Conference play is set to begin in football, and what better way to start it than with arguably one of the biggest games of the year for two teams?
Starmount and Elkin are set to square off in the Battle of the Bridge Friday night at Starmount High School. Starmount (2-2) looks like the favorite to demolish the Buckin’ Elks, but history could tell fans otherwise. Elkin was 0-4 last year as they were set to play 2-2 Starmount. Many didn’t give the Buckin’ Elks a fighting chance, but something about this rivalry fired up the team as they won 26-0, sending the Ram Rowdies home disappointed.
This year, the circumstances are almost the same, except this time, Starmount wants the bragging rights back, and they want to earn them at their house. Over the past two games, Starmount’s run has improved dramatically, with Trey Lomax, Brandon Prescott and Andrew Smythers all being threats for big runs.
That spells trouble for the Buckin’ Elks. Their size isn’t there like it once was, and in games against Mount Airy and North Surry, the running game pounded them in the second half for 70 points. If Elkin wants to repeat the shocker, they need to stop the snowball on defense from happening. Starmount is 9-2 overall against Elkin since 2004.
East Wilkes continued its strong start with a win over Forbush last Friday night, but as conference play begins, it somewhat cleans the slate for all teams across the board. They travel to North Wilkes, who has some deep threats like Daniel Pruitt who they’ll need to stop, but the key to the game will be the defensive front. The front three — Chris Dixon, Quincy Lineberger, and Adam Holbrook — did great controlling the line in the win over Forbush, and if they can put pressure on, then offensively, Andrew Nance and Camon Bryan can be dominant on the run for another East Wilkes win to move to 5-0.
Forbush hosts non-conference Cherryville Friday night as well. The Falcons 2-3 will then have one week off before beginning conference play on the road against Surry Central.
Ryan DeCosta can be reached at 336-258-4052 or via Twitter @rsdecosta.