NORWOOD — After being shut out by a combined score of 99-0 in their past two contests, the Albemarle Bulldogs got their first win of the season Friday night.
The Bulldogs (1-5, 1-1 Yadkin Valley) pitched a shutout of their own, coming away with a 14-0 win against conference rival South Stanly in a game hampered by near-constant rain as well as a 40-minute delay from an electrical issue that interfered with a K.L. Young Memorial Stadium field light.
Hindered by a struggling offense, the Bulls (1-5, 0-2 YVC) have started conference play with two straight shutout losses — South Stanly fell 44-0 in a road loss to Mount Pleasant a week prior.
Albemarle’s two touchdowns came from a pick-six late in the second quarter and a 55-yard run in the third quarter.
“It’s always a big thing when you can get a win against a county rival, and our boys fought hard,” Albemarle coach Richard Davis said. “Even though we’re a young team, we can’t use that as an excuse anymore at this point in the season. It’s been a tough season and we’ve played some good opponents, but to finally get on the right side of the scoreboard and have some success is a great thing to build from.”
Friday night’s action got off to a slow start with a scoreless first quarter where neither team’s offense could gather any rhythm on the rain-soaked field.
With 2:48 left in the half, Albemarle cornerback Jason Wall intercepted an errant pass from South Stanly quarterback Trevor Tucker and returned it 15 yards for a touchdown that put the Bulldogs on the board.
It was Albemarle’s first points in 35 days, with the last coming in the Bulldogs’ 34-21 nonconference loss to Owen last month.
The third quarter had just gotten started when clouds of smoke began to drift over one side of the field from a light pole. The lengthy delay ended when stadium officials brought in temporary lighting as a stand-in fix.
It didn’t take long for the Bulldogs to add some insurance points when the game resumed. C.J. Ellis got Albemarle’s offense on the board when he evaded multiple Bulls defenders on a 55-yard touchdown.
A scoreless fourth quarter secured an encouraging first victory of the season for the Bulldogs.
“This is a step in the right direction,” Davis said. “We have a really tough opponent coming up in Mount Pleasant, but at least we’re going into the week coming off a win.”
South Stanly will attempt to record its first conference win of the year Friday when the Bulls host another cross-county rival — the North Stanly Comets (2-4, 1-1), who are coming off a 21-7 home game to Robinson (6-1, 2-0).