KERNERSVILLE — After two tough losses to strong teams playing at a higher classification, East Surry was anxious to get back on the winning track as Northwest 1A Conference play began on Friday night.
Bishop McGuinness was no doubt happy to see the 11th-ranked Cardinals make tracks back to Pilot Mountain after East Surry administered a 56-7 beating to the Villains in a game that wasn’t even that close.
The Cardinals (5-2, 1-0) scored five touchdowns in the first quarter and began toying with Bishop after that, shifting players around to different positions and continuing to put points on the board. East Surry led 49-0 at halftime, and played the entire second half with a running clock.
Bishop McGuinness (4-3, 0-1) got its only score of the game in the third quarter against the Cardinals’ reserves. The Villains had won four in a row and were coming off a bye week after an 84-8 win back on Sept. 21, but were no match for East.
If Bishop was expecting another track meet like the one two weeks before, the Cardinals quickly disabused them of the notion. The Cardinals forced a Bishop fumble two minutes into the game, and Stephen Gosnell ran three yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead with 9:33 left in the first quarter.
The Cardinals quickly got the ball back when Jefferson Boaz intercepted a pass from Villain quarterback Mac McAlhany, and then Gosnell took command of the offense and threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to Landon Stevens.
The Cardinals’ defense wasn’t done making life miserable for Bishop. The Villains’ next series ended in another fumble. Gosnell immediately threw a 28-yard strike to Boaz with 6:53 left in the opening quarter of play.
The defense forced Bishop into a three-and-out, and Gosnell led the team on a 71-yard drive that ate up about four minutes before Gosnell threw to Boaz for a 13-yard touchdown. Derek Sutterby’s PAT gave East a 28-0 lead at the 2:16 mark of the first.
The Cardinals got the ball back and scored again shortly before the opening period ended, ths time with Boaz at quarterback throwing a 30-yard touchdown pass to Dillon Mosley for a 35-0 lead with 32 seconds remaining in the quarter.
Boaz found the end zone again about two minutes into the second quarter, running 18 yards to paydirt. The score was now 42-0, but the mercy rule can’t kick in before halftime. Fortunately for the Villains, East Surry backed off the throttle.
The Cardinals did score again on their next possession, after Gunnar Jones sacked McAlhany and forced Bishop to punt from its own end zone. Logan Ray ran four yards for a touchdown with 5:45 left in the first half and East held a commanding 49-0 hafltime lead. The Villains had an impressive drive into the East red zone right before the half, but the Cardinals’ Landon Stevens intercepted McAlhany to end the threat.
When the second half got under way, both teams just wanted to get the game in the books with no one getting hurt, and play proceeded quickly.
Bishop broke the shutout four minutes into the second half, after Niel Ingle recovered a fumble and returned it 48 yards for a touchdown. Boaz wasn’t impressed, and he scored yet again with 4:20 left in the third, on a 12-yard run.
Boaz was all over the field for East Surry, completing five of seven passes for 93 yards and a score, running twice for 28 yards and scoring on both, and catching four passes for 48 yards and two more touchdowns. He also had three tackles and an interception playing defense.
Gosnell completed eight of 13 passes for 123 yards and three scores, while carrying the ball 10 times for 95 yards. Ray had six carries for 58 yards and a score. Stevens led the receving corps with two catches for 62 yards. Hoyt Bullington led the East defense with seven tackles, while Isaac Washington had five, including two for losses. Hoyt Bullington and Jones each had a sack of McAlhany, and Hoyt Bullington recovered three Bishop fumbles.
East Surry comes back home next week to play Winston-Salem Prep (3-4, 0-1 NW1A), which lost 21-20 to South Stokes in its conference opener.