North Stanly punches ticket to playoffs with win at Mount Pleasant

Published 3:32 pm Saturday, October 21, 2023

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With the departure of Jay M. Robinson from the Yadkin Valley Conference, two 2A teams were left in the split 1A/2A conference: North Stanly and Mount Pleasant.

The two football programs met Friday on the Tigers’ home field with the 2A berth from the conference into the state playoffs on the line.

North trailed early but quickly rallied and punched its ticket into the postseason in a 33-16 win.

The Comets (7-2, 3-0 YVC) earned a share of the Yadkin Valley Conference crown and can secure the title outright as well as the Stanly Cup this Friday when North hosts Albemarle (4-5, 2-1 YVC).

After trailing 3-0 early in the second quarter on a 33-yard field goal from David McEachern, North answered on its next possession. Aden Allsbrook broke a 60-yard run down to the Tigers’ two-yard line. He scored on the next play and the Comets did not trail from that point on.

Allsbrook added a rushing touchdown later in the quarter, and Jay Jackson caught a receiving touchdown on the final play of the first half from quarterback Chance Blake, giving North a 19-3 halftime advantage.

Mount Pleasant (5-4, 2-2) got within nine in the third quarter, taking advantage of a North bad snap which hit the receiver in motion and recovering the fumble, later scoring to make it 19-10.

Allsbrook scored a late third quarter touchdown to put the Comets back up 26-10.

The Tigers scored a passing touchdown with just under six minutes left in the game to make it 26-16.

Jackson added his second rushing touchdown of the game in the final two minutes to put the game out of reach.

“Our offensive line is tough as nails,” North head coach Chad Little said about the team’s rushing attack. “We have a good combination of Jay and Aden.”

About the team rallying after trailing in the second quarter, Little said, “we’re really tough. That’s one good characteristic of this team. When we got down, we knew we had to fight back. That’s all we talked about.”

Jackson said the game felt like a playoff game with the atmosphere at Mount Pleasant.

“The atmosphere of the fans was very loud. The rain made it feel like a playoff game. I just loved the atmosphere,” Jackson said.

He said playing Mount is like a county game.

“We know all the kids on the team. Any time when we play team like that when we know everyone on the field, we want to play harder because it’s bragging rights.”

Regarding this week’s game with Albemarle, with so much on the line, Little said, “We are going to enjoy this win tonight and worry about Albemarle tomorrow. We’re going to prepare hard as we ever have for them, but we’re not going to be overly emotional. We’re going to play with poise. That’s the stance we’re taking.”

Albemarle hosted Union Academy Thursday night and won 38-6.

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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