The match up between the schools featured a defensive display in the first half. Out of fourteen possessions by both teams in the first half, seven of them ended in punts to display the defensive dominance by both teams. North Surry was able to reach the scoreboard first following a safety against the Huskies in the first period, but Ashe took their only lead of the game off of a fourteen-yard pass play from Daniel Waln to Brandon Rinehart during the second quarter to go ahead 6-2. North Surry responded with a 34-yard touchdown pass later on in the second quarter, and the two-point conversion gave the Greyhounds a 10-6 lead heading into halftime. In the second half, the Greyhounds were able to stop the Huskies’ offense and added another thirteen points in the fourth quarter to claim the 23-6 victory over the Huskies.
The game opened up with the Huskies receiving the opening kickoff with the intentions of striking first against the Greyhounds. On their first possession, the Huskies were able to earn two first downs with pass completions on third down, but were stopped on their next series of downs and forced to punt to end their first possession. Following a good punt by Dylan Brown, the Huskies’ special teams unit pinned the Greyhounds inside their own twenty-yard line to start their first drive and the Greyhounds offense took over at their own eighteen-yard line.
The Greyhounds immediately felt the intensity of the Huskies’ defense as on first and second down, key tackles by Buster Phillips and Dylan Brown placed the Greyhounds with a third down and long for the first down, and an incomplete pass brought up the second punting situation on just the second possession of the game for both teams. Following the punt, Ashe once again had possession and started their drive from their own 42-yard line.
Following an impressive defensive performance by the Huskies on the first series, the Greyhounds responded with a tough unit against the Huskies. On first and second down, the Greyhounds’ defense busted into the Huskies backfield and brought down the ball carrier for Ashe for a combined loss of nineteen yards and brought up third and 29. The Huskies were unable to recover from the third and a “country mile” and once again the Huskies punting unit took the field. Following the Huskies’ punt, North Surry took over at midfield for their second possession of the game.
Following a run for no gain on first down, a twenty-two yard pass play on second down allowed the Greyhounds to move the ball into Huskies’ territory, but the Huskies’ defense responded by bringing the Greyhounds’ ball carrier down in the backfield for a three-yard loss, and then following a false-start penalty, the Greyhounds faced a third and eighteen. An incomplete pass due to defensive pressure from Greyson Wells for the Huskies led to a punt on fourth down. The punt by the Greyhounds took an unlucky bounce for the Huskies, and North Surry downed the punt on the Huskies’ two-yard line to give Ashe a lengthy field to cover on their next possession.
With three minutes remaining in the first quarter, the first points of the game occurred when North Surry forced the Huskies’ quarterback to scramble and an attempted thrown away ball was flagged by the official for an intentional grounding call. Due to the ball being thrown out of the endzone, the player was ruled down in the endzone, which resulted in a safety, and North Surry was awarded two points and took a 2-0 lead.
On the Greyhounds’ possession following the kickoff, the Huskies took advantage of penalties against North Surry to back them up into a fourth down and twenty-three yards remaining for a first down. With the punting unit on the field, the Huskies’ special teams was able to get through the Greyhounds’ line and a close play at the punter led to a five-yard Running Into the Kicker penalty against Ashe which led to another kick by North Surry. On the replay of the down, North Surry’s long snapper sent the snap at the feet of the punter and the Huskies once again busted through the line to prevent the kicker from getting the punt off and the punter tried to scramble for the first down. During the scramble, Andrew Sexton brought the punter down for the turnover on downs and the Huskies took over with a first down on the Greyhounds’ twenty-yard line with a short field in front of them.
The Huskies were unable to get a first down on the first, second and third play of the series, but Daniel Waln connected with Brandon Rinehart for a first down completion on fourth and long to keep the Huskies’ drive alive and earned a new set of down. Once again, on first, second, and third downs, the Huskies gained little yardage and once again on fourth and long, Waln connected with Rinehart again, except through the indirect play of Nick May. On fourth and twelve, a pass from Waln was intended for Nick May but in a difficult situation in the back of the endzone, the pass was tipped by May and Brandon Rinehart was able to grab the ball before it fell to the ground for a touchdown and Ashe took the 6-2 lead following the missed extra-point for Ashe with ten minutes remaining in the first half.
