NORWOOD —North Stanly made easy work of cross-county Yadkin Valley Conference rival South Stanly on Friday, leaving Norwood with a 46-0 win.
For the Comets (3-4, 2-1 YVC), it was a rebound game after last week’s 21-7 home loss to Robinson (7-1, 3-0 YVC) that helped them jump to third place in the YVC standings behind the Bulldogs and Mount Pleasant (6-2, 3-0 YVC).
The matchup marked the Bulls’ (1-6, 0-3 YVC) third consecutive shutout loss in conference play. South Stanly — which has been outscored 146-0 in those three losses — is now tied with Union Academy (0-8, 0-3) for last place in the conference.
North Stanly coach Scott Crisco said the game was his team’s best overall showing of the season.
“It was nice to see all facets of our game working,” Crisco said. “We still need to work on our running game, but the defense is really clicking and we’ve played well the past couple of weeks.”
The Comets set the tone early when, just seconds into the game, North Stanly defensive tackle D.J. Watkins caught an interception and returned it 24 yards for a touchdown.
“That pick-six on the first play of the game set the tone for our defense,” Crisco said.
Three minutes later, Comets quarterback Luke Shaver escaped South Stanly’s defensive linemen and scrambled 38 yards to the end zone, making it 14-0. The senior finished the night with four touchdowns — two through the air and two more on the ground.
North Stanly running back Karee Dykes kept the early momentum rolling with a 25-yard touchdown run at the 6:16 mark. As the quarter expired, Shaver took advantage of South Stanly’s blown coverage and found wide receiver Junior Hill wide open for a 49-yard catch to give the Comets a 26-0 advantage.
The pair connected once again for a big play with a 45-yard touchdown catch midway through the second quarter as the Comets went into halftime with a 33-0 lead.
Shaver recorded his second rushing touchdown of the night at the 7:32 mark of the third quarter when he turned a botched snap on a field goal attempt into an acrobatic 20-yard sideline run to the end zone.
“I wish I could say we drew it up like that, but it was really just a bad snap,” Crisco said. “We’ve practiced that if that happens. You get up, roll around and look for something.”
Only 16 seconds later, Comet cornerback Cameron Smith intercepted a South Stanly pass and ran it back 24 yards for North Stanly’s second pick-six of the night to make it a 46-0 game. With the contest out of reach, the scoreless fourth quarter went by with a continuous clock.
The Comets will travel to Mount Pleasant on Friday for a matchup with major conference implications. The Bulls, meanwhile, will host Robinson with the hopes of winning their first game since Sept. 10.