DOBSON — A second-half surge from East Wilkes lifted the Cardinals to 2-0 with a 40-22 win over Surry Central.
The Cardinals’ floor recreation rushed for 228 yards and 4 touchdowns within the second half, turning a 14-12 halftime deficit right into a 40-14 lead halfway via the fourth quarter. Junior Anthony Graham led the workforce with 243 yards dashing and three touchdowns.
The Golden Eagles fought again with a late landing and 2-point conversion, nevertheless it was too late to spark a comeback.
““It feels nice to be 2-0” stated East Wilkes coach Jonathan Wilmoth, who has the Cardinals at 2-0 for the primary time since 2017.
“It’s good for our children and for our group to begin 2-0, particularly coming off that COVID season. I used to be telling our children that we have to present up, and that it took us too lengthy to get going within the first half. We challenged them at halftime they usually stepped as much as the plate and performed properly.”
Central had an opportunity to begin 2-0 having defeated Alleghany 31-7 in week one, however coach Monty Southern knew he was in for a battle within the Eagles’ house opener.
“I knew getting in that East Wilkes was actually good,” Southern stated. “I used to be actually impressed with what I’d seen from them on movie and knew they’d a variety of expertise. I believe they’ve obtained a very good group of children. We had been prepared for the problem when the sport began and performed properly the primary half, however issues obtained out of hand somewhat within the second.”
Leaving meat on the bone
Surry Central’s operated like a well-oiled machine for a lot of the first half. Karson Crouse, Logan Priddy, Avery Wilmoth and Memphis Bolatto mixed for twenty-four carries for 187 yards dashing, and the Eagles scored on its first two possessions.
“We did a greater job of spreading the work round within the first half,” Southern stated. “They weren’t actually in a position to key in on anyone.”
The Cardinals acquired the opening kickoff, however needed to punt earlier than recording a primary down. Penalties for unlawful process and an ineligible receiver damage East Wilkes on the drive.
The Eagles methodically moved the chains with an 11-play drive that chewed up 5:22 of recreation time. Priddy capped off the drive with brief landing run that was adopted by a profitable PAT from Jacob Edmonds.
East Wilkes solely wanted 4 performs and a pair of:05 of recreation time to retaliate. After a brief run from Brody Martin, quarterback Briggs Gentry made an choice pitch to Graham for a 44-yard achieve. A Gentry run put the Playing cards inside the ten, and Graham scored on a 9-yard TD run. Central’s Dante Watson blocked the PAT to maintain the rating at 7-6.
Central in hassle on its second drive after East’s Brennan Arnder sacked Avery Wilmoth on the finish of the primary quarter, however then the QB responded by breaking free for a 66-yard run on third down to begin the second quarter. Crouse punched in a three-yard TD run and Edmonds made his second PAT to make it 14-6.
Wilmoth completed the sport with 16 carries for 131 yards dashing.
Friday’s recreation wasn’t full of turnovers. In truth, the 2 groups solely mixed for 2: East Wilkes turned the ball over on downs when the ball was snapped over the punters head and he scrambled for a number of yards, then Surry Central misplaced a fumble within the second half.
What actually damage the Eagles, Southern stated, was not profiting from good area place.
“It occurred a number of occasions, and people are issues folks could not bear in mind after recreation nevertheless it makes an enormous distinction,” he stated. “We left some meat on the bone and it price us in the long term.”
The unhealthy snap occurred on East Wilkes’ subsequent drive and allowed Central to take over on the Cardinals’ 40. The Eagles didn’t get a primary down and needed to punt away.
East confronted a three-and-out of its personal and punted from the top zone. Surry Central once more began in Cardinal territory, however punted after transferring the chains simply as soon as.
East Wilkes moved the ball extra effectively in its last drive of the half. Graham, Martin and Gentry every picked up respectable beneficial properties earlier than an Avery Wilmoth sack arrange fourth-and-5. It was then that Gentry made his solely completion of the primary half, a 16-yard move to Graham. Graham adopted with a 30-yard TD run with 1:42 left within the half. A failed 2-point conversion left the rating at 14-12.
The Golden Eagles moved shortly up the sector and into Cardinal territory. Priddy ran 19 yards earlier than being tackled with 4.2 seconds on the clock, and Southern referred to as a timeout to ship out the sector purpose unit. Edmonds was set to try a 40-yard area purpose earlier than a false begin on Central made it a 45-yard try. Edmonds’ try got here up a few yard in need of the crossbar.
Jonathan Wilmoth’s halftime speech didn’t characteristic the revealing of brand name new, never-before-seen performs, nor did he seriously change up the Cardinals’ technique.
