NORWOOD — In Friday night’s football season opener between West Stanly and South Stanly, it took less than two minutes for one team to jump to a 14-point lead.
West’s two primary running backs — junior Matthew Parker and senior Braden Hartsell — each found the end zone shortly after the game’s kickoff, quickly establishing the tone in the Colts’ dominant 45-6 road win over the Bulls.
The Colts (1-0) amassed 358 rushing yards while holding the Bulls (0-1) to only 98. Parker recorded 133 yards on 11 carries while Hartsell picked up a team-high 176 on 10 carries.
Despite the lopsided win, West Stanly coach Brett Morton wasn’t fully satisfied with what he saw on the field as the Colts were held scoreless for the entire third quarter.
“We have a lot of stuff to clean up and get better at,” Morton said. “Offensively, the first quarter was huge, but the second and third quarters were very pedestrian. We had too many mistakes, but we’re still tweaking some stuff blocking-wise and we’ll continue to get better for sure.”
South’s only points came on a 71-yard touchdown run from Omaurion Eldridge as the fourth-quarter clock expired. For most of the night, the Bulls’ offense failed to pick up steam as the Colts’ pass rush swarmed sophomore quarterback Drew Gaddy.
“Jacob Lisk and Carter Miller — those two guys can get after it,” Morton said of his defensive linemen. “With Jamarquis Morrison on the inside and Nick Barringer, I’m looking for big things from that front four this season.”
Lisk and Miller had a combined 4.5 sacks; one midway through the second quarter took Gaddy out of the game after he sustained a leg injury from the tackle. Gaddy later returned before being replaced by senior Trevor Tucker after halftime.
Senior Caden Edwards and junior Jesse Boone led the Colts with 11 and 10 tackles, respectively.
While West’s run-heavy attack did most of the heavy lifting for the team’s offense, junior quarterback Carson Morton completed 5 of 8 passes for 81 yards and a touchdown. Senior Khaleel McAuley reeled in the scoring catch with three minutes left in the game to wrap up a quarter where the Colts tacked on 21 points to an existing 24-0 lead.
McAuley led all West receivers with 59 yards from his three receptions.
West Stanly will travel to Albemarle (0-1) on Friday to take on a Bulldog team that suffered a 50-0 loss to Thomasville (1-0) in its season opener. That same night, South Stanly will look to rebound as the Bulls make a trip to Southwestern Randolph (1-0) to face the Cougars of the PAC-7 Conference.