For the second consecutive year, the Ashe County Middle School Bulldogs will be playing for the Sertoma Super Bowl title after beating Alleghany 24-22 last Saturday.
The Bulldogs struck first when Colin Ellis returned a punt 60 yards for a touchdown. Judd Price scored on the two-point conversion to take an early lead.
Alleghany answered near the end of the quarter with a 65-yard TD run on a reverse. The two-point conversion was no good, leaving the Bulldogs up 8-6 with 2:42 remaining in the quarter.
The Trojans jumped in front halfway through the second quarter on a one-yard touchdown run. This time, the two-point play was good, and Alleghany was in front 14-8 with 5:03 left in the first half.
Following long runs from Ellis, Price, and Tristen Jones, as well as a big fourth down conversion by Matt Greer, the Bulldogs scored on another rushing play. Ellis powered into the end zone for a two-yard score. Jones crossed the goal line for the two-point conversion, putting Ashe back in front at 16-14. That would turn out to be the halftime score.
The third quarter was all Alleghany. The Trojans capped off a 48-yard scoring drive with a TD and a two-point conversion to retake the lead, 22-16. Alleghany would have added another touchdown, but a 47-yard score was taken off the board thanks to a holding penalty.
ACMS began to show some life entering the final quarter. Jones, Greer, and Josh Roten made big plays on defense to start the fourth by forcing a three-and-out.
Price returned another punt nearly for a touchdown, but stepped out of bounds inside the 10-yard line. On a critical third-down play, Ellis found Kris Lonidier in the back of the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown pass, barely keeping his toes inbounds. Dante Shuler converted the two-point conversion, putting the Bulldogs ahead 24-22 with just over four minutes left to play.
With the defense needing a crucial stop, Calder Clay grabbed an interception to end all hopes for the Trojans.
The Bulldogs will now face Central Wilkes this Saturday at North Wilkes High School. Central pounded West Wilkes last week, and will face the Bulldogs for the second time this year. The Bulldogs lost to Central in the previous matchup.
Kickoff is set for 3 p.m.