“We didn’t make a single adjustment at halftime,” he stated. “We advised the youngsters to do what they had been imagined to do and challenged them to really do it. We simply weren’t executing early within the recreation…it was sloppy. However we didn’t change a factor.”
East Wilkes’ execution improved in all three phases. Central acquired the second-half kickoff and, aside from an 11-yard run by Crouse on the primary play from scrimmage, didn’t get greater than eight yards on a single play till late within the fourth quarter. The Eagles saved the ball for 4:35 however needed to punt from midfield.
The Playing cards adopted with their longest play from scrimmage all recreation. Graham took a handoff within the backfield and weaved via 95 yards of site visitors for the landing. Gentry handed to Kole Lambert for the 2-point conversion.
Central acquired the following kickoff however fumbled on the return. East Wilkes’ Titus Miller recovered the fumble on the Central 22. The Cardinals scored two performs in a while a Martin 3-yard run, and Hank Porter nailed the PAT to make it 27-14 in favor of the Cardinals.
With 6:38 left within the third quarter, Central gave up two fast scores, misplaced a fumble and had two of its beginning gamers dominated out for the rest of the sport.
“The personnel they’ve with scheme they run is fairly robust to cease,” Southern stated. “After they put two scores on us back-to-back that actually damage us, and it actually didn’t assist dropping two of our massive weapons.”
The Eagles had been overwhelmed on their subsequent possession and needed to punt on a three-and-out. East Wilkes adopted with nine-play drive that began with 4:20 left within the third quarter and ended with 11:14 remaining within the fourth. When confronted with fourth-and-1, Graham ran for 34 yards to place the Playing cards on the 6-yard line. The drive ended with a 3-yard TD run by Weston Brown and PAT from Porter.
Together with his 53 yards receiving, Graham completed the night time with 296 complete yards.
“I believe that Anthony is a really explosive participant,” Coach Wilmoth stated. “We play him each methods, so we attempt to use him once we want him. He simply matches properly with the opposite gamers that now we have on the workforce. I’ve been actually happy along with his execution and stage of play over these final two video games.”
Coach Wilmoth praised all of the workforce’s working backs in addition to the offensive line. East Wilkes completed the night time with 415 complete yards, comprising of 32 carries for 362 yards dashing and 6 dashing touchdowns in addition to three completions for 53 yards passing.
East added its last factors of the night time with 5:06 left within the fourth quarter. Easton Martin scored on an 18-yard TD run, however the PAT was no good to make it 40-14.
“The offensive line has executed such an important job of this yr of coming collectively,” Coach Wilmoth stated. “Coach Tyler Conlon is new to our program. He’s doing our OL and he’s doing an important job.”
Surry Central saved preventing again, and managed to attain one last time with 1:08 left within the recreation. The 11-play, 4:00 drive ended with Ayden Wilmoth scoring a 26-yard dashing TD and Crouse working within the 2-point conversion.
The Golden Eagles completed with 301 complete yards. This got here from 279 yards dashing and three dashing TDs on 43 carries, in addition to 4 completions for 22 yards passing.
“I advised the blokes after the sport and we’ll reinforce it Monday: we wish to play the great groups and learn to beat the great groups,” Southern stated. “Transferring ahead, now we have to simply concentrate on us. Now we have to be extra constant whereas conserving our power stage up the entire recreation, it doesn’t matter what occurs.
Surry Central (1-1) continues its non-conference schedule subsequent week when the Eagles host Mount Ethereal (1-0). East Wilkes goes on the highway subsequent week to face West Caldwell (0-1).
East Wilkes – 6, 6, 15, 13 = 40
Surry Central – 14, 0, 0, 8 = 22
4:40 SCHS 7-0 – Logan Priddy 1-yard rush TD, Jacob Edmonds PAT
2:35 EWHS 7-6 – Anthony Graham 9-yard rush TD, PAT blocked by Surry Central’s Dante Watson
11:35 SCHS 14-6 – Karson Crouse 3-yard rush TD, Jacob Edmonds PAT
1:42 EWHS 14-12 – Anthony Graham 30-yard rush TD, 2-point conversion no good
7:05 EWHS 14-20 – Anthony Graham 95-yard rush TD, Briggs Gentry move to Kole Lambert good for 2-point conversion
6:38 EWHS 14-27 – Brody Martin 3-yard rush TD, Hank Porter PAT
11:14 EWHS 14-34 – Weston Brown 3-yard rush TD, Hank Porter PAT
5:06 EWHS 14-40 – Easton Martin 18-yard rush TD, PAT no good
11:35 SCHS 14-6 – Ayden Wilmoth 26-yard rush TD, Karson Crouse carries for the 2-point conversion
Attain Cory on Twitter @MrCoryLeeSmith