Hate. Hate might be a strong word, but it doesn’t even begin to describe the rivalry between the Starmount Rams and Elkin Buckin’ Elks. Battles on the field and off are what make high school rivalries great, and fans got another taste of an annual tradition, the Battle of the Bridge.
Starmount was looking for revenge after losing 26-0 to Elkin last season, and they got that and so much more Friday night in a 48-7 rout. While he’s humble, the player of the game was clearly senior Brandon Prescott, who scored five touchdowns, four in the second half as Starmount put up 48 unanswered points. Much like he did in the game against Forbush, if he saw a hole, he took it, and he scored.
“Coach told us to run with passion,” Prescott said. “The line did a great job blocking and I found the holes.”
Things didn’t start as pretty for the Rams (3-2, 1-0). The Buckin’ Elks (0-5, 0-1) got things started early with senior Will Altemueller running over the Rams defense for a 10-yard rushing touchdown to put Elkin on top early.
“They had an extra week to prepare for us so they were giving us some looks that we hadn’t seen defensively,” Starmount Head Coach Scott Johnson said.
Starmount failed to drive the ball until late in the first half, when Prescott had a 39-yard touchdown run to pull the Rams within one at halftime.
“We felt like with the play we ran to end the half that we scored on, that was something that as the half progressed we were going to be able to do,” Johnson said.
From there, Prescott broke out and followed up with a 55-yard touchdown run, a 4-yard touchdown run, and then a 72-yard touchdown run. Prescott wasn’t done there though, as he came up with an interception and juked out two defenders for the touchdown return. Prescott already had been honored as Player of the Game in the Unifi Bowl against Forbush two weeks prior, and got the honor yet again Friday night.
It was also a battle of the elements, as heavy wind and rain surrounded the area. As such, it made the run game that much more vital, which played into Starmount’s hands. For seniors like Prescott, they didn’t want to close the book on their history in their four years playing against Elkin with another loss.
“It feels good bringing the trophy back home where it’s supposed to be,” Prescott said.
“I’m just really proud of all of them, and the people that are watching us every week, the real Starmount fans that really are in it for the kids, they see how much they’re growing and how much they’ve improved… They’re young. They’ve got to know that they can play,” Johnson said.
So far, the team has won two trophies of sorts for their wins against Forbush and Elkin, but the next two they’d like to win, the conference championship and state championship have much more meaning.
“It’d mean a lot [to get back to the championship game], seeing where we came from at the beginning of the year to the end of the season but right now we’re just focusing on next week, and we’ll be ready,” Prescott said.
Starmount travels to West Wilkes (2-2), who had its first conference match postponed until Monday night. Gametime on Friday night is TBA, but expected to be at 7:30.
Ryan DeCosta can be reached at 336-258-4052 or via Twitter @rsdecosta.