Ashe County Middle School bounced back from its first loss of the season to defeat North Wilkes, 26-14.
After an interception on the first snap of the game from North Wilkes, the Bulldogs found pay dirt first with a five-yard touchdown run on the option pitch from quarterback Colin Ellis to tailback Judd Price. Ellis completed a pass to Sam Henson for the two-point conversion, making the score 8-0.
The Bulldog defense stood strong again forcing a three and out, and put the ball back in the hands of its explosive offense. Price broke off a big run down the sideline, and was pulled down by his facemask, bringing a 15-yard penalty and putting the ball deep in North Wilkes territory. Dante Shuler powered in for the score from five yards out. After a failed extra point attempt, Ashe held a 14-0 lead with 3:42 left in the first quarter.
Ashe was not done with its first quarter scoring. North Wilkes punted once again, but this time the Bulldog defense broke through and blocked the kick. Ashe took over at the nine-yard line, and quickly put six more points on the scoreboard. Ellis tossed a five-yard TD pass to Chris Lonidier increasing the Ashe lead to 20-0 with 32 seconds left in the quarter.
In the second quarter, the Bulldogs continued to stop the North Wilkes offense. With five minutes left in the first half, Ashe scored again on an 18-yard TD strike from Ellis to Lonidier to take a 26-0 lead. The mercy rule was in effect so no extra point would be tried.
North finally got on the board in the fourth quarter with a 28-yard TD run with 6:30 left in the game, then again with 20 seconds left to make the final score 26-14.
ACMS improved to 5-1 overall. The Bulldogs complete regular season action on Saturday with a game at West Wilkes, and will then wait and see who its first round playoff opponent will be. Playoff games start on Saturday, Oct. 13.