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West Stanly ground game dominates in road win

 

With the incoming weather threat of Hurricane Florence, nearly all high school football games in potentially affected areas around North Carolina moved their games up to Wednesday night.

Such was the case of the West Stanly Colts, who made the trip to Mount Gilead to take on the West Montgomery Warriors. Coached by former Albemarle head coach Danny Akins, who led the Bulldogs to the 2010 1AA state title, the Warriors were coming off a loss to East Montgomery on Friday for what could be the final time with the imminent merger of the two Montgomery high schools.

West Stanly was looking for the team’s second win in as many games for the first time in the one-plus years under head coach Brett Morton.

The Colts’ ground game caught momentum early, while the defense for West Stanly limited the Warriors’ chances in a 28-8 road win Wednesday.

Lukas Scott had another solid night for West Stanly (3-2) with 158 net yards on 18 carries, averaging 8.8 yards per rush while scoring three touchdowns.

Jordan Poole added 101 yards on 11 rushes with a touchdown.

As a team, the Colts averaged 6.8 yards per carry, finishing with 272 net yards on 40 carries. West had 18 first downs in the game and was 5-of-9 on third-down conversions.

Harrison Montgomery was 5-of-8 through the air for West Stanly for 39 yards but was sacked three times by West Montgomery (1-3).

West Stanly also had fewer penalties then the previous week’s game. The Colts were whistled five times for 57 yards while West Montgomery had two penalties for six total yards.

On the other side of the ball, all of the Warriors’ 110 yards came on the ground on 40 carries. The Colts also sacked West Montgomery quarterback Chase Chappell three times.

The Warriors fumbled five times in the game, several coming on bad exchanges between the center and Chappell. West Montgomery did not lose any of those fumbles; in fact, neither team had a turnover in the game.

West Stanly took the opening kickoff and took the lead on an eight-play, 57-yard drive, taking 3:34 off the clock. Tanner Gulledge scored a touchdown, but it was called back on a holding call. However, two plays later Scott scored around the right side of the line from seven yards out. A bad snap on the point-after attempt kept the score 6-0 in favor of the Colts.

The Warriors went three-and-out, punting to the Colts’ 47-yard line.

West Stanly then took 4:15 off the clock over the next eight plays, ending with another Scott touchdown run. Scott had a 21-yard run on the drive along with a 16-yard rush from Jaquan Ingram. Montgomery also completed two passes to Hunter Stoker of 12 and 13 yards to set up Scott’s five-yard touchdown run. Jordan Poole took in the two-point conversion, putting West Stanly up 14-0 with 1:58 left in the opening quarter.

West Montgomery’s best drive of the game came on its second possession of the game. Starting late in the first quarter, the Warriors kept possession for the next nine minutes of the game, twice converting on fourth down. Fifteen plays and 67 yards later, Chappell scooted through the middle of West Stanly’s defense for a six-yard touchdown. Payton Coble, who led the Warriors in rushing with 74 yards, plunged over for the two-point conversion to pull the hosts back within six points, 14-8, with 4:49 left in the first half.

On the ensuing kickoff, instead of a squib kick as the team had done on the opening kickoff, Coble tapped an onside kick, which was recovered by the Warriors’ Daquarius Cuthrell. West Stanly’s defense forced another three and out, then ran the clock down into the final seconds of the first half, giving the ball back on downs in the middle of the field.

West Stanly went back up by two possessions on the visitors’ first drive of the second half. Poole broke free down the middle of the field and outraced the Warriors to the end zone for a 31-yard touchdown run. The Colts again went for two, but Scott was stopped short of the goal line, leaving the Colts up 12 points, 20-8, with 7:32 left in the third.

Another long West Stanly drive put the game well in hand for the Colts spanning the end of the third and start of the final quarter. An 11-play, 76-yard drive took 5:44 off the clock and saw Scott convert a third down and 14 with a 16-yard sweep. Poole and Lukas continued to move the ball down the field behind the Colts’ offensive line. Lukas finished the drive with his third touchdown run of the game, then converted the two-point conversion to put West up 28-8, the game’s final score.

West Montgomery threatened to add a touchdown in the final two minutes when Cuthrell broke off a 35-yard run up the middle of the field. Christian Bowden and Stoker saved a touchdown, then the Colts sacked Chappell one last time. West Montgomery turned the ball over on downs as the clock expired.

Scott said the Colts’ increased offensive numbers this week starting with the efforts of the offensive line.

“It started up front,” Scott said. “We fired off the ball quickly and it really set the edge for us to take it outside. (The lineman) moved defenders out of the way like it was nothing.”

Defensively, Scott said the team’s success “started in the trenches with the big boys up front.”

He added the win “makes us feel better going into next week, especially being a bye week. You never want to go into a bye week with a loss.”

West Stanly head coach Brett Morton said his offensive line “came in and played well.”

“They came off the ball well,” Morton said. “It’s a short week but we have been working on that in practice. We have to continue to do that and move people up front.”

He added the team has positives to build on going into the team’s bye week, saying “we have positives to build on, something good on offense to watch and learn from. Hopefully we will keep moving forward.”

West Stanly will be off until Sept. 28 when the Colts host Jay M. Robinson (1-2).

West Stanly 28, West Montgomery 8

WS    14  0   6   8     28
WM   0   8   0   0      8
WS ­– Lukas Scott 7 run (kick failed), 8:26, 1st
WS ­– Scott 5 run (Jordan Poole run), 1:58, 1st
WM ­– Chase Chappel 6 run (Payton Coble run), 4:49, 2nd
WS ­– Poole 31 run (run failed), 7:32, 3rd
WS ­– Scott 9 run (Scott run), 9:58, 4th

Contact Charles Curcio at charles.curcio@stanlynewspress.com, call (704) 983-1361 or follow him on Twitter (@charles_curcio).