DANBURY — “Boy, that escalated quickly. I mean, that really got out of hand fast!”
The scene at North Stokes High School wasn’t quite at the level of the fight between rival newscasters in the 2004 comedy Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, but it wasn’t far off. East Surry’s 35 first quarter points started the game off with a bang, with a lot more to come.
It took fewer than 60 seconds for the Cardinals to get on the board. A short run by quarterback Stephen Gosnell set up Logan Ray for a 52-yard touchdown run. Up 7-0 with the clock reading 11:13, kicker Ryan Sutterby kicked off to the Vikings in what would be a busy night for the senior.
The defensive line of East Surry did well to contain the Viking rushing game on the first drive. North Stokes’ Cody Adams gained a few yards, but was short of the first down. A pass by QB Colby Wrenn was batted down by East Surry, forcing the Vikings to punt.
North Stokes would soon get another offensive opportunity by forcing a fumble on Cardinal A.J. Bruton. Again trying to run the ball up the middle with Adams, the Vikings came up short once again and punted on their second three-and-out of the evening.
The pace picked up for East Surry when Gosnell and Logan Ray pounded their way downfield. Ray took the ball into the end zone with 6:34 remaining in the first quarter. Remember that time, 6:34, as the score is 14-0.
The Vikings took to the air on their next drive. Wrenn completed his first pass of the evening to Austin Pruitt on first down. When Wrenn attempted the same pass to Pruitt on second down, East Surry cornerback Nick Hicks intercepted the pass after it bounced out of Pruitt’s control and ran it back 32 yards for a touchdown.
Now down 21-0, North Stokes attempted to pass once again but suffered another pick-six, this time on the drive’s first play. Ray took the ball 36 yards after the interception for another Cardinal defensive touchdown.
North Stokes was able to go without a turnover on the next possession. Unfortunately for them, the Vikings still suffered a three-and-out. The ball was given back to the Cards, who continued to mercilessly run the ball. Gosnell kept it himself on a 27-yard run to put East Surry up 35-0. Remember that 6:34 on the clock? It still hadn’t reached zero by this point.
After a painstaking four drives and 21 points, the first quarter came to an end. The Vikings still couldn’t catch a break and punted after yet another three-and-out.
A monster run from Alex Goins, a name that will be featured heavily from this point on, put the Cards in the red zone once again. The lead would remain at 35, however, due to a fumble by Goins.
Taking over inside of their own 10-yard line wasn’t ideal for the Vikings, who executed conservative runs to prevent a safety. East Surry had good field position after the punt and gave Goins another chance after the fumble. The junior certainly made the most of his opportunity. Goins charged down the field with defenders draped over him. He found the end zone for the first time on a 39-yard TD run to extend the lead to 42-0.
North Stokes then had one of its longer drives of the evening, thanks to the Cardinals’ defense. After a loss of yards on a first down run, a face mask call followed by an encroachment flag on East Surry gave the Vikings a second-and-three scenario. The Cardinal defense made up for its mistakes by forcing an eight-yard loss. Unable to capitalize on what would be East’s lone penalties of the game, the Vikings once again punted.
Kolt Bullington joined Goins as the team’s primary backs with 3:25 remaining until halftime. Bullington steamrolled his way down the field alongside Goins. Goins did lose the ball on one of his runs, but was able to recover it himself. Bullington ran 10 yards for touchdown as time ran out, giving the Cardinals a massive 49-0 lead at halftime.
Now that the game featured a running clock, the third and fourth quarters flew by. With the first half lasting around an hour and 15 minutes, the second half may have lasted 35 minutes. The clock only stopped for injuries and timeouts, which were few and far between in this contest.
The second half didn’t do any favors for the Vikings. North Stokes kept the ball on the ground and managed to move the ball late, even flirting with a touchdown opportunity in the games’ closing minutes, but couldn’t overcome the Cardinals’ defense.
East Surry continued to feed Goins and Bullington, while now including Tanner Tilley to run time off the clock. Tilley joined in on the fun with a 27-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Goins would go on to get his second touchdown of the game with a 39-yard run in the fourth quarter, putting the cherry on top of an already insurmountable lead. The Cardinals would walk away with a 63-0 victory after Sutterby connected on his ninth PAT of the evening.
East Surry recorded an incredible 393 rushing yards, led by Goins’ 144 yards on the ground. The Cardinals only went to the air twice, with Gosnell completing both passes. Interestingly enough, neither team converted on a third down in the game.
East Surry is riding a three-game winning streak and will host South Stokes in the Cardinals’ penultimate game of the regular season before hosting the currently undefeated Mount Airy Bears, likely with the conference title on the line for both teams.
Reach Cory on Twitter @MrCoryLeeSmith