Central drops tough loss to North Stokes, 38-28

First Posted: 10/30/2009

DANBURY Surry Central had its second straight win within its grasp Friday against North Stokes but ran out of time and patience, dropping a tough loss to the Vikings 38-28.
After beating North Surry last week for their first win of the season, the Golden Eagles (1-9 overall, 1-6 conference) trailed just 24-21 with more than seven minutes left in the game after quarterback Dave Wilmoth punched in his second score of the night from one yard out.
But on the Vikings (6-4 overall, 3-4 conference) first play from scrimmage, tailback Patrick Hargrave took a sweep around the left end 73 yards for a backbreaking touchdown to yank the momentum out from under the Eagles.
Central was able to mount a drive on its ensuing possession, with Wilmoth again scampering in for a touchdown, this time from 13-yards out.
Down just 30-28 with 3:37 left to play, the Eagles had a chance to take control by holding the Vikings, but Hargrave and company wouldnt be denied, as the load of a senior kept the chains, and more importantly the clock, moving until fullback Dylan Llewellyn drove the final nail in the coffin on a seven-yard run with 44 seconds remaining.
It wasnt always this way for Central, as the game started out as auspiciously for the Eagles as any team could hope for, with Hargrave muffing the opening kickoff to give Central the ball at the North Stokes 18-yard line.
The Eagles took advantage when on third and inches from the five Wilmoth pitched out to senior Casey Felts, who dove in for the first score of the game, giving Central an early 7-0 lead.
Central Coach Monty Southern thought his team may have underestimated the resolve of North Stokes after the first possession.
The game started great for us, cant start any better, Southern said. I dont know if we just thought at that point, Its a cake walk and we got them.
Central held that lead until just a few minutes into the second quarter, when Viking receiver Tay France jetted 45 yards around end for Norths first score.
It was big play bug which continually bit Central, with Vikings quarterback Garrett Wood hooking up with receiver Alek Ottaway deep on several occasions to strike major blows. Ottaway had three catches for 83 yards and one score, while Wood was 7-of-15 passing for 116 yards and two touchdowns.
Southern said the long passes were not just poor coverage, but good efforts by Ottaway and the Vikings.
They run the ball so much, a couple of times we got caught taking a step forward and we got behind them, Southern said. Weve struggled with that all year. Those corners, we want them to play aggressive when they see the run, but they have to play pass first and keep getting better at that. I felt like we got through that hump but then tonight it bit us a couple more times.
While the first half started decidedly in Centrals favor, the second half was the total opposite, as Wilmoth was intercepted by Ethan Smith deep in Eagles territory on the second play of the half.
Llewellyn punched it in from two yards out shortly after to give North its biggest lead at 18-7.
Central would not go away easily however, as a solid kick return by Luke Harris set up a Wilmoth a 54-yard touchdown run up the middle to cut it to 18-14 North Stokes.
While the long pass plays kept North Stokes drives alive, Central found itself mired in penalties in the second half which worked to slow the Eagles offense.
Some of our penalties, especially in the first half, were lack of focus, and that cant happen in the second to last game of the season, Southern said. But some of the penalties, I felt like we were getting after it and this crew tonight they were calling it tight. If there was a little bit of a hold they were going to call it. Weve just got to adjust to the game and Ive talked to the guys about that. If they are calling it dont do it, if theyre not, get away with what you can get away with. But that hurt us.
Wilmoth accounted for the majority of Centrals offense one way or another, as the senior quarterback finished with 112-yards rushing on 12 carries for three scores and was 9-of-17 passing for 123-yards with two interceptions.
Shane Johnson had five catches for 50-yards, while Alex Wilmoth caught four passes for 76-yards and added on 15 yards rushing.
Next week Central will host South Stokes in its season finale.

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