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Albemarle football opens with rain-soaked road game at Chatham Central

Friday’s season opener for the Albemarle Bulldogs was a long road trip to Chatham Central.

It was a rain-soaked playing field for much of the game. Both teams suffered many fumbles, bad snaps and other struggles, but a second-quarter touchdown pass by the host Bears turned out to be the only points in the game as Chatham won 6-0.

For the Bears, it is only the second time a Chatham Central team has won against Albemarle on the field. The Bears last beat Albemarle in 2016 (48-13), and had two forfeit wins in 2010 and 2014. Chatham is 4-13 lifetime against the Bulldogs.

The Bears (1-0, 1-0 YVC) drove deep into Albemarle (0-1, 0-1) territory late in the second quarter. The teams exchanged fumbles with Chatham set up at the Bulldog 15.

Four plays later on fourth and 12, Chatham quarterback Michael Moore found wideout Parker Crowley for a 15-yard touchdown pass over two Albemarle defenders. The two-point conversion attempt failed, and the Bears had the lead with 4:25 on the clock.

Albemarle reached the end zone midway through the third quarter when wide receiver Manaurian Hall took a jet sweep attempt around the right side and down the Bulldogs’ sideline for an apparent 53-yard touchdown. However, offsetting penalties negated the score and forced Albemarle back into a third down and long back in the middle of the field.

One of the Bulldogs’ best chances to score came in the fourth quarter when a bad snap on a Bears punt attempt gave Albemarle the ball at the Chatham 18-yard line. The Bulldogs fumbled the ball three times on the drive, recovering all three, and were forced to punt.

“This is what happens when you put the ball on the ground as much as we did,” Albemarle head coach Richard Davis said after the game.

Davis added conditions were “terrible, but both teams had to play in it…I thought we played very well defensively.”

Albemarle comes home Friday night to host North Moore. The Mustangs lost Thursday at home to North Rowan 36-0.

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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