Ashe County kept its playoff hopes alive with a 21-12 win over visiting Alleghany.
The Trojans moved the ball downfield quickly on its first drive. After long runs by Chandler Caudill brought Alleghany inside the five-yard line, quarterback Grant Caudill took the snap under center and pushed into the endzone for a one-yard QB sneak. The extra point attempt from Jorge Santos was blocked.
Trailing 6-0 half way through the first quarter, tailback Jonathan Cox broke off a 68-yard run that put Ashe in scoring position at the Trojan six-yard line. Fullback Brandon Wingler capped off the drive with a four-yard touchdown run. Anthony Federico booted the extra point, giving the Huskies a slim 7-6 lead with 6:47 left in the first.
It did not take Alleghany very long to answer the Ashe score. On its next drive, C. Caudill got to the corner and outran the Ashe defense for a nine-yard touchdown run. The Trojans went for two, but came up short. The Trojans took a 12-7 lead with 2:56 remaining in the quarter.
The Huskies continued to run the ball hard at the Trojan defenders, and Alleghany simply could not stop the rushing attack. Cox found the endzone on a 44-yard scamper down the sideline just three minutes into the second quarter. Federico’s extra point was good, and Ashe was back in front 14-12.
On the ensuing kickoff, Ashe perfectly executed an onside kick and recovered well into Alleghany territory. However, the drive would end quickly on an intercepted pass from quarterback Connor Bowers.
The Ashe defense made its first of many big plays of the night. Michael Elliott picked off his first pass of the night with 8:01 remaining in the quarter. The Huskies could not get anything going, however, and had to punt the ball.
On the next Alleghany possession, Carson Knight put an end to the drive with a sack on third down that forced a punt. On the punt, Cullen Ashley broke through the line and blocked the kick. Hunter Barnes was there for the recovery, putting Ashe in good scoring position with 2:02 remaining in the first half.
With 24 seconds left, Ashe attempted a fake field goal, but the Trojans snuffed it out and tackled Ashley before he could get to the first down marker. Ashe held a 14-12 lead through the halftime break.
The Huskies struck quickly in the third quarter. Elliott picked off his second pass of the game, and Cox wasted no time making the Trojans pay for its miscue, powering into the endzone from six yards out. Federico’s extra point was good, pushing the Husky advantage to 21-12.
Ashe’s defense would hold strong and keep the lead the rest of the game. Matthew Hamilton put an end to an Alleghany drive with an interception with 7:06 remaining in the game. Cox then picked off a pass with 23 seconds left to seal the victory.
Cox had another monster game on the ground, carrying the ball 25 times for 179 yards and two touchdowns. Wingler added 10 carries for 31 yards and a touchdown as well.
Through the air, Bowers completed five of his 10 passes for 47 yards.
Grayson Gilley reeled in three catches for 30 yards. Cullen Ashley added two receptions for 13 yards and Alex Laws caught two passes for eight yards.
Defensively, Knight finished with five tackles, two of which were for losses. Parker Dunne, Kolten Pilar and Cameron Guyton also added five takedowns. Ashley, Barnes, Elliot, and Dominic Maxwell each added four tackles.
For Alleghany, G. Caudill was 6-13 passing for 40 yards. The senior rushed for 34 yards and a score. C. Caudill carried the ball 18 times for 79 yards and a score.
The Huskies held on to its playoff hopes by taking its third victory of the season. Ashe now sits at 3-5 overall and 2-3 in the Mountain Valley Athletic Conference. Alleghany saw its record drop to 2-6 overall and 2-3 in the MVAC.
Other area scores:
Polk County 28, Avery County 7
Surry Central 41, Bishop McGuinness 19
East Burke 33, West Caldwell 7
South Stokes 32, East Surry 3
Hibriten 49, Fred T. Foard 14
Mount Airy 24, North Surry 3
Elkin 21, North Wilkes 20
Starmount 42, West Wilkes 3
Alexander Central 41, Watauga 19
West Stokes 57, North Stokes 20
Wilkes Central 21, East Wilkes 14