By David Rogers. September 1, 2017. NEWLAND, NC — It wasn’t yet Halloween, but Avery County found just about everything frightful in hosting regional rival Watauga on the MacDonald Stadium gridiron Friday night. The Pioneers dominated from the start before finishing as victors, 49-8.
COVER IMAGE: Although “dressed to kill” in camouflage apparel, it was hard to miss the Watauga student section. All photographic images by David Rogers for Blowing Rock News
It didn’t take sophomore running back Bryce Satterfield long to put his stamp on the game. Watauga’s defense forced a three-and-out on the Vikings’ opening possession. Then on Watauga’s second play from scrimmage Satterfield romped 51 yards before being forced out of bounds at the Avery one-yard line. Just one play later he waltzed into the end zone for the first of his five rushing TDs on the night, all in the first half.
Although his actual TD runs were from short yardage situations of 1-, 2-, 4-, 1- and 1-yards, don’t think he was just the clean-up guy. In the first half alone he carried the ball 14 times for 150 yards.
Jaiden Bond also figured prominently in the Pioneer offensive scheme, carrying the ball twice for 60 yards and a TD, as well as being on the receiving end of a 49-yard pass-catch-and-run hurled by sophomore QB Anderson Castle.
By game’s end Avery County held the edge in time of possession, but it was only because the Vikings struggled against Watauga’s solid defensive effort AND because the Pioneers struck quickly and at will on offense. Ben Critcher, Josh Headlee, Braeden Myers and Phillip Shukis headlined the Pioneer defensive attack, including five tackles for loss on the evening. Shukis accounted for two of those TFLs, while Headlee, Myers and Austin Phillips penetrated across the line of scrimmage for the others in bringing down Viking runners.
After the Pioneers went ahead 42-0 with seconds to go in the first half, the 40+ point deficit prompted game officials to implement a running clock which, mercifully, considerably shortened the second half.
With the win, Watauga will take a 3-0 season-opening record back to Boone in hosting Wilkes Central next Friday at Jack Groce Stadium, 7:30 pm.
- Total Offense: Watauga 381, Avery County 160
- Passing Yards: Watauga 75, Avery County 39
- Rushing Yards: Watauga 306, Avery County 121
- Turnovers: Watauga 0, Avery County 1
- Third Down Conversions: Watauga 3/6 (50%), Avery County 1/9 (11.1%)
- Fourth Down Conversions: Watauga 1/1 (100%), Avery County 0/3 (0.0%)