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Albemarle ends football season with road win

In the modern history of the Albemarle Bulldogs football program, when the team joined the NCHSAA in 1962, only twice has the team gone the entire season without a win.

The Bulldogs were 0-10 in 1974 and 1978 but avoided winless seasons with single wins in five seasons, including 2014 and 2016.

In 2016, Albemarle’s only win was against South Davidson, which is where the Bulldogs traveled to Friday night. The Bulldogs avoided the program’s third winless season in the past 59 years with a 13-6 victory.

Albemarle (1-2, 1-2 YVC) scored in the first quarter when a South Davidson running back had the football ripped out of his hands by Jaylen Pinkney, who returned it 62 yards for a touchdown. The extra point from Monta Hall gave the Bulldogs an early 7-0 lead with 9:12 left in the first quarter.

The Bulldogs led 7-0 at halftime and through three quarters before South Davidson (0-6, 0-5) got on the board. On the first play of the fourth, the Wildcats had fourth and goal at the Bulldog 14. A tipped pass from Wildcats QB Avery Garner deflected into South Davidson’s Anthony Gerena’s hands in the end zone for a touchdown. The Wildcats went for the two-point conversion, but Garner’s pass went over the receivers head out of bounds, keeping Albemarle ahead 7-6.

Later in the period, the Wildcats were pinned at the team’s own 12 yard line. Albemarle’s defense limited South Davidson to a three-and-out, then Brandon Smith blocked South’s punt. Taking over at the Wildcat 14, Albemarle quarterback Anthony Chambers fumbled the snap, picked it up and rumbled down the middle for a touchdown. The two-point conversion attempt failed, keeping the Bulldogs ahead 13-6.

Jaliq McRae led Albemarle on the ground with 47 yards on 13 carries, with Chambers adding 26 yards on two carries. Hall also added a 15-yard carry while on defense, posting eight tackles including one for a loss.

Malik Watkins led the defense with 12 tackles, one for a loss, while Jaquavius Simon added 10 tackles, with two going for a loss.

“It felt great to be able to send our seniors out on a winning note,” Albemarle head coach Richard Davis said. “It was a very frustrating season, but I’m proud of the boys for persevering through all the adversity and finishing strong with a win.”

Albemarle graduates eight seniors from this year’s team, including starting quarterback Chambers.

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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