For the third consecutive year, the Ashe County Huskies got another big win over the Wilkes Central Eagles 14-7. The win improves the Huskies’ record to 4-5, and 3-3 in conference action, while handing the Eagles their first conference loss of the season.
The defense was dominant once again as they have not given up an offensive touchdown in the last three games. The only score for the Eagles came on 87-yard kickoff return from Trae Alexander. Ashe was able to keep Alexander, one of the top runningbacks in the conference, in check all night. Alexander only had 15 yards on 13 carries. He came into the game averaging over 150 yards per game on the ground.
The Huskies first score of the game came off of a botched snap on a punt. The Eagles’ punter Devin Williams could not recover the snap in time, and instead of falling on the ball in the end zone, the ball ended up coming back into the field of play. After another Eagle player picked the ball up and attempted to run with it, the Huskies’ special teams made the tackle at the 1-yard line. This gave the Huskies great field position. Jaren Holman took the handoff and put it in the end zone giving the Huskies a 7-0 lead.
Both defenses were strong in the second quarter not allowing either team to score any more points. The Eagles had an opportunity to put points on the board, but a 33-yard field goal attempt from Williams missed wide and the score would remain 7-0 through the halftime break.
With time winding down in the third quarter, the Huskies were able to capitalize on another turnover from Wilkes Central. Alex Hershner came off the edge and put a big hit on Brandon Parsons, knocked the ball loose and Luke Goss came in and recovered it for the Huskies. After carries from Aaron Scott and Fred Blanks, Dalton Lewis took the snap and on the quarterback sneak, he followed his big offensive line right up the middle for another 1-yard touchdown run. The extra point by Morgan Burks was good, and Ashe extended the lead to 14-0.
Wilkes Central would respond quickly. Alexander left his mark on the game with his 87-yard kickoff return right after the Huskies had just put more points on the board. The extra point was good, and the Eagles cut into that lead, 14-7.
The Eagle defense then clamped down forcing the Huskies to punt the ball from their own 38-yard line. After a punt from Joe Weaver, the Ashe defense would have to take the field looking for another stop. With 10:14 left in the game, the Huskies responded. On a third-and-four play from the 40-yard line, Hershner and Burks made a big play stopping Alexander and forcing the Eagles to punt the ball.
Even though the Huskies’ offense would not be able to keep the ball for long, the defense would be up to the challenge to defend their slim lead. After a Husky punt, the Eagles got the ball back, but the Huskies were once again prepared to make the plays they needed to. The Eagles picked up a big 40-yard run by Chris Watt that took the ball down to the Husky 20-yard line. On the next play, the defense crashed down the line once again, this time forcing Watt to fumble the ball, and Kaleb Jones was right there for the recovery.
That was the last time the Eagles would see the ball on offense, as the Husky running attack took over the final 4:44 and ran the clock out giving the Huskies their most impressive win of the season. The Huskies were able to pick up 101 yards on the ground, with 79 of those yards coming from Holman. The defense was the story of the night, led by Hershner who had 7 tackles, 4.5 of those for losses, and 2 sacks. Burks and Zach Hudler each had 4.5 tackles, and Seth Cox added 3.5 tackles, with 3 of those being for losses.
Coming up next for the Huskies, the team makes the trip down to Yadkin County to take on the Forbush Falcons. The Falcons have certainly had their struggles this season. After winning their first game of the season 32-20 over North Surry, the Falcons have since lost seven straight games and are currently winless in conference play. Ashe has won four straight against the Falcons, including a 14-3 victory last year. Kickoff will be at 7:30 p.m.