Familiar foes will meet up on the gridiron this Friday when Ashe County hosts North Surry in the first home game of the 2012 season.
Head coach Brian Hampton left North Surry to take over as the leader of the Husky football team, and North Surry found its new head coach by promoting from within, giving the head coaching job to Danny Lyons, who had spent the previous six years on the coaching staff. Lyons graduated from North Surry in 2001.
Ashe will hope to bounce back from a 23-21 loss at Watauga last weekend while North Surry is looking to remain undefeated. The Greyhounds defeated Forbush in week one, 20-14, then pounded Elkin with a 41-21 victory last week.
North will be led by tailback Blaze Acord, who is coming off of a monster individual performance against the Buckin’ Elk defense. Acord carried the ball 32 times for 304 yards and four touchdowns.
At the quarterback position, Austin Handy will use his dual-threat skills to keep the defense honest. The Greyhounds are mostly a running team, but when Handy passes, he usually finds a target for a big gain. Last week, he attempted just six passes, but connected on three of them for 133 yards and a touchdown, an average of over 40 yards per pass completion. Handy added 23 rushing yards in the victory.
Overall, the Greyhound offense has been nearly unstoppable so far as they tallied 540 yards of total offense against Elkin with 407 of those yards coming on the ground.
Most recently, North has had its way with the Huskies, beating Ashe 33-24 last season and 55-21 in 2010.
Ashe is used to facing a strong offensive attack from the Greyhounds, however, as they have always had some big time playmakers taking the field. In 2010, starting tailback Joston Phipps had 430 yards of total offense, to go along with five touchdowns against the Huskies. Last year, North Surry was led by quarterback Alex Ratcliff and wide receiver Jacob Pelfrey. Ratcliff passed for 233 yards and four touchdowns and ran for another 107 yards. Pelfrey caught seven passes for 179 yards, and reeled in all four of the touchdown passes from Ratcliff.
The last Ashe victory over North Surry came in 2009 when the Huskies shutout the Greyhounds, 19-0. In that game, Sam Gammons tossed a touchdown pass while Jeren Holman and Aaron Scott each rushed for a score, and after that, the defense took care of the rest.
While both teams were members of the Mountain Valley Athletic Conference, the contests were always close matchups, with neither team having the overall edge. Ashe beat North Surry in 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2008 while the Greyhounds came out on top in 2003, 2004, 2007, and each of the past two seasons in non-conference play.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Ashe County High School. Live play-by-play can be heard on 580 WKSK for those that cannot make it to the game.