STANLY FOOTBALL: Comets host former coach; Albemarle travels to Asheboro

In high school football games Friday night, the North Stanly Comets hosted the Anson County Bearcats, led by former North coach Ralph Jackson, while Albemarle opened the season at 3A Asheboro.

North Stanly 17, Anson 12

The resurgence of the Comets’ football program came in 2013 in the second year of Jackson’s time as North’s head coach.

Along with a talented freshman running back who would go on to play in the NFL, Antonio Williams, the Comets went from 2-9 the previous season to 9-2 and started a run of winning seasons which is still active.

Chad Little, a long-time assistant for Jackson and Scott Crisco, earned his first high school coaching win of the season against Jackson’s new team.

Anson led 12-0 midway through the second quarter when North quarterback Chance Blake pump faked, stepped up in the pocket and found Jordan Stewart in the middle of the field for a 51-yard touchdown pass. Kaden Young’s extra point cut Anson’s lead to 12-7.

North took the lead for good in the third when Jay Jackson’s 1-yard plunge into the end zone put the Comets up 14-12 with 1:12 left in the period.

Young later connected on a 25-yard field goal with 9:05 left in the fourth quarter to extend North’s lead.

“It’s a great feeling to get the first win, but the coaching staff and the hard work of the players get all the credit,” Little said. “(Coach Jackson) was the first high school coach I worked for, so I thank him for the opportunity.”

North will host East Rowan (0-1) Friday night. The Mustangs lost in Week 1 at North Rowan 51-10.

Asheboro 24, Albemarle 22

The Bulldogs went on the road to take on a Blue Comets team Albemarle had not faced since 1974.

In a contest which saw several lead changes, a failed two-point conversion left the Bulldogs just short in a two-point road loss.

Albemarle (0-1) went down early on a 28-yard TD pass from Asheboro (1-0) but rallied in the second quarter. Kaine McLendon’s rushing touchdown, along with a two-point conversion from Jaylen Pinkney, put the Bulldogs up 8-6.

The Blue Comets picked off a screen pass by Albemarle and later added an 18-yard TD pass to regain a 12-8 lead just before halftime.

Albemarle took the lead in the third with a 1-yard TD run from Pinkney. Ander Artis then found Jason Wall for the two-point conversion and a 16-12 lead with 6:37 left in the third.

Asheboro answered on the ensuing drive to retake the lead with a touchdown two minutes later, then scored again in the fourth to go up 24-16.

The Bulldogs answered when Artis found Zyion Geiger for a 44-yard touchdown pass, pulling Albemarle within two points.

Albemarle’s defense then got a stop and got the ball back on the Bulldogs 30 with 2:32 left, but could not score.

The Bulldogs will be on the road Friday at Trinity (0-1), who lost in Week 1 at Starmount 42-30.