By Dan O'Neal, for the SNAP
Sunday, September 29, 2013 —
Three Yadkin Valley Conference teams entered their respective contests Friday night with unbeaten conference records. Two of these, or perhaps even one, could still maintain that distinction.
Two of these squads faced each other Friday night, the West Montgomery Warriors and the Albemarle Bulldogs.
Game location never matters when these rivals play against each other. Even though Albemarle has a 39-game conference win streak and a five game winning streak over West Montgomery, there is never a lack for intensity and quality play when the Pee Dee is crossed.
The Bulldogs’ streaks came to an defining conclusion as the Warriors soundly defeated Albemarle on their home field by the count of 55-14.
After the Bulldogs charged through the “think pink” tunnel, they received the opening kickoff only to be touched by an Albemarle player and recovered by West Montgomery at the Bulldogs 30-yard line. Seven plays later, West Montgomery scored as quarterback Caleb Drake tossed the ball over the Albemarle defense for one yard to tight end Jarrett Little at the 9:01 mark of the first period, making the score 7-0.
Special teams was a source of frustration for the Bulldogs in this contest. On the next kickoff, Warriors placekicker Walker Harrison produced another unusual chip shot resulting in another Bulldogs fumble at their 32. This time, the Warriors would be held to a 27-yard field goal by Harrison with the Bulldogs falling behind 10-0 at 6:10 in the first. The Bulldogs were held scoreless in the first period which rarely happens.
The first four minutes of the second frame had the teams going mainly three, sometimes four and out. On their second possession from scrimmage with a second down and 10 from their own 43, Bulldogs senior quarterback Bryan Collins turned his pass into a pick-six, extending the West Montgomery lead 17-0 at the 7:35 mark of the second quarter.
West Montgomery also had its fumbling moments as it turned the football over to the Bulldogs on their own 36. After the recovery on a second and one, Bulldogs star tailback K.J. McKinney ran an off-tackle left to the end zone with 4:16 left in the half followed by a Mason Krol extra point, cutting the Warriors lead to 17-7.
Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, the Warriors were once again successful on their next possession, as they drove 55 yards using almost three minutes on the game clock to score on a two yard run by Suave Pegues with 1:20 left in the first half, extending the Warriors lead, 24-7. West Montgomery maintained possession for almost 32 minutes during the game.
Albemarle’s special team woes recurred on the following kickoff as West Montgomery recovered the onside kick, giving it possession at the Albemarle 42 yard line. Six plays later, Warriors kicker Harrison connected on another field goal from 25 yards out, making the halftime score, 27-7.
As the second half commenced, the Albemarle “Oak Tree” defense came to life as they stalled West Montgomery’s opening drive. On the Bulldogs next possession from their own 21, they would be backed up to their own 11 with a third and 20 situation. The next play was spectacular as quarterback Blanton threw a long fly pattern to the speedy senior Timmie White, who outran the West Montgomery defender to the end zone followed by Krol’s extra point, making the score 27-14 with 8:42 left in the third. White finished with three grabs for 104 yards.
With 2:15 remaining in the third, Albemarle took possession of the football at its own 2. The next play had McKinney busting through the West Montgomery defense to the Bulldogs 10. Two plays later, the fumble bug bit the Bulldogs again with the Warriors recovering. Warriors quarterback Drake scored on a 16 yard run to increase their lead to 34-14 with 27 ticks left in the third frame.
Things were not better for the Bulldogs in the final frame. While West Montgomery was penalized 13 times, their offense and special teams play was spot on for the entire matchup. After Drake scored again at the 9:05 point of the quarter, the Warriors recovered another onside kick at the Bulldogs 49. Once again, Drake ran through the oak trees for a 34 yard touchdown making the score 48-14 with 7:11 remaining on the game clock.
The Bulldogs attempted to make the most of their next possession. With a second and eight at their own 34, junior Larry Stanback had an excellent 37 yard run to the Warriors 29. Three plays later on a fourth and three at the Warriors 20, the Bulldogs fumbled the ball and was recovered by the Warriors’ Collins, who returned it 80 yards for another touchdown, icing West Montgomery’s first win over Albemarle since 2007.
Albemarle seeks to rebound next week as it faces the North Moore Mustangs at home. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.
WM 10 17 7 21 55
A 0 7 7 0 14
WM – Little 1 pass from Drake (Harrison kick), 9:01, 1st
WM – Harrison 27 FG, 6:10, 1st
WM – Collins 50 interception return (Harrison kick), 7:35, 2nd
A – McKinney 38 run (Krol kick), 4:16, 2nd
WM – Pegues 2 run (Harrison kick), 1:20, 2nd
WM – Harrison 25 FG, :06, 2nd
A – White 89 pass from Blanton (Krol kick), 8:42, 3rd
WM – Drake 16 run (Harrison kick), :27, 3rd
WM – Drake 34 run (Harrison kick), 9:05, 4th
WM – Drake 37 run (Harrison kick), 7:11, 4th
WM – Collins 80 fumble return (Harrison kick), 5:20, 4th
1st Downs 18 6
Rushing 48-313 23-103
Passing 101 153
C-A-I 9-17-0 6-21-1
Punts 6-36.0 3-36.3
Penalties 13-135 5-45
Fum. Lst. 1 5
3rd Down 2-8 1-7
4th Down 0-0 0-4
TOP 31:48 17:12
Rushing: WM – Pegues 20-135, TD; Drake 17-127, 3 TD; Lomax 9-42; Robinson 1-5; Harkins 1-4. A – McKinney 15-47, TD; Stanback 3-36; Mack 3-17; Blanton 2-3.
Passing: WM – Drake 9-17, 101 yds., TD. A – Blanton 6-21, 153 yds., 1 TD, 1 int.
Receiving: WM – Robinson 2-50; Shepherd 2-35; Little 2-18, TD, Ward 1-11; Pegues 1-11; Nicholson 1-1. A – White 3-104, TD; Ridenhour 3-44; Bennett 1-9; McKinney 1-2.