South Stokes recognized 14 seniors on Friday night when they hosted county-rival North Stokes in Walnut Cove. The Sauras used several big plays in the first half to garner a 56-0 win and even the series at seven games each in the past 14 years.
“My guys executed on both offense and defense tonight,” said Saura coach Mike Holmes. “They came in with a lot of confidence and when you play that way the sky is the limit. We need to approach the playoffs with the same mentality as we did tonight. We worry about us and what we do and have that confidence to perform to the expectations we set for ourselves and we will be successful.”
South took the opening kickoff and needed four offensive plays to score on a 14-yard run by Ryan Moses. PT Fischer, filling in for injured kicker Ivan Caro, converted on his first of eight PAT’s on the night for a 7-0 lead.
After a three-and-out stop by the home team’s defense, the Sauras used four more plays and scored on a 20-yard run by senior Austin Lilly with 7:52 left in the quarter.
The Vikings offense continued to sputter and tuned the ball back over to South on their next possession after running five plays. The Sauras picked up three first downs, used two penalties by the Vikings and marched 58-yards in 11-plays and scored a touchdown by Adam McMillian with 10 seconds left in the first quarter. After Fischer’s kick, South led 21-0 entering the second period.
The Sauras scored three more times on a four-yard run by Moses, an eight-yard run by Fischer, and then Moses finished the quarter with a 25-yard dash with three minutes left before the half and a 42-0 lead.
South Stokes added one score in third quarter on a 45-yard punt return for a touchdown by Avery Wood and another score in the fourth quarter on a 12-yard run by Wood with 2:40 left in the game.
“I thought our kids fought as hard as they could,” said Viking coach Frank Sessoms. “The one goal we wanted to accomplishment was to make it through the season with both varsity and JV teams intact. That is a giant step for a program that folded halfway through the season last year. Now our goals change. We will hit the weight room and get in the hallways and see if we can’t get our numbers up for next season.”
The Sauras had 446-yards of offense with McMillian leading the way with 15 carries for 192-yards and two touchdowns, while Moses added 131-yards on 13 carries and two touchdowns. North Stokes Mark Shaw had 35-yards rushing and Mitchell Petree added 29.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Sauras had four players with double digit tackles. Steven Fatz led the team with 18, followed by Kaleb Bratton 16, Lucas Covington 13 and Copper Ross 10. For the Vikings, Dylan Mabe continued to lead his team as he has all year with nine tackles. Tyler Dodson finished the game with eight and Jarrett Sands added five.
North Stokes finished the season at 0-11 overall and 0-5 in the Northwest 1A Conference, while the Sauras improved to 5-6 overall and 3-2, finishing in third place. They will host a 1A NCSSA State Playoff Game, their first since 2012, on Friday against the Community School of Davidson (5-6) at 7:30 p.m. in Walnut Cove.
“We are excited for our program and the steps we have made this year,” said Holmes. “We have accomplished a lot, but we don’t want to stop now. We still have a lot of things we want to do.”
Robert Money can be reached at 336-749-1193.