North Stokes football team struggled with their home opener against West Wilkes on Friday night in Danbury. The Blackhawks scored all of their points in the first half and blanked the Vikings 44-0.
“We have a bunch of good boys here and they are working hard to help us turn this program around,” said second year Viking coach Frank Sessoms. “It’s been an uphill battle with a lot of obstacles in our path. We just need to continue to work hard and not give up. These boys are setting a foundation and a lot of them probably don’t recognize that.”
North Stokes opening drive looked promising as Mitchell Petree picked up positive yardage on the first three plays resulting in a first down. An interception thrown by sophomore quarterback Christian Shemo on second down and a return down to the Vikings 18-yard line set up the first score for the Blackhawks. Wyatt Whitworth dashed around the right side for the distance and a 7-0 advantage after the extra-point by Chase Church.
West Wilkes added a safety and an 86-yard touchdown reception with 7:46 left in the first period and extended their lead to 16-0. The Vikings were forced to punt two more times in the quarter resulting in scores for the Hawks. Tyler Skeen raced 16-yards for pay dirt and Luke Huffman caught a 40-yard touchdown pass to close out the scoring in the first quarter and the visitors held a 30-0 edge.
The Vikings opened the second stanza with a punt that never happened. Facing a fourth-and-five from the 40-yard line, the snap sailed over Jackson Heath’s head down to the nine yard line and three plays later Skeen scored again.
The Blackhawks added their final points of the evening with 3:19 left before the half. North Stokes defense showed signs of improvement and forced West into eight plays before they scored from 15-yards out by Whitworth.
North Stokes came out of the locker room and held West Wilkes starters from scoring on the first possession of the third. After running nine plays, Isaac Wood recovered a Blackhawk fumble near the 26-yard line turning the ball back over to the home team.
Even though the second half was a running clock, Sessoms saw some improvements.
“Our defense came out and did well against their starters to begin the second half. That is something we can build on and work with. We need maximum effort in not only games, but practices too. The only thing we can do now is keep working to get better and get ready for North Wilkes next week.”
North’s Matt Bullins ran for 25-yards on 10 carries and Shemo was 3-of-9 for 33-yards passing. Gabe Oerter recorded 42-yards receiving in the game. Petree tallied eight tackles in the contest. Oerter and Wood added seven each and Shemo, Jacob Murray, and Mark Shaw had six each.
North Stokes drops to 0-3 on the season and will host North Wilkes (2-0) in Danbury on Friday at 7:30 p.m. West Wilkes (2-0) welcomes Bishop McGuinness (1-2) into town.
Robert Money can be reached at 336-749-1193.