The Wildcats traveled to 3A North Iredell High School on Friday, September 4 to take on the Red Raiders. West Stokes jumped out early and cruised to a 36-16 non-conference victory to move to 3-0 on the season.
After each team’s defense forced a sack on their first possession, the Wildcats took their second possession of the game and moved 55-yards in 12-plays. Devan Hairston scored the first of his four touchdowns of the night from the 1-yard line. After a penalty moved the Cats closer on the extra-point attempt, they went for two and converted from the one and half yard line for an 8-0 lead with 3:18 left in the first quarter.
On the Raiders pursuing kickoff, they took possession on their own 20-yard line. They consumed 80-yards in 17 plays and churned over 8-minutes of the game clock off when they scored a touchdown with 8:21 left before the half. The two-point conversion failed and the Wildcats led 8-6.
West responded on their next possession and marched 80-yards and scored on Hairston’s 53-yard dash to the end zone with 2:35 showing on the game clock. Patrick Ellis converted on the extra-point and the Purple Cats’ lead grew to 15-6.
The Red Raiders went into a 2-minute offense and moved 40-yards in one play with the help of a personal foul by the Wildcats. Starting from the Wildcats 25-yard line, the defense stiffened North Iredell’s offense and limited the Red Raiders to a field goal with 29-seconds left in the half.
“I’m really happy with the way we played in the first half,” stated Wildcats head coach Jimmy Upchurch. “Our offense moved the ball and used some game clock and our defense held a very fast North Iredell team to limited yards and only 9-points in the half.”
The Wildcats forced the Raiders to turn the ball over on downs when they stopped the Raiders from converting a fourth and short situation from the North 45-yard line.
“That was a big play,” said Upchurch. “They were confident enough in their offense to go for it, but our defense came up with a big tackle for loss from Goad (Josh) and our defense. Just like against Mount Airy, our team used the momentum and punched it in to take a little out of them and give us a bigger cushion.”
Quarterback Alex Manley connected with fellow senior Alex Helvey for an 11-yard touchdown reception. A two-point conversion by Hairston and the lead grew to 23-9 entering the fourth quarter.
West scored on their first and second drives of the quarter to put the game away when Hairston scored from 10-yards and 23-yards respectfully. Ellis connected on one of two extra point tries for a 36-9 lead.
The Raiders scored a late touchdown with 1:49 left in the game when they scored on a 50-yard broken play from Tanner Summers. Curtin Fox kicked the extra point for the final score.
“To hold North to 16-points and limit their offense was good for our defense,” echoed Upchurch. “We were really worried coming into the game about their offense and the four running backs they have.
They are all really fast! Offensively, we moved the ball on them and Hairston was great behind our offensive line play,” Upchurch said.
West gained 367-yards of offense on the evening. Hairston finished with 171-yards on 24 carries and 4-touchdowns. Manley passed the ball for 126-yards on 9-of-15 and no interceptions. Helvey finished with 4-catches for 48-yards.
The Wildcats held the Raiders to 247-yards of offense in the game with 80-yards coming on the last possession of the game. Caustin Beckner led the Cats with 15-tackles, while Matthew Craver and Ty Walker finished with 12 and 11-tackles respectfully.
The undefeated Wildcats will host East Surry (3-0) on Friday night, with kickoff scheduled for 7:30pm. The JV teams will play at East Surry High School on Thursday at 7:00pm.
WS – Devan Hairston 1-yard run; Hairston run (3:48)
NI – Tanner Summers 4-yard run; run failed (8:21)
WS – Hairston 53-yard run; Patrick Ellis Kick (2:36)
NI – Curtis Fox 38-yard field goal (0:29)
WS – Alex Helvey 11-yard reception from Alex Manley; Hairston run (7:54)
WS – Hairston 10-yard run; kick blocked (7:41)
WS – Hairston 23-yard run; Ellis Kick (3:26)
NI – Summers 50-yard run; Fox Kick (1:49)
West Stokes 8 7 8 13 36
North Iredell 0 9 0 7 16