North Surry started the Homecoming celebration early with a fireworks show in the first half.
Two plays into the second quarter, the Greyhounds led 42-0 over Atkins, then cruised to a 56-16 win. That puts North back above .500.
“We’re 3-2, but I feel like we could be 4-1 or 5-0,” said coach Danny Lyons, referring to two very close losses to East Surry and Mount Airy.
After a tough loss, kids can get down on themselves, but Lyons said this has been the best week of practice after a loss that he has seen as a coach. The boys kept a good attitude all week.
Quarterback Avery Smith accounted for six touchdowns — five passing and one rushing — and the defense created two scores off fumble recoveries.
At the start, North was a little overeager and committed two offsides penalties that helped Atkins pick up a couple of first downs. Then the defense clamped down.
The punt hit a player and deflected up into the air. Markel Woodbury caught the ball and returned it to the Atkins 34-yard line.
On the next play, Reid Stanley lined up in the slot and caught a short post pass over the middle. He raced away from his defender, then broke a tackle near the 5-yard line to reach the end zone. One play, one score, and North led 7-0 with 7:34 left in the quarter.
On the ensuing kickoff, Jacob McHone went down and was holding his knee. He limped off the field and did not return.
Casey Hull had a big sack to knock Atkins backward nine yards.
After the three-and-out, the punt was shanked and only made it from the end zone to the 7-yard line.
On the next snap, Colton Acord started outside left and broke across the middle. Smith hit Acord for the 7-yard TD strike to make it 14-0 with 6:03 left.
Atkins started the next drive on the 22, but another big sack from Hull had the Camels back at their goal line.
A bad snap in the shotgun put the ball on the ground, and Chase Summers dove on it for a touchdown. That made it 21-0, the third score in 3 1/2 minutes.
Kicker Izzy Garcia blooped a kickoff toward the left sideline. Atkins bobbled the ball, and Acord dove forward and secured the ball before sliding out of bounds. That gave North great position at the 27-yard line.
North lined up multiple receivers to the left and threw a bubble screen to Acord who raced 27 yards to the end zone.
That meant that North Surry had run a total of three plays from scrimmage and led 28-0 with 3:55 left in the first.
After another three-and-out, Atkins boomed a punt that backed North up to its 15-yard line. However, that just gave the Hounds more room to run.
Acord caught a pass on a short stop route, beat his man on the wide side of the field and raced 43 yards before the defense could catch up.
That was the end of the first quarter.
On the next snap, Smith scrambled and took off 25 yards to the end zone to make it 35-0.
Atkins started on its 20, but had a fumble near the 15. Darius Duncan caught the ball on the bounce and raced into the end zone to make it 42-0 with just a minute gone from the quarter.
The Camels finally strung together a good drive, picking up three first downs all the way into the red zone.
The defense forced a fumble, and Duncan had his second recovery, this time at the 3-yard line to prevent a score.
The Hounds earned three first downs themselves, moving to the Atkins 35. Then Smith had his only interception of the night on a catchable pass that bounced off a receiver’s hands.
North committed a 15-yard penalty at the end of the run to give Atkins starting position on the North side of the 50.
Atkins had a fumble, but the Hounds also had a fumble, and the Camels took over in the red zone. The Camels had a 12-yard TD run with 1:46 left in the half.
Smith hit Chase Chandler for an 18-yard crossing route, then Smith made a 28-yard run himself to the Atkins 31.
Atkins hit Smith late on an incompletion, and the 15-yard penalty moved the ball to the 16.
After a sack back to the 25, Smith hit Acord for a 25-yard TD to make it 49-8 at the half.
To open the second half, Smith hit Stanley, who weaved up the right side for 53 yards to the 11-yard line. Then Smith hit Eli Oakes in the left corner with a soft floater to make it 56-8.
Eli is the fastest kid on the team, but the junior is still learning to play receiver, said Lyons. This was his first catch, and it went for a touchdown.
Atkins scored a second TD, with a two-point conversion, in the final minute with several reserves in for the Hounds.
Smith finished with 11-18 passing for 210 yards and five TDs. That gives him 20 TDs for the season, noted Lyons.
The QB also had six carries for 76 yards and another TD.
Acord had four catches for 102 yards and three TDs. He also had his fumble recovery and a big hit on the Atkins quarterback on a keeper that got the team fired up.
Stanley had two catches for 89 yards and a touchdown.
Hull not only had two sacks, but finished with about a dozen total tackles, according to Lyons.
Kicker Izzy Garcia finished a perfect 8-8 on extra points.
Izzy has worked really hard at his job, and special teams coach Tyler Hiatt deserves credit for his work, said Lyons.
The team was really crisp in the first half, but the defense has to be more disciplined against the run next week, said the coach.
The Hounds travel to West Stanly (2-2 before Friday’s game), which features a dynamic running game.
They have a tailback named Malik Jackson who is very good, said the coach.
In the first four weeks of the season, Jackson averaged 153 yards rushing on a 7.3-yard average.
West Stanly is east of Charlotte, about a two-hour ride by car and longer on a team bus.
Reach Jeff at 415-4692 and on Twitter @SportsDudeJeff.