WEST JEFFERSON — The Starmount Rams got all the offense they needed from a pair of big runs from Brandon Prescott and let the defense handle the rest as they were able to beat the Ashe County Huskies, 16-6.
The Rams made for a night of red-zone struggles for the Huskies, denying them on three trips inside the 20 that could have changed the entire ballgame. In the process, the Rams denied the Huskies of any chance for a third straight conference title.
The Huskies turned the ball over on downs at the Starmount two-yard line with 3:31 left in the first quarter. Starmount also came up empty on its first red zone-opportunity with a missed 35-yard field goal with 8:50 left in the second quarter. With just under four minutes left in the half, the Ram defense stood strong again and denied the Huskies on fourth down, this time at the Starmount 12-yard line.
It looked like the Rams were trying to run out the clock to get to the halftime break, but Prescott had other ideas. On a carry with 19 seconds left in the quarter, the senior tailback sprinted down the field for a 47-yard touchdown and a 7-0 Starmount lead at the half.
Two plays into the third quarter, Prescott burst through the line again and scampered 65 yards for the second score of the night just 19 seconds into the second half. The extra point was missed, making the score 13-0.
The Rams added a 32-yard field goal with 2:13 left in the third quarter to take a 16-0 lead to the fourth.
Ashe had first and goal at the Starmount three-yard line, but the red-zone problems struck again in a big way with a fumble that was recovered by the Rams on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Ashe dropped to 5-5 overall and 4-2 in the MVAC while Starmount improved to 6-4 overall and 4-2 in the MVAC. The Rams will host Alleghany on the season finale.
Meanwhile, the Buckin’ Elks were denied a win for the ninth time this season, losing to Alleghany 8-0.
Elkin (1-9, 1-5 MVAC) came inches away from forcing a safety in the closing minutes of the first half, but were just short. Turnovers were the killer for the Buckin’ Elks this weekend, racking up four in total. Late in the third, Alleghany intercepted a pass, then drove it down the field for the only points of the night.
No matter what happened this past weekend and the next, the Elks knew that if they made the playoffs, they’d be on the road. Now, based on their record in the MVAC, they ideally must win next weekend at Ashe County if they want to keep their season alive. The last time Elkin had only one win heading into the final weekend was in 2011, and a 6-3 loss to then conference foe Forbush kept them out. The situation is all too similar, but they’re looking for a much different result.
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-846-7164 and on Twitter @NathanHam87.
Ryan DeCosta can be reached at 336-258-4052 and via Twitter @rsdecosta.