SPARTA — The quest for three straight Mountain Valley Athletic Conference Championships will start on the road as Ashe travels to Alleghany this Friday night.
The Huskies are coming off of its first victory of the season, a 45-38 thriller at Alexander Central.
Junior quarterback Colin Ellis tied a school record with six touchdown passes with three of those going to Judd Price, two to Maison McNeill and one to Grant Thompson.
Ashe County’s defense stepped up and forced seven Cougar turnovers in the victory.
This is the second straight year that Ashe has knocked off a 4A school on the road.
Alleghany (1-3) has had an extra week to prepare for the Huskies and they are also coming off of the team’s first win of the season, a 24-14 win over South Stokes on Sept. 11.
This game will be the conference opener for both programs.
The Trojans, coached by Frank Sessoms, started the season with a 23-0 loss at North Stokes. After that, Alleghany lost a close one to state line rival Grayson County, 41-28, and a 34-22 loss to Bishop-McGuinness.
Much like the rest of the teams that Ashe County has faced this year, the Trojans will hope to use its ground game to get a victory.
As a team, the Trojans have rushed for 855 yards and five touchdowns through four games.
Junior tailback Kaleb Redd leads Alleghany with 302 yards on 64 carries and three touchdowns. Jose Renteria-Cruz has 185 rushing yards and Tristen Villarruel has 171 rushing yards and one touchdown. Scott Collins has 135 rushing yards that all came in Alleghany’s last game against South Stokes. Collins did not play in the previous three contests.
Under center for the Trojans will be sophomore Brett Pope. Pope is very much a pass-first quarterback as he has ran the ball only three times on the season. The sophomore has completed just 15-of-47 passes (32-percent) for 277 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions.
The few times Alleghany will pass, the ball will probably be headed in the direction of senior tight end Avery Hash. The 6-5, 240-pounder was a preseason NCPreps 1A All-State selection. Hash has six catches for 84 yards and two touchdowns. Hash is also a tremendous blocker and will be trying to clear the way for the Trojan running backs to get down field.
Defensively, junior Jordan Mihalke has been all over the field for Alleghany, leading the team with 39 tackles, averaging almost 10 tackles per game. Senior Matthew McMillan has 30 tackles and three quarterback sacks and junior defensive back Keaton Albertson has picked off three passes.
Kickoff will be at 7:30 p.m. from Woodruff Stadium in Sparta.
Other area games
Atkins at East Surry
Burns at East Burke
Cherryville at Forbush
East Wilkes at North Wilkes
Elkin at Starmount
Fred T. Foard at Freedom
Hickory at Morganton-Patton
Maiden at Bunker Hill
Mountain Heritage at Hendersonville
North Rowan at West Stokes
North Stokes at Bishop McGuinness
North Surry at West Stanly
Charles D. Owen at Avery County
South Caldwell at Hibriten
South Iredell at Alexander Central
St. Stephens at Watauga
Surry Central at Salisbury
West Caldwell at Newton-Conover
West Wilkes at Wilkes Central
Floyd County (Va.) at Grayson County (Va.)
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-846-7164 or followed on Twitter @NathanHam87