SPARTA — Playing a day early did not seem to affect the Ashe County Huskies one bit.
The Huskies put up nearly 500 yards of total offense and cruised to a 40-12 win over Alleghany in the conference opener.
Alleghany scored first on a 15-yard pass from Brett Pope to take a 6-0 lead.
Ashe answered quickly on a 12-yard run from junior quarterback Colin Ellis late in the first quarter to give Ashe its first lead of the night, 7-6, after Kendall Richardson converted the extra point.
The second quarter was all Huskies.
Ellis capped off the team’s first drive of the period with a seven-yard TD run.
The Huskies got back to its aerial assault that fans and opponents have grown accustomed to seeing over the last two seasons. Ellis found Judd Price for a 51-yard strike and a 20-6 lead.
Alleghany was able to stop the bleeding on its next series with an 11-yard TD pass from Pope to make the score 20-12.
Ashe closed out the first half strong with two more scoring drives.
Junior tailback Skye Sullivan powered into the end zone from two yards out to give Ashe a 27-12 lead.
On Ashe’s final series of the half, Ellis tossed a 15-yard pass to Maison McNeill to put Ashe ahead 34-12 at the half.
The second half was much more quiet for both offenses.
Ashe added one more touchdown on another big play from Ellis to Price, this one a 53-yard pass in the third quarter.
After that, it was all defense from both sides as neither team scored the rest of the way.
Ashe improved to 2-3 overall and 1-0 in the Mountain Valley Athletic Conference.
Alleghany fell to 1-4 overall and 0-1 in the MVAC.
The Huskies had a season high in rushing yards with 141 overall. Sullivan had 86 yards on 12 carries with a score, Ellis had 28 yards on five carries and Alex Kissinger added 13 yards on five carries to lead the way.
“When Skye runs hard, he’s very good,” said Ashe County head coach Brian Hampton. When Skye gets going down hill, that’s 210 pounds coming at you, he’s pretty tough.”
Through the air, Ellis missed on just one pass, an interception by the Trojan defense. The junior finished 10-for-11 passing with 278 yards and three touchdowns.
Both McNeill and Price crossed the century mark in receiving yards. McNeill finished with seven catches for 168 yards and one TD. Price had just two catches but both of those were big gainers and went for touchdowns. Price ended up with 104 receiving yards.
For Alleghany, Pope had his best passing game of the season, completing 7-of-19 passes for 119 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
On the ground, Ashe held the Trojans to just 80 yards rushing, the team’s lowest output of the season through five games.
“Our defense, once we got settled down, really stepped up and played well together,” said Hampton. “Early on, I think we had a lot of confusion on some things, we got some adjustments made and really did a good job after that.”
Sophomore Simon Houck and junior Tristen Jones both added interceptions for the Husky defense.
Up next, Ashe County will square off against rival Wilkes Central at home. The Eagles will face the Huskies on a short week after having to face West Wilkes on Monday after the game was rained out Friday night.
Freedom 47, Fred T. Foard 7
Morganton-Patton 40, Hickory 20
Maiden 46, Bunker Hill 23
West Stokes 35, North Rowan 17
South Caldwell 20, Hibriten 16
South Iredell 54, Alexander Central 27
Forbush 40, Cherryville 0
Starmount 48, Elkin 7
North Surry 13, West Stanly 7
Charles D. Owen 49, Avery County 6
Watauga 34, St. Stephens 14
Salisbury 31, Surry Central 6
West Caldwell 42, Newton-Conover 30
Area games to be played on Monday
Atkins at East Surry
Burns at East Burke
East Wilkes at North Wilkes
Mountain Heritage at Hendersonville
North Stokes at Bishop McGuinness
West Wilkes at Wilkes Central
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-846-7164 or followed on Twitter @NathanHam87