With the Huskies possessing their first lead of the game, adrenaline was running through the team and on the Greyhounds’ following possession, the Huskies handed the Greyhounds’ twenty-yards on two penalties to allow North Surry to move the ball out to midfield and having a first and ten. On the following play, Ashe’s defense was able to get into the Greyhounds’ back field and a good hit by the Husky defender forced the ball loose on the play and Zach Caffey was able to recover the loose ball for the Huskies for the first turnover of the game and Ashe took over on their own 45-yard line.
The Huskies once again had a short field standing just 45 yards from their endzone, but the Greyhounds continued the tough defensive stand against the Huskies’ offense. The Greyhounds benefited from an incomplete pass, then brought the Huskies’ running back down for a loss on second down to set up a third and long. The Huskies attempted to go to the air, but once again the Greyhounds’ defense got into the Huskies’ backfield and brought the quarterback down for a loss on the play and brought up fourth down and twenty remaining for the first down.
Following the punt on fourth down, the Greyhounds started their drive on their twenty-six yard line and the Greyhounds’ offense were determine to get something done on this drive. With two pass plays for combined total of twenty-eight yards, and then three short running plays set up a thirty-seven yard touchdown pass for the Greyhounds for their second touchdown of the game. Following the two-point conversion, North Surry led the Huskies 10-6 with five minutes remaining in the first half.
Trailing by one possession, the Huskies continued to struggle offensively and their struggle was evident on the following possession. With a motivated Greyhounds’ defense in front of them, the Huskies’ offense had a tough possession with quick three play and punt series. Dylan Brown’s punt on fourth and eighteen flew to the Greyhounds’ 42-yard line, where North Surry returned it to near midfield at their own 48-yard line.
The Greyhounds attempted to move the ball through the air on the next possession and an eleven-yard sack by Ryan Shepherd and then a broken up pass by Aaron Scott led to a fourth and twenty against the Greyhounds. Due to the short time and short field in front of them, North Surry elected to go for the first down and an incomplete pass gave the Huskies possession with thirty seconds remaining in the first half. Ashe ran the clock out during their possession and the teams headed into the locker room with the Greyhounds leading 10-6.
At halftime, Ashe County High School held their annual Homecoming Ceremonies and crowned the 2007 Ashe County High School Homecoming Queen. The class representatives this year were: Freshmen: Denise Karin Calhoun (escorted by Will Forbis) and Martha Mallary Clay (escorted by Jeremy Blevins); Sophomores: Michele Ann Gardner (escorted by Justan Reavis) and Courtney Shea Miller (escorted by Justin Worley); Juniors: Jessica Brooke Koontz (escorted by Jonathan Leonard) and Elizabeth Ann Welch (escorted by Juan Rodriguez); Seniors: Angela Marie Franks (escorted by Brandon Miller), Kaitlin Dakota Smith (escorted by Steven Miller), and Keisha Leanna Wilson (escorted by Wes Porter).
Following the introduction of each member of the Homecoming Court, the fans in Husky Stadium congratulated Kaitlin Dakota Smith as the 2007 Ashe County High School Homecoming Queen as 2006 Homecoming Queen Ashton Little crowned her.
The Huskies exited the locker room from the halftime intermission on a mission. Having a four-point lead, the Greyhounds were set to receive the opening kickoff. Following the kick by Dylan Brown, Buster Phillips hit the Greyhounds’ ball carrier and knocked the ball loose on the return. Dylan Brown was then able to fall on the fumble to give the Huskies good field position on their opening drive of the second half starting on the Greyhounds’ twenty-four yard line. Through the running of David Grubb, the Huskies moved the ball down to the eight-yard line for the first and goal. On first down, a holding penalty against Ashe backed them up ten yards, then a short run on second down brought up third and goal from the fifteen-yard line. On third down, an incomplete pass set up fourth and goal and the Huskies could not capitalize with another incomplete pass on fourth down and the Greyhounds’ defense escaped the pressure situation by holding the Huskies scoreless and regaining possession on their own fifteen-yard line.
