Ashe County will try to snap its two-game losing skid this Friday against a team that the Huskies have had no trouble defeating over the years.
The Huskies have not lost to North Wilkes since 2002. That year, the Vikings defeated Ashe 35-14 in the worst season in school history. Ashe finished with a record of 2-9.
Both teams enter the game with identical 2-4 records. Ashe sits at 1-2 in the Mountain Valley Athletic Conference while North Wilkes holds a 2-2 mark in conference.
Last week, the Vikings lost a tough one to county rival East Wilkes. The Cardinals were fired up to beat the Vikings as the team’s former coach, Monty Chipman, is now the head man at North. That win was the first of the season for the struggling Cardinals.
North Wilkes will be led by dual threat quarterback L.J. Hendren. Against the Cardinals, he completed 11 of 12 passes for 204 yards and three touchdowns while also running for 84 yards and a score.
Catching most of Hendren’s passes will be a pair of quick athletes. Josh Martin and Josh Bare have been the main targets for most of the season. Last week, Martin reeled in six catches for 118 yards and a touchdown while Bare caught four passes for 75 yards and a score.
The Vikings will have several different players in the backfield getting handoffs from the quarterback. Last week, Martin got the most carries of the group with 13. The week before that, Dustin Adams was the leading rusher with 16 carries and 49 yards against Wilkes Central. Devin Roberts, Jordan Grimes and Justin Patterson will also see some time in the backfield.
Last year, Ashe beat North Wilkes 34-7 on Homecoming Night to run the winning streak to nine straight over the Vikings.
This year though, things are quite a bit different. The Vikings have already won more games than they had in any of the last five seasons, which included four seasons with just one win each and even a winless year along the way. The Vikings will be aiming to break that long losing skid to Ashe.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. from North Wilkes HS in Hays. For those that don’t want to make the drive down the mountain, live play-by-play can be heard on 580 WKSK.
Other area games:
East Surry at Bishop McGuinness
East Wilkes at Alleghany
Elkin at West Wilkes
Forbush at Wilkes Central
Hendersonville at Avery County
Hibriten at St. Stephens
Mount Airy at North Stokes
South Stokes at North Surry
Watauga at Elizabethton (Tn.)
West Caldwell at Bandys
West Stokes at Surry Central