On to the end zone

Watauga quarterback Anderson Castle races toward a 29-yard touchdown against T.C. Roberson in the Pioneers’ 50-21 win Aug. 23 at Jack Groce Stadium.

BOONE — It took just 15 seconds for the Watauga football team to score a touchdown on visiting T.C. Roberson in Watauga’s first football game of the 2019 season.

It may have taken that long just to read these last two sentences.

Bryce Satterfield, who was until recently not even sure that he would be playing for the Pioneers this season, did the honors of scoring Watauga’s first TD of the season. Satterfield broke off an 80-yard run that stunned T.C. Roberson and was the first of six straight touchdowns in the Pioneers’ 50-28 victory on an overcast Aug. 23 night.

“Any time you can win the opener, it’s exciting, especially at Jack Groce,” Watauga coach Ryan Habich said. “I thought the crowd was awesome. Watauga County came out and to pack the stands like that is always good for our program. I know the players got excited about that.”

Watauga, with the help of a correct read made by quarterback Anderson Castle and the downfield blocking of four Pioneers down field, gave Satterfield plenty of room to outrace the Rams’ defense for the touchdown.

The Pioneers kept the momentum going by taking a 36-0 lead with 3:18 left in the first half before T.C. Roberson found some rhythm and scored with 18.9 seconds before halftime to close to 36-7. Castle gained 206 yards on 22 carries and finished the game with touchdown runs of three, 29, one and 18 yards.

Satterfield, who moved with his family to Louisville, Ky., but moved back to Boone with his mom in late July to finish high school at Watauga, had 130 yards rushing on six carries and in the first seven minutes of the game. Satterfield piled up 170 yards on just 11 carries, and the Pioneers rolled up 473 yards on the ground and 592 yards in total offense.

Castle scored on a 3-yard keeper to put Watauga up 14-0 with 4:16 left, and Satterfield scored on a 24-yard run on the Pioneers’ next possession to make it 21-0 after Sebastian Best recovered a Roberson fumble one play after Castle got into the end zone.

“We played a pretty good first half offensively,” Habich said. “I like the way we got some turnovers. Defensive coordinator Klay Anderson and coach (Jason) Phelps did a really good job of emphasizing turnovers to our defense.”

Watauga’s defense continued to provide the Pioneers with scoring opportunities by forcing two straight punts. Watauga responded to Roberson’s first punt with a 29-yard Castle touchdown run, and to the Rams’ second punt with a 1-yard Castle TD, his third touchdown of the game, which gave the Pioneers a 36-0 advantage.

Roberson took to the air to score its first touchdown, and then scored on the first drive of the second half on a 35-yard run from quarterback Zharius Looper to close to 36-14, but Watauga answered with its sixth straight touchdown, a 20-yard Jaiden Bond run with 5:44 left in the third.

“We could never really find a rhythm in the first half,” Roberson coach J.D. Dinwiddie said. “I give coach Habich and Watauga credit. They’ve got a group that’s been together for a long time and they’re really good at what they do.”

Leading 43-14, Castle scored his fourth touchdown of the night on an 18-yard run in the fourth quarter to give Watauga a 50-14 lead with 7:29 left in the game. Roberson scored on a 28-yard pass play from Shak Hill to Cameron Phillips put the final touchdown on the scoreboard with 28.7 left in the game.

But, Satterfield nearly made sure it was not the final touchdown of the game by returning the ensuing kickoff to the Roberson 8-yard line. Backup quarterback Joe Penley took a knee to run out the clock and send the Pioneers home with a win.

It’s the second-straight year Watauga has dominated Roberson. In 2018, the Pioneers took a 36-12 win over the Rams in Asheville.

Watauga 50, T.C. Roberson 21

T.C. Roberson 0 7 7 7 — 21

Watauga 21 15 7 7 — 50

Scoring summary

First quarter

W— Satterfield 80 run (Everett kick)

W—Castle 3 run (Everett kick)

W—Satterfield 22 run (Everett kick)

Second quarter

W—Castle 29 run (Castle run)

W—Castle 1 run (Everett kick)

TCR—Proctor-Bates 12 pass from Whitson (Olmead kick)

Third quarter

TCR—Looper 35 run (Olmead kick)

W—Bond 20 run (Everett kick)

Fourth quarter

W—Castle 18 run (Everett kick)

TCR—Phillips 31 pass from Hill (Olmead kick)

TCR Watauga

First downs 13 28

By rushing 5 23

By passing 6 5

By penalty 2 0

Rushes-yards 23-104 47-473

Avg. per rush 4.5 10.1

Passing yards 129 119

Passes 12-19-1 6-9-0

Avg. per comp. 10.8 19.8

Penalties-yards 4-30 10-75

Punts-avg. 5-41.1 2-23.5

Time of poss. 16:26 30:41

Individuals

Rushing: TCR—Looper 6-48, Hill 5-26, Credle 8-19, McDay 2-16, Whitson 2-(2.5); WHS—Castle 22-206, Satterfield 11-170, Bond 7-60, Best 3-38, Oliver 1-4, Penley 3 (-5).

Passing: TCR—Hill 7-11-0 94, Whitson 5-8-1 35; WHS—Castle 6-9-0 119.

Receivers: TCR—McDay 6-40, Phillips 3-61, Hill 1-13, Proctor-Bates 1-12, Looper 1-3; WHS—Bond 4-90, Best 1-26, Satterfield 1-3.

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