Sixth-seeded Albemarle came up short at home in the second round of the 1A state football playoffs, losing 41-13 to Thomasville in a battle of the Bulldogs on Friday.
Albemarle (6-6) managed to hold Thomasville (9-3) scoreless through the first quarter, but four second-quarter interceptions gave Thomasville running back Kevin Robinson a series of short-field situations that he turned into three touchdowns in five minutes, setting the tone for the rest of the night.
With Albemarle down 21-0 entering the third quarter, quarterback Ander Artis tossed his third interception of the night that resulted in a 60-yard pick-six for Thomasville. The visiting Bulldogs’ lead then jumped to 34-0 when Thomasville picked up another rushing score early in the fourth quarter.
Albemarle was able to get on the board with two touchdowns late in the game. Artis first connected with Ja’Zyion Geiger — the Yadkin Valley Conference Offensive Player of the Year — in the end zone, and Jaylen Pinkney notched a fumble recovery for a touchdown 11 seconds later.
Despite the loss, Albemarle coach Richard Davis told SCJ he was impressed with his team’s season, including winning the Yadkin Valley Conference crown.
“We started out 0-4 and we ended it with a conference title,” Davis said. “We fell short of getting to the mountaintop, but there are a lot of things for them to keep their heads up and be proud of. Everybody had counted us out, and then we ended the regular season with a victory over North Stanly and a conference title.”
Davis is hopeful the Bulldogs can build on their successful 2023 season.
“The boys just kept believing in one another, kept trusting the process and kept showing up working every day,” he said. “Then things started clicking for us and then we got on the roll. The foundation has been laid, and now we just have to keep working and build upon this.”
Albemarle had shut out No. 27 South Davidson 49-0 in the first round.
Thomasville will now face No. 3 Eastern Randolph (11-1), which defeated No. 14 Hayesville 39-10 on Friday.
Brevard 36, North Stanly 7
North Stanly’s postseason came to an end Friday as the ninth-seeded Comets (8-4) suffered a 36-7 road loss to eighth-seeded Brevard in the second round of the 2A bracket.
The Blue Devils (10-2) struck early and often against the Comets (8-4), adding a touchdown to their lead every quarter as Brevard vaulted to a 21-0 lead by the third quarter before pulling away for a 29-point win.
Brevard quarterback Benjamin Kessinger finished with two touchdown passes, while running back Braylon Thompson added two scores on the ground.
The Comets had a 34-32 win over No. 24 T.W. Andrews in the first round and had won five of seven games before losing to the Blue Devils.
Brevard will look for its 11th straight win when it faces No. 1 Reidsville (11-1), which took down No. 16 West Stokes 42-7 at home in the second round.