ELKIN — Last week, the Elkin Buckin’ Elks football team won its first game in over 16 months. This week, the Elks proved it was no fluke. However, the players on the other side of the field were pretty good themselves, and week two of the 2017 season saw North Surry emerge still unbeaten.
Elkin managed to score first against a Greyhounds team that had clobbered them 40-6 a year ago, but North Surry had a little too much on both sides of the ball and came away with a 35-14 victory on Friday night.
“Hats off to Elkin,” said North Surry head coach Danny Lyons. “They are much improved from the last two or three years that we’ve played them.”
Things started off shaky for both teams in the first quarter. North Surry’s defense held the Elks on their first possession, then the Elks held the Greyhounds on their first possession. As both teams tried to figure out the best offensive plays to make, the Buckin’ Elks were the first team to strike.
Elkin had a short field as North Surry punted to the 35-yard line. From there, the Elks took control. Beau Burgess handed the ball off to Colt Henderson who beat three defenders to find the end zone. The extra point was good as the Elks took a 7-0 lead over North Surry.
The lead didn’t last long for the Elks as North Surry answered back on its next possession. The Greyhounds started their drive at their 34-yard line. After two plays that resulted in a loss of yards and a flag that pushed North Surry back even further, the Greyhounds found new life after a flag was thrown against Elkin. With a new set of downs on the board, the Greyhounds made the most of it.
“We had 13 penalties, and that was the one thing I saw that I wasn’t happy with,” Lyons said.
However, the Hounds overcame it. Nick Badgett ran 20 yards to get North Surry to the Elkin 37. From there the Greyhounds found their groove, and quarterback Chase Swartz, who went 6-for-6 passing on the drive, found the hands of Darius Duncan for a 20-yard touchdown pass. The Greyhounds tied the game, 7-7, and the momentum shifted to North Surry.
“That was the first time we’d faced any adversity this season, granted it’s only the second game of the season,” said Lyons, “but I liked the way we handled it when they scored.”
At the end of the first quarter the score was tied 7-7, but it didn’t last long. Just 58 seconds into the second quarter, the Hounds scored their second touchdown of the night. Duncan found the end zone to give the Greyhounds a 14-7 lead over Elkin.
Elkin kept driving down the field, but North Surry’s defense proved to be too strong for the Buckin’ Elks. Elkin went three-and-out on its next drive which resulted in a punt.
“Our defense has been outstanding in both of our games this season,” said Lyons. “Our first-string defense has allowed one touchdown in two games. We’re getting great leadership from Nic Rodriguez and Avery Simmons, and Elijah Odum had four tackles for losses last night.”
Hayden Brooks’ punt put the Greyhounds on the 41-yard line. North Surry drove down the field making key plays to score another touchdown to take a 21-7 lead.
With 3:52 left in the second quarter, the Buckin’ Elks had the ball and were looking for another touchdown. With four downs to go, Burgess found Tanner Sturdivant for a seven-yard run to the 45-yard line. On second down, Burgess handed the ball off the Brooks who ran for a first down at the 38-yard line.
However, the Greyhound defense drew the line there. On fourth down and two, the Buckin’ Elks decided to go for it. Unfortunately things didn’t go as planned as North Surry intercepted the pass and returned it to Elkin’s 30-yard line.
The short field swayed to North Surry’s advantage. The Greyhounds scored another touchdown as Sammy McMillian beat three tackles to find the end zone.
At the end of the first half, North Surry had a 28-7 lead over Elkin.
Neither team was able to score in the third quarter as the defense came to play.
In the final quarter, the Hounds scored on their first drive. Chandler Hawks found the end zone on a 21-yard touchdown run to give North Surry a 35-7 lead.
With time winding down, Elkin was able to score on its next drive. The play started on the 23-yard line and the Elks ended the drive with a touchdown. Brooks was able to bring a pack of Greyhounds with him across the goal line to give Elkin its second touchdown of the night.
From there both teams tried to keep up the energy, but it was too little too late for the Buckin’ Elks. North Surry was able to kneel the game out and the Greyhounds handed Elkin its first lost of the season.
Swartz completed 17 of 27 passes for 256 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Greyhounds’ attack.
“We’ve been rotating Chase and Brent (Crouse), but Chase had the hot hand last night so we stayed with him for the most part,” said Lyons. “It was great to see him play like that.”
Elkin moves to 1-1 overall, and will host Mount Airy (2-0) next week. North Surry will host county rival East Surry (1-1), a 39-20 winner over Starmount on Friday night.