West Stokes traveled to newly Western Piedmont Athletic Conference member Walkertown on Friday night and used four second half touchdowns for a 27-8 victory.
“That was a tale of two halves,” said Wildcats coach Jimmy Upchurch. “We moved the ball early and then started shooting ourselves in the foot with turnovers. Fortunately, for us we came out of the half and played pretty well for the remainder of the game.”
The Wildcats forced a punt from Walkertown to start the game and then drove to the 13-yard line and fumbled the ball away on third and one. To add to the misfortune, West Stokes forced another punt and then had the ball intercepted by the Wolfpack’s Jonathan Hudgins in the end zone with 1:28 left in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Walkertown played keep-away with the ball and only allowed the Wildcats five plays and one yard in the quarter. The Wolfpack stalled on their nine minute, 15-play drive on the 21-yard line when a pass fell incomplete on fourth and seven. At the half, the Wildcats managed 60-yards of offense to the Wolfpack’s 80 with neither team scoring.
“I told the kids at the half we needed to execute our offense and we would be okay,” stated Upchurch. “They have a very athletic team and I thought our defense was playing well. We just needed to continue doing what we were doing and adjust to whatever they came out with.”
West Stokes darted from the locker room and used 10-plays and overcame two flags and scored when Chris Brown dashed five-yards for the end zone. A two-point attempt failed, but the Cats held a 6-0 advantage with 7:31 left in the third quarter.
On the Wildcats next possession, quarterback Tyler Smith found Zan Sandlin for two different receptions on the drive, including a 20-yard catch for a touchdown with 2:07 left in the period. Caleb Peters made the first of three extra-points on the night for a 13-0 lead.
In the fourth quarter, West Stokes continued to execute their offense and scored on both possessions. In the first drive, they traveled 83-yards in nine plays and scored on Sandlin’s second touchdown reception of the game from 15-yards out. On their other possession, Brown hit pay-dirt from 47-yards out when he galloped the distance with 3:25 left in the game. Walkertown added their only score when Isaiah Conrad ran in from 10-yards out. The two-point conversion was good on a pass from Conrad to Joe Burgess.
West Stokes tallied 332-yard of offense in the game and Brown led the way with 110-yards on 18-carries and two touchdowns. Smith rushed for 50-yards and threw for another 73-yards, while Sandlin had three catches for 49-yards and two touchdowns. Conrad led Walkertown with 51-yards on 16-carries and one touchdown.
Defensively for West Stokes, they held Walkertown to 201-yards of offense and Tyler Walker had an interception and with another 15-tackle performance with Tyler Little and Palmer Elliott tallying seven tackles each in the game.
“I’m proud of our defense,” said Upchurch. “We have played pretty well all year. We’ll have to continue to put pressure upfront if we want to be successful next week against Carver.”
The Wildcats improved to 4-2 overall and 1-0 in conference play and will travel to conference rival Carver, who lost to Forbush on Friday night 17-14.
Robert Money can be reached at 336-749-1193.