The Greyhounds, who entered the game 1-5 on the season, and 1-0 in MVAC play, scored on their first two possessions of the game. John Hughes scored from 14-yards out 1:30 into the game, and then Tanner Hiatt completed a six-yard pass to Champ Reynolds with 3:35 remaining in the first.
However, Ashe also opened the game up strong, coming out and also scoring on their first drive. After receiving the kickoff from North Surry’s first touchdown, Ashe started their initial drive of the game on their own 31-yard line.
Ashe wasted no time, and with a drive of two plays, covering 69 yards, and eating only 44 seconds off the clock, a 73-yard touchdown run by Jeren Holman tied the score at 7-7 (Richie Absher’s extra-point was good).
The touchdown reception by Champ Reynolds for North Surry, gave them a 14-7 lead, and that score would stand till the second quarter.
After three straight drives that ended in punts for the Huskies, moving the ball only six yards on the three drives, Ashe was finally able to score again. After a nine yard drive, with a little over one minute remaining in the first half, the Huskies defense forced the Greyhounds to punt from their own 24-yard line. Ashe, who was hoping to make a drive to close out the first half, benefited from an eleven-yard punt by Tanner Hiatt for North Surry, and started the drive from the Greyhounds 35-yard line with 1:02 remaining in the first half. Ashe moved the ball 29 yards on five plays to set up the second scoring play of the game by Ashe. With two seconds remaining on the clock, Richie Absher gave the Huskies their tenth point of the game with a 23-yard field goal to cut the North Surry lead to 14-10 heading into halftime.
The second half performance by Ashe’s defense was the deciding factor in the game. After giving up 178 yards in the first half, Ashe held the Greyhounds to only 31 yards in the second half, with the first two drives losing yards for the Greyhounds.
On the first drive for North Surry, a fumble on the second play returned possession to Ashe, and a three and out led to a punt on their second possession, and an interception by Jake Brown, who had two on the night, ended the Greyhounds’ third drive of the half.
Ashe also opened up the second half with two offensive drives that returned empty. On the initial possession, Ashe had five plays, gaining fifteen yards, but punted to the Greyhounds on fourth down, and a turnover on downs lost possession on their second drive. Scoring opened up again for the Huskies on their third possession of the second half when they started a drive from the Greyhounds 30-yard line following another short punt by Tanner Hiatt. Ashe, fueled by a 25-yard run on first down by Aaron Scott moved the ball down to the eight yard line, and Richie Absher punched a 25-yard field goal through the uprights to cut North Surry’s lead once again, 14-13 in favor of the Greyhounds.
With three minutes remaining in the third quarter, the Huskies’ defense once again stopped the Greyhounds. After the defensive stop, the Huskies moved the ball from the Greyhounds 30-yard line down to the fourteen, and attempted their third field goal of the game. This was their longest attempt, a 31-yard attempt by Richie Absher. Absher’s kick was no good, and the score stood North Surry 14, Ashe 13.
Ashe’s defense continued to dominate and forced a punt on the Greyhounds next possession. With a drive starting on their own twenty-yard line, the Greyhounds were able to pick up two first downs on their next drive, moving the ball 21 yards on five plays. However, a punt on fourth down gave the Huskies their second worst starting position of the game. With a drive starting on their own 36-yard line, eight plays, and 64 yards later, a 24-yard run by Jeren Holman gave Ashe their first lead of the game with 3:46 remaining in the game, Huskies ahead 19-14.
North Surry had one last drive at a chance to regain the lead. With 3:40 remaining in the game, the Greyhounds’ offense took the field with starting position of their own 33-yard line. The Greyhounds moved the ball twenty-yards on six plays, and set up for their seventh play of the game, from their own 47-yard line. On fourth and two for the Greyhounds, an interception by Jake Brown returned possession to the Huskies with 1:32 remaining in the game. Two kneel downs by Aaron Scott concluded the game for the Huskies, with a come from behind 19-14 victory.
Ashe, who had only ten yards passing on the night with a pass from Jeren Holman to Jake Brown, tallied 229 yards total offense. 104 yards came in the first half, and 125 yards in the second half. Ashe’s defense, a dominant factor in the game, allowed 178 yards in the first half (128 yards on the first two drives), and then held the Greyhounds to only 31 yards in the second half.
Jeren Holman led Ashe with 166 rushing yards, two touchdowns, averaging 8.3 yards per carry on twenty carries, and a long of 73 yards. Aaron Scott also had a strong game for Ashe gaining 31 yards on 17 carries, and Tatum Lemly added 22 yards on six carries.
On special teams, Buster Phillips averaged 31 yards per punt on four attempts, with a long of 34 yards, and Richie Absher averaged 38.5 yards per kickoff on four kicks. Absher also went 2-3 on field goals, with a long of 25 yards.
The victory for Ashe sets them atop the conference early in the season. Ashe, 1-0, is now tied with Starmount, 2-0, for first place in the conference. Other teams stand at Wilkes Central, North Surry, and Forbush 1-1, Surry Central and North Wilkes 0-2.
The Huskies return to action this week on Friday against North Wilkes. This week marks the Annual Homecoming for Ashe County High School, with various activities being held throughout the week. On Wednesday evening, the Powder Puff game will be held at 7 p.m. at Husky Stadium. Friday’s kickoff will start at 7:30 p.m. against the 1-6 North Wilkes Vikings.