Following the turnover on downs, the Greyhounds were able to earn a quick first down with two running plays, but on second down of their next series, Ryan Moser was able to grab another fumble by the Greyhounds to once again give the Huskies’ offense good field position starting on their own twenty-one yard line.
With the legs of David Grubb, the Huskies moved the ball inside the ten yard line and earned a first and goal but on the four attempts at the endzone, the Greyhounds defense held tough and came away with a major defensive stop to get their second defense stop of the Huskies within twenty yards of the endzone.
Despite not reaching the endzone, the Huskies remained optimistic on the sideline and continued to battle with the Greyhounds. The Huskies’ defense took the field after the promising drive ended pointless for the Huskies and came away with a huge stop to give Ashe possession once again. On three plays, Ashe held the Greyhounds to only eight yards for a punt on fourth down as the game clock ticked down to three minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Once again, the Huskies offense took the field following a defensive stop, but was unable to capitalize on the possession. With a first down on the Greyhounds’ thirty-five yard line, the Huskies were able to gain four yards off of two runs by David Grubb but faced a fourth and eleven following a penalty against Ashe. The penalty proved costly, as Ashe was unable to convert the fourth and long play for a turnover on downs to return possession to North Surry.
With time beginning to run low, as the game was approaching the end of the third quarter, the Huskies defense needed to make another stop to keep Ashe in the game. The Huskies’ defense once again answered the call and on first down forced the Greyhounds into a mammoth twenty-two yard loss to bring up second and thirty-two. A run for short gain on second down and an incomplete pass on third down brought the Greyhounds’ punting unit onto the field for the fourth down punt. The Greyhounds’ punt concluded the third quarter with North Surry still winning 10-6.
At the start of the fourth quarter, the Huskies trailed by a mere four points, less than the equivalent of one possession, but there was only twelve minutes remaining in the game. Ashe opened up the quarter with possession following a North Surry punt and started their drive deep in their own territory on their one-yard line. With a short run on first down, and then incomplete passes on second and third down, Ashe was forced to punt out of the back of their endzone. The punt allowed the Greyhounds to take over with decent field positioning starting their new drive at the Huskies’ twenty-five yard line. The Greyhounds immediately went to work on offense and on the fourth play of the drive; North Surry moved the ball into the endzone with a two-yard pass play. Following the touchdown, Ashe was able to stop the Greyhounds on the two-point conversion and Ashe trailed North Surry 16-6 with nine minutes remaining in the game.
On the Huskies next possession, they continued to struggle. With a fourth and four facing the Huskies after two short runs and a short pass play, the Greyhounds defense came away from the Huskies’ pass play on fourth down with an interception to return possession to the Greyhounds with seven minutes remaining in the game. The Greyhounds were able to run three minutes off of the clock as they kept the ball on the ground and pieced together a 41-yard drive, which was capped off with a four-yard run for the Greyhounds, and then the extra point increased their lead to 23-6 with only four minutes remaining in the game.
Despite efforts of the Huskies, the Greyhounds were able to wind the clock down during their following possessions and concluded the game with North Surry winning 23-6. The victory over Ashe increases North Surry’s conference record to 2-0, and they are 4-3 for the season. The loss for the Huskies drops their season record to 2-4, and 0-1 in conference. The Huskies will return to action following the tough loss on Homecoming this Friday with a trip to North Wilkes to face the Vikings in their second MVAC game of the season. The Vikings are currently 1-1 in MVAC and 1-6 for the season rebounding off of a 24-8 victory over Forbush for their first victory in conference play and for the season.