It wasn’t the opening statement South Stokes hoped to make, but there’s plenty of season left for the Sauras football team to prove themselves after falling to East Wilkes 15-6 Friday night. The score was a noticeable improvement from last year when South took a 34-0 pounding against the Cardinals in their first matchup of the season.
“We had a few little miscues here and there and East Wilkes did too. But both defenses played great football,” said Sauras new head coach Paul Hall. “Our guys are fighting hard. I’m not going to let them quit and I’m not going to let them put their heads down.”
The Cardinals picked up back-to-back first downs with less than three minutes left in the first quarter before soaring into the end zone. Minutes later, East Wilkes struck again and ran in a two-point conversion.
South Stokes responded early in the second quarter when West Stokes transfer Caleb Brewster scooped up a fumble at the 20-yard line. Sophomore Zach Slate scrambled in for a touchdown run with 7:09 left on the clock.
The Sauras went into their locker room trailing at halftime 8-6 in an evenly matched game, even as rain continued to fall and conditions deteriorated a bit.
“I think we did well on offense, but we did greater on defense,” Hall said.
The coach praised Mason Dutton for coming out aggressive and being a playmaker throughout the night.
“He’s a great leader and tough. Michal (Phillips) ran the ball hard for us. We didn’t give up a lot of big plays. They had a couple runs, but we did too.”
East Wilkes added another touchdown widening their lead with five minutes left in the fourth quarter.
“I saw opportunities for them to drop their head tonight, but they didn’t. I think as the game went on they believed more and more. As a coach, that’s what I want to see. They played their assignments, and did what was asked of them. They’re going to keep improving. I’m proud of them and proud to be their coach.”
After a winless season last year, the Sauras are hungry for success. In this week’s Simmons rating at NCPreps.com it was predicted East Wilkes had a 59 point advantage going into the season opener. Although they won, it seemed obvious to South fans their team isn’t one to be ruled out.
South travels to North Wilkes, who are 0-1 after falling to West Caldwell 41-10 in their opener, next Friday.
Alleghany cruises past North Stokes 34-0
“I feel like we had a good game plan, but just weren’t able to execute it early,” said North Stokes coach Mitch Reeves.
Alleghany latched on to a 14-0 lead at halftime, added two more touchdowns in the third quarter, and tacked on one more in the fourth.
“As the game went on we wore down and our lack of depth began to show,” Reeves said. “Alleghany was a bigger and stronger team than us and they didn’t turn the ball over.”
The Vikings are coming off a 6-6 season last year, and finished fourth in the Northwest 1A conference behind East Surry, Walkertown, and Mount Airy.
“Hopefully we can learn from our mistakes and work towards being better conditioned in the coming weeks. South Davidson will be a tough test and we will have to play our best to have a chance at victory,” Reeves said.
North travels to South Davidson this Friday and hosts South Stokes the following week, Sept. 8.
Amanda Dodson can be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.