Best scores his first touchdown

Watauga runner Sebastian Best scores a touchdown behind the blocking of Adrion Cassidy (52) against Ashe County.

WEST JEFFERSON — Watauga used its vintage rushing offense to roll up nearly 500 yards in total yardage in the Pioneers’ 56-7 victory over Ashe County on Aug. 30 at Ashe’s stadium.

The Pioneers (2-0) gained 496 yards in total offense, including 480 on the ground on 47 attempts. But despite Watauga’s big yardage numbers on offense, Ashe County coach Brian Hampton was still proud of his defense because Watauga scored just one of its eight touchdowns on a one-play drive.

That happened when Sebastian Best reeled off an 80-yard run with 6:22 left in the game. The run was Best’s second touchdown of the game. The sophomore wingback also capped a 72-yard drive with 10:32 left in the game with a 5-yard touchdown run.

“One thing, and I know it’s hard for people to understand, but I’m proud of our defense,” Hampton said. “I don’t like giving up 56 points, but they only had one, one-play drive against us this year. For the most part, they had to earn it. They sustained drives of five, six, seven or eight plays. I think they had to earn their yards.”

Watauga quarterback Anderson Castle led the Pioneers in rushing with 168 yards on 21 carries. Castle has gained 374 yards rushing and scored eight touchdowns in Watauga’s first two games.

Best added 111 yards on just five carries. He is the second Pioneer — Bryce Satterfield was the first — who has scored on an 80-yard run this season. Satterfield scored on an 80-yarder in the Pioneers’ first play from scrimmage in Watauga’s 50-21 win over T.C. Roberson on Aug. 23.

Satterfield finished with 67 yards on 12 carries against Ashe, and Jaiden Bond added 84 yards on eight carries. Receiver Grant Oliver carried the ball one time for a 50-yard gain.

“We’re better at running the football than passing the football, so we wanted to run the ball more,” Watauga coach Ryan Habich said. “We didn’t want these guys to be in the game. We wanted to take the wind out of their sails and run the ball and bring the toughness that we want.”

Watauga attacked early and consistently by scoring four touchdowns on its first four drives. Satterfield scored the Pioneers’ first-quarter touchdowns with a pair of 1-yard plunges, and Castle scored Watauga’s two second-quarter touchdowns — both on 1-yard plunges.

Satterfield scored his third touchdown in the third quarter on a 5-yard run. Castle also scored his third TD in the third quarter on a 3-yard run. Castle’s score gave Watauga a commanding 42-7 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Ashe County surprised Watauga with a touchdown late in the first half. A 39-yard Dawson Cox completion to Kaden Burgess got the ball down to the Watauga six-yard line, and a roughing the passer penalty on Watauga on the next play cost the Pioneers not just three penalty yards, but an interception.

On the following play, Ashe running back Timothy Peterson scored from three yards out with 10.7 left in the first half, leaving Watauga with a 28-7 halftime lead.

Watauga’s defense had to contend with Cox’s passing for much of the night. Cox was coming off a 461-yard, five touchdown performance in a loss to Avery County on Aug. 23, but was limited to completing 13-of-26 passes for 135 yards in the game, and a Jake Gragg diving interception in the second quarter.

The Huskies settled for 168 total yards, including just 33 on the ground.

“When you play a team like this, we had an advantage,” Habich said. “We were the heavy favorite and we knew that going in, and I think everybody knew that going in. When you’re a big favorite like that, you don’t always win. Upsets happen, so we told our kids you have to have the better attitude, commitment, discipline and teamwork going into the game. You have to be the tougher football team.”

Watauga 56, Ashe 7

Watauga 14 14 14 14 — 56

Ashe County 0 7 0 0 — 7

Scoring summary

First quarter

W—Satterfield 1 run (Everett kick)

W—Satterfield 1 run (Everett kick)

Second quarter

W—Castle 1 run (Everett kick)

W—Castle 1 run (Everett kick)

A—Peterson 3 run (Peterson kick)

Third quarter

W—Satterfield 5 run (Everett kick)

W—Castle 3 run (Everett kick)

Fourth quarter

W—Best 5 run (Everett kick)

W—Best 80 run (Everett kick)

Watauga Ashe County

First downs 27 10

By rushing 24 3

By passing 1 6

By penalty 2 1

Rushes-yards 47-480 13-33

Avg. per rush 10.2 2.5

Passing yards 16 135

Passes 1-3-0 13-26-1

Avg. per att. 16.0 10.4

Total plays-yards 50-496 39-168

Avg. per play 9.9 4.3

Penalties-yards 6-60 3-35

Punts-avg. 0-0 3-36.0

Fumbles-lost 1-0 0-0

Time of poss. 24:54 23:06

INDIVIDUALS

Rushing: Watauga—Castle 21-168, Best 5-111, Bond 8-84, Satterfield 12-67, Oliver 1-50; Ashe—Peterson 10-55, Cox 3-(-22).

Passing: Watauga—Castle 1-3-0 16; Ashe—Cox 13-26-1 135.

Receiving: Watauga—Bond 1-16; Ashe— Burgess 3-46, Poe 3-37, Peterson 3-20, Ballard 1-14, Crouse 1-12, Witherspoon 1-3, Miller 1-3.

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