By Charles Curcio, Sports Editor
Sunday, November 17, 2013 —
The Albemarle football squad finished the regular season with an 8-3 overall record, which in the seeding of the Midwest pod of the 2013 NCHSAA 1A playoffs gave the Bulldogs a number-one seed, guaranteeing a home game for the first three rounds of the playoffs.
Friday’s opening-round matchup saw a rematch between the Bulldogs and a Chatham Central team that Albemarle has dominated over the years, including a 78-0 conference win earlier this season.
The Bulldogs took care of business Friday night with a 63-0 win over the Bears.
Larry Stanback had a strong effort for Albemarle (9-3) in the playoff win, scoring touchdowns on half of his carries in the game. Stanback had eight carries for 68 yards and four rushing touchdowns.
Quarterback Bryan Blanton and running back Robert Mack each added a touchdown run as the Bulldogs amassed 288 rushing yards on 39 carries for an average of 7.4 yards per carry. Germarcus Sellers led Albemarle yardage-wise with 82 on five carries.
Through the air, the Blanton–Timmie White Connection continued to produce yards and points for Albemarle. Blanton was 4-of-6 for 139 yards and two touchdowns, both to White. White finished with 138 receiving yards.
Mason Krol, the kicker for the Bulldogs, had another strong night, going 9-for-9 on extra points. This season, Krol is 63-for-70 on points after touchdowns, and is a perfect 4-for-4 on field goal attempts,
Albemarle’s “Oak Tree” defense produced the team’s sixth shutout in 2013 and forced four turnovers against the Bears (2-10). Blanton recovered a fumble, along with recoveries from A.J. Stanback and D.J. Swaringen, while Jaylyn Lilly picked off a Chatham Central pass.
Leading the Bulldogs in overall tackles was Swaringen and sophomore Caleb Benoy, who recorded nine total tackles each.
The Bulldogs will host Union Academy (6-5) in the second round of the state 1A playoffs Friday night. The Cardinals advanced with a 12-0 win over South Stanly (see related story, this page).
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