Starmount wins second conference football game

By Kristian Russell - krussell@elkintribune.com
Drake Funderburk looks to hand the ball off during an offensive drive. - Kristian Russell | Yadkin Ripple
Jose Najera (78) hits an extra-point attempt for the Rams. - Kristian Russell | Yadkin Ripple
The Starmount High School Homecoming Court was awarded on Friday night. The winners were, from left, Freshman attendant Melia Mosteller, Junior Attendant Nadia Rucker, Homecoming Queen Rhyne Stewart, 2017 Queen Maggie Freed, Senior Attendant Kayla Vanhoy and Sophomore Attendant Keyona Reynolds. - Kristian Russell | Yadkin Ripple

BOONVILLE — The Starmount Rams were looking to extend their win streak to two games, and earn their first home win of the season, as they hosted the Alleghany Trojans on Friday night. It was homecoming for the Rams, which was an extra incentive.

Starmount came out strong in the first quarter and never let up until the final whistle blew. The Rams were able to take a 27-7 win over the Trojans for their second Mountain Valley Athletic Conference win.

Starmount was able to find the end zone on its first drive of the night, which lasted seven plays and 59 yards. The drive started on the 26-yard line and ended between the pylons for seven points. Drake Funderburk filled in at quarterback for the Rams, as Trey Dezern is fighting a bone bruise injury. Funderburk’s first hand-off was successful as he gave the ball to Ethan Barnes, who ran for nine yards.

The Rams kept driving down the field, and on third-and-1, they found the play they needed to advance the chains. Funderburk once again handed the ball off to Barnes, who fought his way down the field and came up with a 38-yard run. The run put the Rams in perfect field position to complete the drive with a touchdown. Barnes used his strength to battle his way into the end zone for a touchdown. The extra-point attempt by Jose Najera was good, which gave Starmount a 7-0 lead with 8:31 left in the first quarter.

Alleghany came up with a long drive, but it died out on the 22-yard line. Bayden Childress, Nik Pardue, Dawson Smith and Adam Houston came up with big defensive plays. Starmount was able to stop Alleghany’s drive at the 22-yard line for a turnover on downs.

Starmount took over at the 22-yard line and tried to advance the ball down the field. The first play was an incomplete pass, which was followed up with flags thrown on second down. On third-and-16, Ethan Barnes ran the ball, but once again the Rams were penalized and the ball was taken back to the 20-yard line for a fourth-down punt.

The punt landed on the 41-yard line, which was where the Trojans took over. Alleghany tried to make its way down the field to move the chains, but Starmount’s defense once again came out strong. J. Max Swaim and Funderburk teamed up to take down a Trojan at the 44-yard line. On the next play, Denver Stokes and Childress rushed the quarterback and made him throw the ball away, which brought up fourth down.

Alleghany punted the ball to the 23-yard line, and the Rams started their third offensive drive of the night.

The drive started with a hand off to Swaim, who carried the ball for 2 yards. On second-and-8, Barnes carried the ball for 19 yards as he broke through several tackles to bring up first down at the 44-yard line. Funderburk passed the ball to Barnes for the first down play, which saw him come up with 5 yards.

On third-and-5, Funderburk put the ball into Swaim’s hands. Swaim turned on his jets as he beat several defenders and ran 49 yards for the second Starmount touchdown. The extra point was good, and the Rams had a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

In the second quarter, neither team put together a play that ended up with a touchdown, and the first half ended 14-0. Starmount ended the first half with 177 all-purpose yards, and held Alleghany to just 39 yards.

As the second half kicked off, Starmount was looking to continue its success from the first half. With less than five minutes remaining in the third quarter, Starmount was able to put another seven points on the board. The drive lasted 60 yards and over seven plays.

On third-and-goal from the 1-yard line, Will Ray found himself with the ball and he was able to cross the goal line for the touchdown. The kick was good, and the Rams had a 21-0 lead over Alleghany.

As the game went on, Alleghany was able to put seven points on the board to take away the shut out, but the Rams answered back on their next few plays. The final touchdown for Starmount was scored with three minutes left in the final quarter. Thomas Cole crossed the goal line with a 3-yard run to put the Rams up 27-7.

Alleghany tried to make its way down the field, but the Rams were strong on the defensive line and in the back field. The Trojans went to pass the ball down the field, and instead of finding an Alleghany player, the ball was intercepted by Pardue.

The interception gave Starmount the ball with less than two minutes on the board. The Rams were able to kneel the game out to take a 27-7 conference win over Alleghany.

With the win, Starmount moves to 2-0 in the MVAC and 2-4 overall. The Rams will travel to East Wilkes (4-1, 2-0) on Friday night.

Drake Funderburk looks to hand the ball off during an offensive drive.
https://www.yadkinripple.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/web1_DSC_0625.jpgDrake Funderburk looks to hand the ball off during an offensive drive. Kristian Russell | Yadkin Ripple

Jose Najera (78) hits an extra-point attempt for the Rams.
https://www.yadkinripple.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/web1_DSC_0639.jpgJose Najera (78) hits an extra-point attempt for the Rams. Kristian Russell | Yadkin Ripple

The Starmount High School Homecoming Court was awarded on Friday night. The winners were, from left, Freshman attendant Melia Mosteller, Junior Attendant Nadia Rucker, Homecoming Queen Rhyne Stewart, 2017 Queen Maggie Freed, Senior Attendant Kayla Vanhoy and Sophomore Attendant Keyona Reynolds.
https://www.yadkinripple.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/web1_DSC_0653.jpgThe Starmount High School Homecoming Court was awarded on Friday night. The winners were, from left, Freshman attendant Melia Mosteller, Junior Attendant Nadia Rucker, Homecoming Queen Rhyne Stewart, 2017 Queen Maggie Freed, Senior Attendant Kayla Vanhoy and Sophomore Attendant Keyona Reynolds. Kristian Russell | Yadkin Ripple

By Kristian Russell

krussell@elkintribune.com