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Bulldogs football season ends at Cherokee, 38-19

After having driven to the easternmost reaches of the state last season for a Eastern Region game, the Albemarle football team went in the opposite direction Friday night.

The No. 10-seeded Bulldogs made the four-hour trip to Cherokee to face the No. 7-seeded Braves.

Cherokee took an early lead in the first quarter and amassed 361 total yards of offense for the game, a 38-19 win over Albemarle.

The Bulldogs (4-7) put up strong numbers on the ground rushing for 293 yards on 25 carries. Eli McCall led Albemarle with 100 yards on 13 carries including a touchdown, while Josh Smith added 96 yards on three rushes with a touchdown. Zach Bryant also had a rushing touchdown for the Bulldogs.

Through the air, Albemarle was a combined 3-for-9 for 28 yards. Levi Nall complete two passes out of four attempts for 18 yards while Manaurian Hall was 1-for-5 for 10 yards.

Defensively, Adrian Little led Albemarle with 11 tackles including three for a loss, while Brandon Smith had seven tackles, two for a loss. Jaylen Watkins also had seven tackles for the Bulldogs.

Albemarle also forced three turnovers. Keshawn Mouton and Christian Watkins had interceptions while Doricus Ingram recovered a fumble.

Cherokee (7-5) had two running backs with more than 100 yards on the ground in the game. Isaiah Evans finished with 134 yards on 26 carries and two rushing touchdowns while Cade Mintz had 113 yards on 13 attempts, scoring twice as well.

Through the air, Braves quarterback Bobby Crowe was 3-for-8 for 71 yards and a touchdown pass to Blake Smith.

“I’m extremely proud of the way the boys showed up and battled for four quarters,” Albemarle head coach Richard Davis said. “While we didn’t achieve all of the goals that were set at the beginning of the season, I’m pleased with the growth of our players on and off the field. We are heading in the right direction as a program.”

Albemarle graduates 10 players from this team. The Bulldogs matched the team’s 2017 win total and finished a game over the .500 mark in conference play.

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

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio was the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press from 1999-2001 and has currently served in the same capacity since 2008. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also been honored twice by the North Carolina Press Association.

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