The West Stokes Wildcats will move forward in the playoffs after winning their 2AA football playoff opener Friday night at home against the North Surry Greyhounds, 16-9.
The Greyhounds had lost the previous week to the Wildcats giving West Stokes the fourth seed and the chance to host the playoff game against the fifth-seed Greyhounds.
Both teams scored a touchdown in the first quarter, and missed their respective extra points, to leave the game tied at 6-6 after the first quarter. North Surry’s Caleb Ramey hit a 21-yard field goal to give the Greyhounds a 9-6 halftime lead.
With 8:53 left in the third period, the Wildcats’ Rashad Witherspoon scored on a one-yard rush to give West Stokes a 13-9 advantage after the extra point. In the final quarter the Wildcats’ Zane McGee hit a 38-yard field goal sealing the 16-9 victory.
Greyhounds Head Coach David Lyons said he was proud of the Hounds team on both offense and defense but “we could not get the ball in at the red zone,” he said.
North Surry had a total of 209 yards and West Stokes recorded 313 yards.
West Stokes’ Jimmy Upchurch said the difference in the game was his team’s ability to control the line of scrimmage. Shutting down the offensive Hound attack in both the run and pass was the strategy that Upchurch said their staff had planned. “I knew that we had to keep Blaze (Acord) from running free as a big part of the plan to win.”
Acord came into the game with 1,879 rushing yards, according to statistics listed on Maxpreps.com
The defense for the Hounds came ready to play with a great plan, said Upchurch. The Hounds were stopping the Wildcats running game in the first half, and North Surry’s Weston Angel and Corbin Utt each registered sacks.
The loss dropped the Greyhounds to a final 8-3 record, while the Wildcats moved to 7-5 and will advance to the second round. West Stokes will play Andrews next week in the next playoff round.