South Stokes dropped their first home game of the season Friday night to the North Wilkes Vikings 28-14.
“We were just inches away on a play or two from winning the game,” said Sauras coach Mike Holmes. “We made a few mental errors during the contest and it cost us. Fortunately, it’s things we can work on and fix, but we’ll need to do that if we’re going to be successful for the rest of the year.”
After a scoreless first quarter, North Wilkes lit up the board on the opening play of the second period for a 7-0 lead on a four-yard run. South went on to use a nine-play drive starting from their 42-yard line that ended when quarterback Austin Lilly found Zach Slate for a 16-yard touchdown reception. Ivan Caro split the upright for the extra-point and the game was tied with 4:06 left before halftime.
North Wilkes responded with a 15-yard reception to pull ahead 14-7 at the half.
“We can’t get beat over the top in that situation,” said Holmes. “That is one of the things we can fix and we will. We knew it was a passing situation and we have to do a better job of covering that type of play.”
At the top of the third quarter, the Vikings put a dagger in South by returning the opening kickoff 72-yards for a 21-7 lead.
“The score right before the end of the half and the kickoff in the third quarter quickly turned momentum in their favor,” the Sauras coach said. “That took the wind out of our sail a little, but I’m really proud of the way we bounced back and didn’t quit.”
South scored on a 45-yard dash by Ryan Moses with a little over a minute left in the game. An onside kick, that South recovered, gave them another chance to score, but after two incomplete passes from the 11-yard line, the Vikings took possession to end the game.
“I felt our defense played well tonight and we were able to contain their running back for no big plays,” Holmes said. “Drew Pressley, Lucas Covington, Decarlos Rodgers, and Dalton Slate did a great job in leading our defense.”
The Sauras gained 250-yards of total offense with 220 coming from the ground. North Wilkes totaled 311-yards, with 67 rushes for 296-yards. Moses led the way for South with 141-yards rushing on 15-carries and a touchdown.
South Stokes (0-2) will host the Trinity Bulldogs (2-0) in a non-conference game on Friday night. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m.
Robert Money can be reached at 336-749-1193.