No back luck from Friday the 13th stopped West Stokes from ending East Surry’s winning streak.
The Wildcats shut the Cardinals down 16-9 in a low-scoring, defensive battle at West Stokes High School on Friday night.
Getting the big win over the Cards, who have looked invincible since the start of the season, was an emotional win for the fans, coaches and players of West Stokes.
“I’m happy for all our kids,” Wildcats Coach Jimmy Upchurch said. “These kids deserve to win.”
Even when the the Wildcats were down in the game, they did not give up. Coach Upchurch said that his current team reminds him at times of his 2011 squad, who hammered the competition all the way to a 2A State Championship title.
The Cards got off to a good start on Friday night. About halfway through the first quarter, the Cards pushed their way down the field and Andrew Kozlow kicked a field goal to put the team up 3-0.
Then, the defensive battle between the two teams heated up. Neither side’s offense made it very far for most of the first half, as the two teams traded the ball back-and-forth.
Finally, with just a couple of minutes to go in the first half, West’s Jacob Bratcher stripped the ball from East Surry near the 50-yard line and busted loose for an incredible touchdown run. Afterward, Ricky Kirchenbauer fired off a short pass to Caustin Beckner for the 2-point conversion, which allowed the Wildcats to pull ahead 8-3.
The Cards inched their way down the field in the third quarter. Madison Chilton had a touchdown reception that allowed the team to pull ahead again by one point (9-8).
Things looked bad for the Wildcats at the start of the forth quarter. The team fumbled the ball at their 20-yard line. It looked like the Cards would have an easy chance to bolster their lead.
But, West’s defense held up like a rock. The Cards only inched up to 16 yards of goal by fourth down. The team tried for a field goal, but it was no good.
With about five minutes left in the game, West put together an impressive drive, which brought the team smack dab into Card territory. The Wildcats picked up a first down at the 40-yard line. Then, quarterback Chris Manley fired off a short pass to Dalton Seat, who go the ball to the Cards’ 47-yard line. Manley made another short pass to Malik Banner.
It was West’s Rashad Witherspoon that helped the team down the field the rest of the way and punched in the touchdown with a little over two minutes to play. Witherspoon struck again with the 2-point conversion, which brought the score to 16-9.
The Cards made one last push into Wildcat territory in the final moments of the game, but the Wildcats’ defense held their ground, allowing the team to end the night with a win.
Coach Upchurch said that defensive line coordinator Mark Boyd and his staff had a great game plan for shutting down East’s offensive game.
“I couldn’t be more proud of what they’ve done,” Coach Upchurch said.
In other news, North Stokes lost to West Wilkes 18-10 and South Stokes lost to Alleghany 58-41.