North Surry got back in the win column Thursday by defeating West Wilkes 52-8 inside Charles Atkins Stadium.
The Greyhounds returned to the gridiron just three days after physical matchup against Forbush. In that game, North Surry led at halftime but was outscored 28-7 in the second half.
North regrouped following the Forbush game and had two good days of practice according to head coach Patrick Taylor. Thursday’s game was a chance for the Greyhounds to get back on track, and the Hounds did so in dominant fashion.
“The defense played lights out tonight,” Taylor said. “Defensive Coordinator Jordon Tucker and his guys went to work over the last two days. We’re still down a senior starter and returning All-Conference defensive player, Ryan Simmons, but we had a lot of kids step up this week.
“Bryson Wilson is a kid that’s been a part of this program a while. He had a big game tonight at defensive tackle because he had to fill in for some guys that are hurt.”
The Greyhound defense held West Wilkes to 203 yards of total offense in Thursday’s game, and 66 of those yards came on the final Blackhawk drive of the night. On 10 West Wilkes possessions, North Surry forced four three-and-outs, two turnovers and a turnover-on-downs. The two Blackhawk turnovers came on an interception by Zeke Moore and a fumble forced by D’Marcus France and recovered by Kam McBride.
West Wilkes only had one first down in the first quarter, three in the second quarter, one in the third quarter and three in the fourth quarter.
North Surry finished the game with more than 400 yards of total offense and scored eight touchdowns for the first time since 2019. The Greyhounds rushed for 241 yards, led by sophomore Jake Simmons with 20 carries for 153 yards and four touchdowns. Anthony Brown followed with four carries for 82 yards and a touchdown, and quarterback James McCreary also picked up a rushing TD.
McCreary completed 10-of-13 passes for 167 yards passing and two touchdowns.. Jahreece Lynch caught both touchdown passes and finished with six receptions for 105 yards. Isaac Webb had one catch for 50 yards, Derrick Simmons and Trevor Isaacs each had one catch for 5 yards, and Talan Vernon had one catch for one yard.
The Greyhounds never punted against West Wilkes. North did lose a fumble late in the first half and turned the ball over on downs once.
“I was pleased with our offensive tonight, but we’ve got to get more consistent,” Taylor said. “It’s ebb and flow right now, but that’s something that Coach (Tanner) Hiatt and his staff are actively working on. They’ve done a terrific job with the guys this season.”
Taylor said the coaching staff has high expectations for the team and knows their potential. This is why the coaches called a timeout in the first half when West Wilkes started to battle back.
“I was not happy during that first timeout because we were lethargic,” Taylor said. “We were just going through the motions and we were just hoping we could win. I called timeout and said we’re going to nip this in the bud right now. We’re not going to let this team hang around. That’s something we talked about earlier in the week with Monday’s game, and the guys got serious quick and played our game.
“Even into the second half, we kept preaching not to give up and let West Wilkes back in the game.”
Just as North Surry remained steadfast down the stretch of Thursday’s game, the team looks to keep improving as they approach the final three weeks of the regular season. The Greyhounds sit at 2-4 overall and 2-2 in the Foothills 2A Conference.
The Hounds are at home the next two weeks against North Forsyth (3-3) and Surry Central (4-2).
“You take the wins how you can, and we’re about to have two back-to-back weeks of a war,” Taylor said. “Those are two teams that are playing well and are very well-coached football teams. We’re just blossoming; We haven’t quite hit our stride yet but we’re getting there.”
*Note: The scoreboard at Atkins Stadium incorrectly displayed the final score at 53-8. Team officials confirmed the final score was actually 52-8.
West Wilkes – 0, 0, 0, 8 = 8
North Surry – 19, 7, 13, 13 = 52
6:30 NSHS 7-0 – Jake Simmons 4-yard rushing TD, Jovanni Flores PAT
2:28 NSHS 13-0 – James McCreary pass to Jahreece Lynch 15-yard touchdown reception, PAT no good
1:25 NSHS 19-0 – Jake Simmons 1-yard rushing TD, 2-point conversion no good
5:49 NSHS 26-0 – James McCreary 19-yard rushing TD, Jovanni Flores PAT
9:18 NSHS 32-0 – Jake Simmons 2-yard rushing TD, 2-point conversion no good
6:43 NSHS 39-0 – James McCreary pass to Jahreece Lynch 54-yard touchdown reception, Jovanni Flores PAT
10:07 NSHS 45-0 – Jake Simmons 10-yard rushing TD, PAT no good
2:17 WWHS 45-8 – Hayden Frye 1-yard rushing TD, 2-point conversion good
0:49 NSHS 52-8 – Anthony Brown 53-yard rushing TD, Jovanni Flores PAT