Ashe County is looking for its first 4-0 start in the Mountain Valley Athletic Conference in seven years. To do that, Ashe will have to keep a hungry East Wilkes squad from getting its first victory of the season.
The Huskies are coming off of a 35-14 win over West Wilkes while the Cardinals are going to try and bounce back from a heartbreaking loss to Elkin. East held a 28-0 lead in that game before the Elks stormed back with 42 unanswered points to get the win.
Ashe started 4-0 in the MVAC in 2006 before finishing arguably the best season in school history. Ashe went 9-3 overall and won its first conference championship in school history, as well as hosted the first home playoff game in school history. Nine wins that season still remains the highest total since the school opened.
East Wilkes has a potent ground attack that has helped the Cardinals score a bunch of points this season. The Cardinals run a triple option offense, and have scored at least three touchdowns in every game this season but one. East Wilkes is fourth in the conference in scoring with 192 points this season.
On the flip side, however, East Wilkes has struggled mightily with turnovers, and on defense, where they have allowed more points than any team in the MVAC (272).
“They (East Wilkes) are averaging a ton of yards, they are just snake bit by turnovers,” said Head Coach Brian Hampton after last week’s win.
Last year, the Cardinals made life tough on Ashe, earning a 23-8 win that actually sent the Cardinals to the playoffs with a 2-8 record.
“That’s a team that really dominated us last year in the last game of the year. We could not stop their option game,” Hampton said. “We’ve got our work cut out, we’ve just got to come out and have a good, solid week of practice and get better and hopefully we’ll be alright.”
East Wilkes turned the ball over three times against Elkin and seven times against Alleghany two weeks ago.
The Cardinals have also been battling injury concerns, including starting tailback and leading rusher, Jathan Sales. Sales missed last week’s game with a concussion. According to the Wilkes Journal Patriot, Sales is a game-time decision for this week.
Kickoff will be at 7:30 p.m.
Score prediction: Ashe 45, East Wilkes 26
Other area games:
Bishop McGuinness at East Surry
Carver at North Surry
Elkin at West Wilkes
Hibriten at Watauga
North Wilkes at Starmount
Polk County at Avery County
South Stokes at Surry Central
Walkertown at North Stokes
West Caldwell at West Lincoln
West Stokes at Forbush
Wilkes Central at Alleghany