Seniors scored seven of Ashe’s eight touchdowns Friday night to secure a share of the 2013 conference championship and lock down a home game in the upcoming 2A playoffs. The Huskies beat the Bucking Elks, 56-7.
“To come out the way we did tonight against a very athletic team, I’m just so proud to be a part of this group to send these seniors out with a championship,” said Head Coach Brian Hampton.
The Huskies caught Elkin napping on the opening kickoff and ended up recovering the short kickoff to give the offense some early momentum.
“We tried it in practice and it worked, and we thought the first time we kick off that’s what we’ll do and we got the pooch and got the ball to start the first half,” said Hampton.
Senior tailback Johnathan Cox scored on a four-yard run just under two minutes into the game.
Later in the quarter, a long pass from Connor Bowers to Bradley Lucas set up the second score. Senior Cullen Ashley powered across the goal line from two yards out to put Ashe in front, 14-0.
The defense put its mark on the game to open the second quarter. Mitchell Brown recovered an Elkin fumble just a few seconds into the quarter. Ashe was unable to capitalize on that miscue.
Senior Alex Laws had the defensive play of the night with a pick-six as he returned an interception for a score with 7:45 left in the second quarter. Ashe now led, 21-0.
Elkin finally got some of the momentum back on their side for a short period with a four-yard touchdown run by Cory Anderson with 6:32 remaining.
Ashe was quick to get that score back with a long 42-yard run by Cox for his second TD of the night.
After Elkin turned the ball over on downs, Ashe put together another impressive scoring drive in the final four minutes. A 49-yard pass from Bowers to Maison McNeill set up Cox’s third TD and pushed Ashe ahead by a 28-point margin at the half.
In the third quarter, Bowers scored on a 17-yard gallop with 8:48 left.
Ashe added one more TD in the third. Matthew Hamilton had a long run inside the Elkin 10-yard line that eventually led to him scoring on a two-yard run with 4:18 remaining.
The final touchdown came from Michael Elliott in the fourth quarter as the senior scampered in from nine yards out to put Ashe ahead 56-7.
Kendall Richardson was a perfect 8-8 on extra points, replacing starting kicker Jamie Weaver who had to sit out the contest with an ankle injury.
Hamilton sealed the win with an interception with just under three minutes left in the game.
Both sides of the ball played very well once again, giving the Huskies a lot to look forward to with the state playoffs starting this Friday after winning the conference title.
“Season two is over, now it’s time to go to season three. What I told them (the team) was every time we go on the field now, it could be the last time this group is ever together. If we lose a game, that’s it for this group, so we’re fighting to keep this group together for as long as we can,” Coach Hampton said.
The Huskies will open the 2AA West Playoffs at home against Bunker Hill. Ashe is the fourth seed and Bunker Hill is the 13th seed. Should Ashe win this game, the Huskies would be at home once again with either Hunter Huss or West Lincoln making the trip up the mountain for week two.
Other area scores:
Starmount 35, Alleghany 0
Avery County 21, Mitchell County 14
Bishop McGuinness 42, North Stokes 14
West Wilkes 49, East Wilkes 19
Forbush 24, North Surry 14
Hibriten 35, Hickory 33
Mount Airy 34, East Surry 13
North Wilkes 47, Wilkes Central 14
Carver 47, South Stokes 8
Walkertown 49, Atkins 14
Watauga 22, South Caldwell 21
Bunker Hill 48, West Caldwell 33
West Stokes 44, Surry Central 7