RONDA-A surging Ashe County squad came just minutes away from knocking off an undefeated East Wilkes team Friday night in Ronda.
In the end, the Huskies fell 31-28 in a wild affair that was interrupted multiple times by stadium malfunctions.
“Two teams played their absolute hearts out,” Brian Hampton, head coach of the Ashe County Huskies said. “They both left their hearts out on the field. In the end, their guys made a few more plays and their coach made a few better calls.”
Down 23-22 with little more than 7 minutes to play, the Huskies recovered a muffed Cardinals punt inside the East Wilkes’ 25-yard line. Ashe County quarterback Collin Ellis punched in a touchdown with roughly 5:30 left on the clock to give the Huskies a 28-23 lead.
But Bryce Vestal and the Cardinals needed little more than three minutes to steal the victory. Vestal threw a deep strike down the field to receive Jared Wood with 2:20 left to play, and a two-point conversion put the Cardinals up 31-28.
The Cardinals then recovered an onside kick to seal the win.
The win moves East Wilkes to 8-0 on the year and 4-0 in Mountain Valley Athletic Conference Play. Ashe County falls to 3-1 in MVAC play and 4-4 overall.
Despite the loss, Hampton said he saw improvement out of his squad this week that’ll serve it well the remainder of the year.
“As a coach, as a team, you’ve got one goal – to get better every week,” Hampton said. “We’re trying to improve every week and I feel like we’ve done that. I think our whole team played hard, and we had some guys go down with injury and we were forced to make some adjustments and we responded well – and that I’m proud of. We just came up a little short this time.”
Reach Adam Orr at 336-489-3058 or Twitter.com/AdamROrr.