KING — North Surry’s comeback fell just short of the mark against West Stokes on Friday.
The Greyhounds were doomed by injuries and turnovers, yet still had a chance down the stretch. North turned the ball over on each of its first two possessions, and the Wildcats turned that into 14 points right off the bat. North Surry ended up turning the ball over five times in the game.
The Hounds battled back and scored near the end of the first half and two more times in the third quarter. West Stokes scored the decisive touchdown late in the game and held on for the 21-20 win.
“We’ve got to hold onto the football and we’ve got to mature some, and we will with some more game experience,” said North Surry coach Patrick Taylor. “On offense, we looked a lot better than week one when we didn’t shoot ourselves in the foot. Defensively, we put them in some bad positions. They only had one drive that they drove the entire length of the field and scored on us.
“It was a good team effort, but you just can’t turn the ball over five times and win most times.”
Freshman quarterback Colten Allen entered the game after West took its early lead. Allen finished with 79 yards passing on 4-of-5 attempts, carried the ball five times for 37 yards and recorded his first touchdown pass.
Allen’s touchdown pass, a 40-yard strike to Jared Hiatt, was a bittersweet moment for the freshman. While it was his first touchdown pass in high school, Allen was hit on the play and left the game with a broken arm. North converted the 2-point conversion to cut the lead to 14-8 at halftime.
Sophomore Aaron Mauck re-entered at QB for the second half. Mauck was 7-of-11 and threw for 144 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed three times for 16 yards.
Hiatt was the Hounds’ top receiver with three catches for 90 yards and two touchdowns. Jahreece Lynch followed with two catches for 50 yards and a TD. In addition to 10 carries for 31 yards, sophomore running back Jack Simmons had two catches for 43 yards.
Talen Vernon, James McCreary and Trevor Isaacs combined for North’s remaining four catches for 40 yards.
Injuries hurt the Greyhounds on defense. North Surry came into the game without a starting linebacker, then lost senior leader Ryan Simmons halfway through the contest.
“The defense played lights out,” Taylor said. “We had a lot of guys step up since we played the second half with only one senior on defense. That was Anthony Brown at corner.”
The Hounds were also short-handed at kicker. North started the season with two players that handled placekicking duties, and neither was available for Friday’s game. This hurt the Hounds because the team had to go for a 2-point conversion after each touchdown. They only succeeded on the first TD.
No one available to attempt PATs also meant no field goals. North Surry got into the red zone twice in the fourth quarter down by just a point, but couldn’t attempt a field goal.
“We’re a little banged up, but we’ll be back at it soon,” Taylor said. “We improved a lot in certain areas from the Mount Airy game to this one, and I expect us to keep getting better as we get more time together.”
Due to COVID-19 protocol and a BYE week, North Surry is not scheduled to play again until Sept. 17 at Wilkes Central.