North Stanly, Albemarle both fall short in 1st round of state football playoffs

Both schools faced No. 7 seeds on the road

STANLY COUNTY — Both Stanly County schools in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association football playoffs suffered first-round blowout losses on Friday. 

In the 2A Western Region, No. 26 North Stanly (6-5) was bested by No. 7 Monroe (10-1) in a 56-6 road loss, while No. 26 Albemarle (3-8, 2-3) suffered a 49-20 road loss to No. 7 Murphy (8-3, 4-0) in the 1A Western Region.  

With West Stanly (3-7) and South Stanly (0-10) failing to qualify for the postseason, all four Stanly teams are now done for the season, finishing the season with a combined countywide record of 12-30. 

The Comets had a stiff test in facing the older, bigger Redhawks. 

Monroe left no room for mistakes, building a 35-6 halftime lead behind the combination of quarterback Khamoni Robinson and running back Zion Lindsey. The two Redhawks combined for 336 yards of offense and six touchdowns.  

North running back Cam Smith had 21 carries but was limited to 90 yards by a stingy Redhawks defense after averaging nearly 150 yards per game this season.  

Smith’s ended his senior season with 1,559 yards and nine touchdowns while averaging more than 8 yards per carry. 

Earlier this week, he was named the Yadkin Valley Conference’s  Offensive Player of the Year for his efforts. Joining Smith with all-conference were Comets Gavyn Covington, DJ Watkins, Tad Johnson, Kaden Young and Isaiah Blaylock. 

While the Comets were succumbing to a 2A heavyweight, Albemarle’s five-hour road trip to Murphy resulted in a similar beatdown. 

Albemarle trailed 49-0 at the half before scoring 20 in the final 30 minutes. Murphy running back Hunter Stalcup led his team with 217 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries.  

Albemarle dual-threat C.J. Ellis had 141 total yards of offense in the loss. Ellis was later named to the all-conference team, along with Zyion Geiger, Jaylen Pinkney, Miles Gregory, Malik Watkins, Tyquan McDonald and Dre Davis.