Thirteen is a lucky number for the East Wilkes Cardinals, as they beat Swain County for the first time in program history, advancing to the third round of the 1AA Football Playoffs.
Now, standing in their way of the Final Four is Mitchell, who beat Mount Airy last weekend in dominant fashion, and would like to do the same to the Cardinals. If there’s one thing that can stop that from happening, it’s the Cardinals’ defense.
Holding Swain County to only seven points was a challenge in and of itself, and they’ll have another challenge on their hands again. Mitchell’s high-powered offense and the Cardinals’ stacked defense will make for an amazing game, and there’s no reason to believe that it won’t be one to remember.
If there’s a reason to believe that the remarkable run for East Wilkes will continue, it’s because of its ability to adjust and overcome adversity. The run game struggled early on, so the team adjusted and put it in the air more often. As a result, sophomore quarterback Bryce Vestal had a career-high 137 passing yards in the win.
Seeing how strong the team is on defense, it was surprising to find that Jordan Niten’s forced safety was the first for the team this season, and it changed the momentum for good last week.
Friday’s game will likely go the same way, coming down to a big play on defense or a play like Joah Logan’s heads up catch for a touchdown last week. Take away the touchdown and safety and it’s a much closer game. They’ll need some plays to go their way if they want to continue their run.
Ryan DeCosta can be reached at 336-258-4052 or via Twitter @rsdecosta.