The West Stokes Wildcats completed the 24-21 come from behind win over the Walkertown Wolfpack on Friday, September 18 behind the running of Devan Hairston.
Walkertown got on the board early when they scored 16-seconds into the game on a 74-yard run straight up the middle by Marcus Adams on the first play from the line of scrimmage. Kicker Noe’ Castro spilt the upright for the 7-0 lead.
The Wildcats took possession on their 26-yard line after the kickoff, but quickly relinquished the ball on a fumble on the second play from scrimmage. Walkertown recovered the fumble and Adams scored his second touchdown of the game seven plays later for a 14-0 lead with 8:13 left in the first quarter.
West seemed to settle into their offensive flow on the next possession. The Purple Cats went from their 12-yard line down to Walkertown’s 6-yard where they faced first and goal. The defense stiffened for the Pack and the Wildcats had to settle for a 21-yard field goal from Patrick Ellis at the 4:25 mark of the first quarter.
After trading possessions and forcing the Wolfpack to punt on consecutive possessions the Cats took control of the ball on the Walkertown 45-yard line with 4:45 left in the first half. The Wildcats used the game clock and a spectacular catch by Reid Fulk to set up their first touchdown of the game by Hairston from 3-yards out with only 40-seconds left before the break. Ellis was good on the extra-point and the Wildcats trailed 14-10 at the half.
The Wildcats received the opening kickoff of the second half and marched down to the Wolfpack’s 25 yard line and then threw an interception giving possession back to the Pack. Walkertown’s possession was short lived because they only ran 4-plays and had to punt giving the Wildcats back the ball.
West used a 17-play drive starting on their 32-yard line that covered 8-minutes of the game clock. Hairston ran on 13 of the Wildcats play gaining 44-yards and scoring from 4-yards out to give the Wildcats their first lead in the game with 10:12 to play. Ellis connected on the point after for a 17-14 lead.
The Pack quickly responded and scored from 84-yards out on a pass to Trejon Simpson with 9:17 left in the game. Castro made the extra point for a 21-17 lead.
Never panicking, the Wildcats marched down the field and scored on another long drive. Senior Alex Helvey scored on 12-yard reception on the 10th play of the drive with 5:25 left in the game. Ellis tacked on the point for a 24-21 lead.
The Wildcats forcing the Wolfpack to turn the ball over on downs on their next possession wasn’t without some issues. After taking over on Walkertown’s 20-yard line, the Wildcats fumbled on a questionable call. One official had the ball as being called down where another official had Hairston fumbling on the play. The call gave new life to Walkertown and they moved from their 10-yard line down to around mid-field before the Wildcats’ defense forced a turnover on downs with 44-seconds left in the game.
Hairston set a school record with 36 rushes in the game which accumulated 220-yards and two touchdowns. Helvey had 2-catches for 29-yards and a touchdown, while quarterback Alex Manly finished with 96-yards passing on 7-for-16 with a touchdown and an interception. West Stokes offensive amassed 346-yards of offense.
Defensively for the Wildcats Ty Walker had 12-tackles, while Caustin Beckner and Larry Highfield had eight and seven tackles respectfully.
“I’m really happy to get away with a win against a very talented team,” said Wildcats’ Head Coach Jimmy Upchurch. “I feel really lucky because of the way the game started. They have a lot of speed and I knew going into the game we had to keep their offense off the field by controlling the game clock and keeping their defense out there. We didn’t do so
well in the first half, but the second half we held the ball for almost 19 of the 24-minutes. That was the key to the game! Devan was great out there tonight! I’ve never turned around and been able to give the ball to a kid 36 times in one game. We have had a lot of good running backs come through West, but Devan definitely has an opportunity to make his mark here at West Stokes High School!”
The Wildcats will host former Central Carolina Conference foe North Rowan on Friday, September 25th for homecoming. Game time is set for 7:30pm.
W – Marcus Adams 74-yard run; Noe’ Castro kick (11:44)
W – Adams 4-yard run; Castro kick (8:13)
WS – Patrick Ellis 21-yard field goal (4:25)
WS – Devan Hairston 3-yard run; Ellis kick (0:40)
WS – Hairston 4-yard run; Ellis kick (10:12)
W – Trejon Simpson 84-yard reception from Ian McKnight; Castro kick (9:17)
WS – Alex Helvey 12-yard reception from Alex Manley; Ellis kick (5:25)
West Stokes 3 7 0 14 24
Walkertown 14 0 0 7 21