WILKESBORO — North Surry overcame a 20-day layoff to hand Wilkes Central its first loss of the season on Friday.
Two early scores put the Greyhounds up 14-12 at halftime. North then went scoreless for more than 27 minutes of game time, in which time the Eagles (2-1) took the lead 20-14. The Hounds (1-2) capitalized on a pair of fourth-quarter fumbles to win its conference opener 26-20.
Junior James McCreary operated as North Surry’s quarterback for the first time this season when the Hounds played Wilkes Central. McCreary completed 13-of-28 passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns, while also carrying the ball four times for 15 yards and a TD.
Wilkes Central got on the board first with a touchdown and failed 2-point conversion with 7:44 left in the first quarter. McCreary tied things up at the 3:47 mark with a 29-yard touchdown pass to Jahreece Lynch. Lynch led all Greyhound receivers with seven catches for 83 yards.
A successful 2-point conversion put North Surry in the driver’s seat 8-6.
Wilkes Central regained the lead 12-6 with a late strike in the first quarter. The Hounds once again responded with a McCreary passing TD, this time going 26 yards to Jared Hiatt. A failed 2-point conversion left North Surry with a 14-12 lead with 9:17 left in the half.
In addition to Lynch and Hiatt, McCreary also completed passes to Trevor Isaacs, Talan Vernon, Derrick Simmons and Jake Simmons.
The Eagles scored a touchdown and a 2-point conversion to go up 20-14 with 5:14 left in the third. North nearly had its quickest response of the night by running the ensuing kickoff back for a touchdown, but it was called back due to a face mask penalty on the Greyhounds. This was the second North Surry touchdown called back in Friday’s game.
The Hounds’ finally got a chance to even the score when they recovered a Wilkes Central fumble in the fourth quarter. After taking over on their own 38, the Greyhound offense marched down the field and into the red zone with just over six minutes remaining.
McCreary scored a seven-yard rushing touchdown with 3:40 remaining for North’s first points since the 9:17 mark in the second quarter. The 2-point conversion was no good, leaving the game tied at 20.
Instead of giving Wilkes Central a chance to take the lead, North Surry forced a fumble on the ensuing kickoff and recovered it on the Eagles’ 33. The Hounds converted on fourth down to get into the red zone with less than two minutes left in the game.
A run from Jake Simmons put North Surry on the 8-yard line with 1:41 to play. He ran again for five yards on first down to set up second-and-goal on the three. The sophomore pounded his way through defenders to score the decisive touchdown with less than a minute to play.
Jake Simmons had a season-high 17 carries for 83 yards in Friday’s game. His two catches for 18 yards put him over 100 total yards.
North’s 2-point conversion failed, but it didn’t matter as the Hounds were able to hold off Wilkes Central to win 26-20.
The win puts North Surry at 1-0 in the Foothills 2A Conference along with East Surry and Surry Central. The Greyhounds host East Surry (4-0) on Friday.