Week three is upon the area for high school football season, and with the Labor Day weekend approaching, off weekends stifle Starmount’s, Elkin’s, Forbush’s and East Wilkes’ hopes to see some Friday Night Lights.
The Buckin’ Elks, however, will still be in the spotlight. Elkin hosts Mount Airy in a Thursday night special. That’s right, rather than the typical Friday night game, Elkin’s game will be Thursday night, and will air on the Time Warner Cable Sports Channel. The broadcast starts at 7 p.m., but Buckin’ Elks faithful will be sure to pack up Grissom Stadium in a battle against the Granite Bears. The staff at The Tribune are dubbing it, “The Battle of the Newspapers,” as sister paper, The Mount Airy News also will be providing coverage of Thursday night’s game.
On the field, though, it’s something much more for both teams. Mount Airy (1-1) is coming off of a 27-20 loss to West Stokes. Despite scoring late, the Granite Bears could not complete the comeback. Elkin, meanwhile, has opened up its season with some blown opportunities and have given up some game-changing plays.
Last Friday, Elkin had a shot to take the lead at the end of the first half, but the field goal attempt was shanked. In the ensuing 4:13 of the second half, North Surry put up 21 points in a 28-point third quarter for a 55-19 loss. Their starting quarterback, Beau Burgess is young, but the sophomore has improved his game and made for some nice gains in spite of the big loss.
For Elkin to win this game, it needs to be strong on defense and stop third and fourth down conversions from happening. In week one against Forbush, every scoring drive for the Falcons had either a conversion on third and long, or a fourth down conversion. Take away the two fourth down conversions, one of which was a 25-yard TD pass, and Elkin has a shot to tie it late.
For Mount Airy to win this game, it needs to balance its rushing and passing attack as it has done so far this season. The team tends to run the ball much more than pass it, but that doesn’t mean juniors Jackson Smith or Malik Frost can’t beat the secondary for a quick six.
Many eyes will be on this game, as Starmount and East Wilkes get to rest easy this weekend before coming back for Sept. 11 games. Forbush travels to North Wilkes on Friday night.
Ryan DeCosta can be reached at 336-258-4052 or via Twitter @rsdecosta.