ALBEMARLE — The high school football season in North Carolina is underway — six months later than usual — with a shortened seven-game schedule, meaning every matchup for the four Stanly County teams will count for even more this year.
Although the anticipated season-opener between West Stanly (0-0, 0-0 Rocky River Conference) and North Stanly (0-0, 0-0 Yadkin Valley Conference) this past Friday was postponed due to COVID-19 safety protocol, both South Stanly (1-0, 1-0 YVC) and Albemarle (0-1, 0-1 YVC) started their conference play in their openers.
The South Stanly Rowdy Rebel Bulls kicked off the season with a lopsided 58-12 win over the South Davidson Wildcats (0-1, 0-1 YVC) in Norwood on Thursday night. The Bulls outscored the Wildcats in all four quarters, putting up 20 points in two of them.
Quarterback Drew Gaddy put on a show for his home crowd with three touchdown passes and one rushing touchdown. The freshman finished the game with 211 passing yards on 13-of-23 passing in what was his first start under center for South Stanly.
The Bulls also averaged more than 11 yards per carry as a team on the way to six touchdowns and 327 yards. Junior running back Devin Green led the South Stanly running attack with 11 carries for 106 yards, while Gaddy (93 yards), senior Jaquavius Caraway (72 yards) and junior Trevor Tucker (41 yards) all pitched in.
As for the South Stanly wide receivers, two seniors led the pack: Jaderian Smith and senior Malik Kluttz. Smith had a team-high 101 receiving yards on four catches, while Kluttz found the end zone on three separate occasions.
The Bulls are now set for a home matchup versus North Rowan (1-0, 1-0 YVC) on Friday.
The Cavaliers began their season with a 36-0 shutout win at North Moore (0-1, 0-1 YVC) last week.
Albemarle’s season began last Friday with a 6-0 loss against Chatham Central (1-0, 1-0 YVC) in which the Bulldogs struggled in both the passing and running game. Senior quarterback Anthony Chambers completed just 3 of 9 passing attempts for 29 yards, and the Bulldogs rushed the ball 24 times for a combined total of negative-35 yards.
In the rain-drenched weather conditions, both teams struggled to hold on to the ball while on offense. Albemarle fumbled 11 times throughout the game, turning it over to Chatham Central on five of those occasions.
The Bulldogs will look to earn their first win of the season when they take on North Moore at home on Friday, and both teams will be looking for their first points of the season.
Meanwhile, West Stanly and North Stanly will be looking to do the same as they take the field for the first time.
The Colts have a road trip to face East Rowan (0-1, 0-0 North Piedmont Conference), who dropped their season-opener to Mount Pleasant (1-0, 0-0 RRC). The Comets will begin their season with a road matchup against Chatham Central.