
Alleghany: 5-5, 1-5
Starmount: 1-9, 1-5
Elkin: 0-10, 0-6
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-489-3062.