DANBURY — North Stokes won its first varsity football game in three years last week. The Vikings will have to wait a while for their second.
North Stokes’ award for ending its long losing streak was welcoming Mount Airy, the state’s second-ranked 1A team to Danbury on Friday night. The Granite Bears raced to a big lead in the first half and ran away 62-0 on opening night of Northwest 1A Conference play for both teams. Mount Airy set a new school record by recording back-to-back weeks of 60-plus points against opponents. Last week, the Bears beat rival Surry Central 61-0.
“I congratulated our kids on a conference win and we did what we were supposed to do,” said Mount Airy coach J.K. Adkins. “Tuesday and Wednesday was our best two days of practice, collectively, of the year. Holden (Poindexter) has gotten better each week. We have a lot of talent on this team and we need every one of them.”
Mount Airy forced a fumble on the Vikings’ first possession and took little time in scoring. Poindexter found Wake Forest signee Donavon Greene for a 16-yard touchdown reception. Jackson Tumbarello connected on his first of eight PATs of the evening and made the score 7-0 two minutes into the contest.
North, trying to shake out the jitters of a rocky start, fumbled the ball again, but recovered. Two more plays of negative yardage followed, and Matt Bullins punted the ball away to the 50-yard line. One play later, running back Johnathon Smith scored his first of three touchdowns of the game for a 14-0 advantage.
The Vikings were not very productive on the offensive side of the ball, with the Mount Airy defense swarming on every play. North was forced to punt two more times in the quarter, and the visitors capitalized with a 37-yard pass from Poindexter to Jaedon Hill and a 22-yard dash by Smith. The Bears were comfortable out in front 28-0 after one quarter of play.
The second stanza was no better for the home team. Two more punts by Bullins and another fumble by the offense helped Mount Airy tack on three more touchdowns. A three-yard run by Smith, a 21-yard reception to Armando Estrada, and a three-yard run by Hill left the Bears ahead 49-0 at the half.
With a running clock in the second half, the Vikings were limited to only one possession in the third quarter and two in the fourth. They had small success when Bullins picked up a 13-yard run, and gained North’s only first down of the contest, and then quarterback Christian Shemo completed a 13-yard pass to Nate Knight. Mount Airy scored a touchdown in each quarter, the first on a one-yard run by Tallin Grey, and Estrada ran 31 yards for the final score.
“I just wish our effort was better tonight,” said Viking coach Frank Sessoms. “Mount Airy has a lot of weapons and there is a reason they are a good as they are. I’m just disappointed that we didn’t try harder. I’m okay with losing to a better team, but I’m not okay with us laying down and giving no effort. We have to compete to the best of our ability on every play.”
Bullins led the Vikings with 15 yards rushing, had a 26 yard kick-off return, punted seven times on the night, and collected nine tackles. Mount Airy’s offense tallied 424 total yards, with Poindexter throwing for 145 yards and three touchdowns. Smith rushed for 109 yards and three scores, while Estrada had a catch and a run for touchdowns. Bryce Watson recorded seven tackles and three sacks to lead the Bears on defense.
Mount Airy improves to 7-0 overall and 1-0 in conference play. The Vikings fall to 1-6 and 0-1. The Bears will host South Stokes (1-6) next week as North Stokes will welcome Bishop McGuinness to Danbury for homecoming. Both games will start at 7:30 p.m.
Robert Money can be reached at 336-749-1193.