The Battle of the Bridge is one of those games Starmount and Elkin football want to win. On Friday night, there was an extra incentive, as both teams had yet to win a game going into the fifth week of football.
With an 0-4 record on both sides of the field, and Elkin looking for revenge after last season’s 48-7 loss, it was Starmount who overcame the Buckin’ Elks to earn a 40-20 win and the Battle of the Bridge trophy. It was the first win of the season for the Rams, and it was one that mattered since it was the first week of conference play.
“We’re used to winning, so we haven’t lost that feeling yet,” said Starmount Head Coach Scott Johnson.
Things started out great for the Rams as they scored a touchdown on their first play of the first quarter. Brenden Eads found a hole in the Elkin defense and didn’t look back as he ran for 51 yards to make the score 6-0 after a missed extra point. It didn’t take long for Elkin to answer back, as it drove down the field to earn its first touchdown of the night. On third-and-eight, the Elks were looking for a big play and they found it. Quarterback Beau Burgess found Jaylen Mayes for a 30-yard pass reception to give Elkin a first down. From there the Elks were able to score a touchdown as Burgess found Mayes once again for a three-yard pass reception. With the extra point good, the Elks took a 7-6 lead at the end of the first quarter. For Elkin, it would be the only lead they would have the rest of the night, and the only touchdown they would score until the fourth quarter.
On the first play of the second quarter, things went a little wobbly for both teams. Starmount fumbled on the 25-yard line and Elkin recovered. Elkin’s recovery didn’t last long as Burgess threw an interception, which Peyton Mullins received. After the interception, Elkin was flagged for holding which gave the Rams a first-and-goal. Starmount took advantage of its field position and Mullins found the endzone with a three-yard run. Starmount lined up to go for two, which they made as Silas Holbrook hauled the pass in to give Starmount a 14-7 lead with 9:49 left in the second quarter.
Four minutes later, the Rams scored another touchdown with Eads taking in his second touchdown of the night with a four-yard carry. The Rams once again went for two, with Mullins carrying the ball in for a two-yard run to give the Rams a 22-7 lead with 5:38 left in the half. With time winding down in the half, the Elks were looking to make a play on second down. As Elkin looked to have a first down, they fumbled and the ball was picked up by Starmount’s Walker Pardue who ran the ball in for a 34-yard touchdown to give the Rams a 28-7 lead going into the half.
The second half saw Eads score his third touchdown of the night, and the Rams go for their fourth two-point conversion which was no good. With Starmount leading 34-7, Elkin took over with 1:40 left in the third quarter. Elkin’s drive started at the Rams’ 39-yard line, and with a six-yard pass to Hayden Brooks and four-yard run by Wagoner, the Elks were able to get a first down. After earning seven yards, Burgess found Mayes for a 12-yard pass to bring the Elks down to five-yard line. With the endzone in sight, Burgess once again found Mayes to earn Elkin’s second touchdown of the night, and their first since the first quarter. With 11:33 left in the game, Elkin made the score 34-14.
Three minutes later, Elkin scored its second touchdown of the fourth quarter as Brooks found the endzone once again with a six-yard touchdown run to bring the Elks within 13 points. While it looked like the Elks were about to pull off a comeback in the fourth quarter, Starmount finally found its second wind as Eads scored his final touchdown.
Starmount went on to win, 40-20, and earn its first trophy of the season. Starmount’s Brenden Eads was voted MVP. The Rams went for five two-point conversions in the game and made two of their attempts throughout the night.
“We were having trouble with our snaps a little bit,” said Johnson. “Our timing was a little bit off so we decided to start going for two instead of kicking.”
Starmount moves to 1-5 overall and 1-0 in the conference. It will face Wast Wilkes (3-2, 0-1) on Friday night. Elkin moves to 0-5, and 0-1. It will match up against North Wilkes (2-3, 0-1) on Friday night.
Kristian Russell can be reached on Twitter @YadkinElkSports.