The second week of high school football has rolled into town, and local teams are ready for action. Once again, Mount Airy, Surry Central and East Surry will be enjoying home cooking, while North Surry hits the road for a tilt against a resurgent Elkin team.
West Stokes at Mount Airy
The Granite Bears opened the season with a win last Friday night, but the team’s 28-7 victory over Starmount left a sour taste in the mouths of the coaching staff, who felt like the Rams had played harder than their team did.
In terms of the quality of performance, the Wildcats are in about the same spot as Mount Airy. West Stokes beat visiting South Stokes, now a member of Mount Airy’s Northwest 1A Conference, 35-14 last Friday night. The Wildcats displayed a balanced offensive attack, running for 160 yards on 35 carries and four touchdowns, while junior quarterback Tyler Smith completed nine of 16 passes for 220 yards and another score. A pair of sophomores, Amon Conrad (7-69) and Chris Brown (12-55) did most of the damage running the ball. Five different players caught passes for West, with junior Zan Sandlin (3-76) and senior Landon Wilkins (3-51, TD) doing the most damage.
Defensively, senior linebacker Ty Walker had 17 of West’s 68 tackles in the game.
If there’s a concern for the Bears in week two, it will be taking better care of the ball. Mount Airy had four turnovers last week and was minus-3 in that department for the game, helping keep them from breaking the game open despite 406 yards of total offense on just 34 offensive snaps.
These teams met in the second week a year ago and the Bears won 21-7, but there has been significant turnover in personnel for both schools.
North Surry at Elkin
The Buckin’ Elks kicked off 2017 in the best way possible by earning their first win since Oct. 5, 2016. Elkin put up a fight against Surry Central and got a 31-14 win.
This week the Elks will host North Surry, which is coming off of a 25-6 win over 3A North Forsyth. The impressive performances put up by both teams last week arguably makes this the week’s marquee matchup.
Beau Burgess, Jaylen Mayes and Hayden Brooks were all top players for the Buckin’ Elks last week. On Friday night, the Elks will face a tough defensive line in North Surry. If the Elks can place the ball in Mayes’ hands, they can rely on his speed to get the yards. If the ball finds Brooks’ hands, the Elks can rely on his strength to make the tough plays. As strong as the Elks are on offense, the Greyhounds are just as strong, as they demonstrated by running over the Vikings for 300 yards on a muddy field last week.
This season, North Surry has 25 seniors compared to Elkin’s 16. With experience leaning towards North Surry, Elkin will have to make things up with a strong defensive line. On defense, Ty Townsend can make the plays for Elkin just as he did last week against Surry Central. Elkin’s offense and defense will have to come together as North Surry is bound to be strong out of the gate.
Kick off is set for 7:30 p.m. in Elkin.
East Wilkes at Surry Central
The only thing that can be said about the East Wilkes Cardinals is how good of a football team they are. Last week, the Cardinals put on a show of offensive and defensive talent against East Surry. East Wilkes was able to start off the season in high fashion, as it took a 36-20 win over a top 1A team.
This week the Cardinals face off against Surry Central, who lost to Elkin last week. If East Wilkes brings the same power it brought out last week in Pilot Mountain, things should run smoothly. Central’s defensive line must contain Wilkes quarterback Bryce Vestal, who gave East Surry fits last week, while Damien Reid and Deven Couch can make things interesting from the running back positions.
Surry Central got off to a slow start in its first game after suffering severe graduation losses from last year’s 11-2 team. The Eagles will hope that week two of the season shows marked improvement in all phases of the game.
Kick off is set for 7:30 p.m. in Dobson.
Starmount at East Surry
The Rams and the Cardinals are both looking for their first win of the 2017 season. Last week, Starmount lost to Mount Airy, while East Surry lost to East Wilkes. This week both teams will be vying for the win in this non-conference match-up.
For Starmount to take a win over East Surry, the defense is going to have to focus its attention on Joey Ray and Jefferson Boaz. The running back and quarterback rely on each other to get the downs needed. If the Rams can come out of the gate with their focus on those two players, things could fall in Starmount’s favor.
On offense, the Rams are going to have to toughen up and work to get the tough yards. East Surry’s defensive line is one of the toughest lines in the 1A. Starmount will have to rely on speed and determination to make it to the end zone.
Kick off is set for 7:30 p.m. in Pilot Mountain.
Mount Airy News sports editor John Cate also contributed to this report.