Ashe on the road for conference opener

Nathan Ham Sports Writer

September 26, 2013

With a week off from the Hibriten loss two Fridays ago, the Ashe County Huskies are ready to hit the ground running in the Mountain Valley Athletic Conference.

This week, Ashe will make the short drive to Sparta to take on rival Alleghany.

Senior tailback Johnathan Cox looks to finally break out this week after missing a couple games due to injury and facing a tough Hibriten team that made it difficult on the Ashe offense to do anything.

Quarterback Connor Bowers, receiver Maison McNeill and tight ends Brandon Lucas and Cullen Ashley, among others, hope to continue the winning ways over Alleghany. Alleghany has not beaten Ashe since 2003. That year, the Trojans escaped with a 9-7 victory.

For Alleghany, their season has been a tale of ups and downs through four games. The Trojans started the year with a 22-0 win at North Stokes. After that, a 13-point defeat against state-line rival Grayson County, Va., and a three-point defeat to former Northwest 1A foe Bishop McGuinness put the Trojans in a tough spot before the meat of its conference schedule was close to beginning.

Both teams are coming off of their bye weeks in the schedule, but the Trojans can say they are riding high into this week’s matchup. Alleghany put up 58 points on South Stokes and saw its defense do just enough to hang on for a 58-41 win two weeks ago. Those 58 points are the highest total Alleghany has scored on anyone since November of 2002 when the Trojans defeated East Wilkes, 43-0.

This season, Alleghany is second in the league in points scored with 136 but are only fifth in the league out of eight teams in points allowed.

For Ashe, the defense has answered the bell in every game. No team in the MVAC has allowed fewer points than Ashe. The Huskies have given up 84 points in four games and held Hibriten and Watauga to their smallest point totals so far this year. Michael Elliott, Shawn Baker, Alex Laws and Matthew Hamilton lead a strong defensive effort week in and week out.

Offensively, Ashe has struggled, but the players hope that this week is the week they get everything going. Ashe has scored just 49 points this season, next to last in the conference, only behind struggling Wilkes Central, who has scored just 23 points and are winless.

Kickoff from Alleghany High School will be at 7:30 p.m.

Other area games:

East Wilkes at North Wilkes

Elkin at Starmount

North Surry at T.W. Andrews

Charles D. Owen at Avery County

South Caldwell at Hibriten

South Stokes at East Surry

St. Stephens at Watauga

Surry Central at North Stokes

West Caldwell at Newton-Conover

West Stokes at Mount Airy

West Wilkes at Wilkes Central