North Stanly denies West Stanly’s chance to win Stanly Cup outright

Published 2:48 pm Saturday, September 9, 2023

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Since the 2021 football season, West Stanly has entered the fourth week of the season with the opportunity to claim the Stanly Cup, emblematic of the county championship.

West has posted wins over South Stanly and Albemarle all three seasons, including this season. The game was postponed due to COVID in 2021, and the Comets won 24-21 last season, denying the Colts the title while going on later in 2022 to win the Cup.

The Comets got off to a fast start Friday night, as they have multiple times in the 2023 season, and withstood a late surge to deny the Colts the Cup outright for the second straight season, 26-16.

Jay Jackson scored two rushing touchdowns in the first half for North (3-1), while quarterback Chance Blake threw a pair of TD passes. Blake’s first touchdown, a two-yard toss to Connor Lupole, put North on the board, while his second, a 40-yard strike to Jaylon McKoy capped the Comets lead at halftime, 26-0.

West Stanly (3-1), playing for the second week without head coach Brett Morton, took advantage of a fumble on the opening kickoff of the second half. On fourth down from the Comets’ eight-yard line, QB Jett Thomas found Austin Eudy for a touchdown. West went for two and made it, making the score 26-8.

The Colts added a fourth-quarter touchdown with 7:53 left on the clock when Breyden Lambert scored on a sweep, then tacked on a two-point conversion for the game’s final score.

Blake said denying West the Stanly Cup was motivation for the visitors coming into the game.

“With the county cup on the line, we knew we had to come out and fly. We had three guys who started on both (offensive and defensive lines),” Blake said. “We faced a lot of adversity in the second half, too. We had a lot of penalties, but really just knowing who we were playing, this rivalry, we had to keep pushing forward.”

Jackson said North’s fast start happened due to it being an in-county game.

“We all know everyone on the opposite team. There’s a lot of blood in the air, a lot of smoke in the air,” Jackson said.

He added the Comets’ efforts on the offensive line were important.

“I love my O-line,” Jackson said.

Referring to the two replacements on the line Friday night, he said both “stepped up big for us. I love them for that. They’re going to keep competing.”

The fast start, North head coach Chad Little said, is something he and the coaching staff teach.

“We teach them, ‘Let’s go from the get-go,’ ” Little said. “The last couple of games we have improved so much. This team is coming together at the right time.”

North has a bye week and will return to R.N Jeffery Stadium in Week 6 Sept. 22 to take on Forest Hills (4-0).

The Colts will look to bounce back in Week 5 Friday when West hosts former conference rival Mount Pleasant (2-2). The Tigers were shut out Friday night by Northwest Cabarrus 48-0.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. 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 won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

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