West Stokes stayed undefeated in the Western Piedmont Conference breezing through a 49-8 win against South Stokes Friday night, marking their fifth straight victory.
Going in, it was an uphill battle for the Sauras who’ve struggled with a 0-9 season and have only topped the Wildcats once in 12 years.
“I was just hoping we’d come out strong and I thought they did well tonight,” said West coach Jimmy Upchurch.
Senior Gavin Parker ran in a four-yard touchdown to put the Wildcats on the board. Kicker Patrick Ellis added the PAT, and went on to tie the school record with seven extra points in one game.
Devan Hairston struck next with a burst into the end zone putting the Wildcats ahead 13-0.
With 52 seconds left in the first quarter senior Alex Manley connected with Reid Fulk for a 29-yard touchdown reception pushing Wests’ lead 21-0.
“These seniors we have are such loyal, program kids. We’ve had them on varsity for three or four years now, so they come out here on Friday nights and know what to do. Where coach Frasher is now, having young kids playing, that’s going to pay off down the road,” Upchurch said.
Hairston added his second touchdown of the night in the second quarter with a 5-yard scramble down the left side.
South gained some traction with their next possession when Keelan Goodwin picked up a first down at the 22-yard line. Quarterback Cole Rothrock fired off a pass that looked to be good, but bounced off the fingertips of Michal Phillips.
Minutes later, West Stokes Alex Helvey scored off a fumble return.
The Wildcats went ahead 42-0 before halftime when Manley found Kameron Wall for a 30-yard touchdown.
“This is a special group of kids and we won’t be able to replace them,” Upchuch said.
Fulk came in as quarterback in the third quarter and connected with John Connelly for the Wildcats last score of the night.
South Stokes added a touchdown with 10 minutes left in the game when Rothrock connected with Jonah Moorefield on a 61-yard pass. Goodwin ran in the two-point conversion.
Robbie Hennelly and Mason Dutton led the Sauras with six tackles each.
For the Wildcats defense, Caustin Beckner, Ty Walker, and Cameron Croom had 5 tackles.
Matthew Craver finished with four tackles and two sacks.
Helvey had three tackles and two sacks.
West Stokes recognized their 2015 seniors at halftime: Brodedric Howard, Jacob Moore, Jacob Rosecrans, Gavin Parker, Caustin Beckner, Kameron Wall, Alex Manley, Alex Helvey, Matt Craver, Josh Goad, Kelby Lemons, Alex Finney, Jacob Wagoner, and Thomas Rutherford.
Each win is significant, but for seniors and four-year varsity players Beckner and Manley both said the night was surreal.
“It feels like a dream,” Beckner said. “What we do is like clockwork. We work hard and play as a team. These boys are like brothers to me.”
Manley agreed and said they’re now focused on next week.
“But this was a good win.”
South Stokes hosts their senior night this Friday against North Surry (5-4) beginning at 7:30.
West Stokes hosts Carver (6-3) on Friday. Both teams are undefeated in the Western Piedmont Conference.
Amanda Dodson can be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.