Week three football preview

By Kristian Russell - krussell@elkintribune.com

As football heads into the third week of games, teams are preparing for tough match-ups while also keeping a close eye on upcoming conference games. Friday night sees all four local teams in action, on the road and at home. Forbush will host East Wilkes, Starmount will travel to West Stokes and Elkin travels to Mount Airy.

East Wilkes (1-1) at Forbush (0-2):

The Cardinals will travel to East Bend to take on the Falcons on Friday night. East Wilkes is coming off of a 36-6 win over Surry Central, while Forbush is coming off of a 28-22 loss to North Iredell.

Both teams have strong offensive presence with two young quarterbacks. The Falcons have a starting sophomore, Jason Graham, who has the ability to make pass plays and also run plays when needed. If Graham gets forced out of the pocket, he can make a run down the field for several yards.

On East Wilkes’ side of the ball, quarterback Caeden Howell also has the ability to make the tough plays. Howell has no problem hanging onto the ball and forcing his way through the defensive line. On the passing side of things, Howell’s aim to his wide receivers was spot on last week as he completed three touchdown passes.

Defensively, both teams have a strong line, but they have both struggled late in their respective games. Forbush has yet to play a full four quarters a full strength. The first game of the season saw the Falcons lose the game in the final six minutes, while the game against North Iredell saw the Falcons take a loss in the final quarter. If the Falcons can put together a strong game and see it the whole way through, the tide could turn towards Forbush’s first win of the season.

For the Cardinals to come away with a win on Friday night, they are going to have to take care of the football. Turnovers have been a main problem for East Wilkes over the past two weeks. Against East Surry, the Cardinals had six fumbles. Last week the Cardinals didn’t have any fumbles, but they had several false start calls in the first two quarters. East Wilkes will have to start meshing together on offense and defense to earn its second win of the season.

Kick-off is set for 7:30 p.m. in East Bend.

Elkin (2-0) at Mount Airy (2-0):

The Elkin Buckin’ Elks have had one of its best starts to a season since 2009. Elkin is sitting undefeated with a 2-0 record after wins over Surry Central and North Surry. On Friday night, the Buckin’ Elks will be put to the test against another undefeated team — the Mount Airy Granite Bears. The Bears are coming off of a second-place finish in last year’s championship game. This season the Bears have taken wins over Starmount and West Stokes to remain 2-0.

Elkin has put together a strong team that can run the ball and pass the ball when the time calls for it. Elkin has scored 51 points and allowed only 17 in the past two games. In the Buckin’ Elks game against North Surry, the Greyhounds had the lead after the first quarter, but Elkin was able to make a comeback with two touchdowns by Tyjae Townsend. Elkin was able to score the final touchdown late in the fourth quarter to take a 21-17 win.

On Friday night, Elkin is going to have to come together on offense and defense to take a win over the Bears. Mount Airy has averaged five touchdowns in its past two games, which means the Elkin defense will have to hold its line and put pressure on the offensive line. Elkin has a chance as they are the underdogs that many people have wrote off for the past few seasons. With a young, talented team, Elkin can has a chance to test their limits against Mount Airy.

Kick-off is set for 7:30 p.m. in Mount Airy.

Starmount (0-2) at West Stokes (1-1):

After starting the season at home against two powerhouse opponents, the Starmount Rams will be on the road for the first time in 2018. Starmount is coming off of a 45-38 loss to Mount Airy (2-0), and a 35-12 loss to East Surry (2-0). The Rams will be looking to earn their first win of the season with an away game at West Stokes (1-1) on Friday night.

Although the record shows Starmount at 0-2, the Rams have been matched up with two undefeated teams to start things off in 2018. Starmount was able to keep up with Mount Airy in the opening game, as the Rams made a comeback in the third quarter to keep things interesting. In the game against East Surry, Starmount had a tougher time against the Cardinals but they still were able to put up 12 points against a team that is known for its defense.

West Stokes is coming off of a 34-28 loss to Mount Airy, and a 34-13 win over South Stokes. The Wildcats have a young team with talent on the defensive line. The Rams will have to play smart and put together a strong passing game if they hope to come away with their first win of the season.

Kick-off is set for 7:30 p.m. in King.

By Kristian Russell