MORAVIAN FALLS - ‘Championship Friday’ lived up to the billing.
In the 2012 Mountain Valley Conference title game, Wilkes Central held off Starmount’s fourth-quarter rally to capture the conference crown 14-7 and halt a handful of streaks in the process. In East Bend, Elkin breezed past Forbush 42-21 to secure the 1A championship.
The Eagles grabbed a 14-0 lead in the second half of a defensive-minded championship slugfest before the Rams battled back in the final quarter.
Will Simpson plowed in from one yard out to finally put Starmount on the board at the 8:04 mark of the fourth.
After Central picked up two first downs to the 44-yard line, James Watson and Zach Worley made what would have been the play of the season when Watson stripped Cameron Williams - the MVAC’s leading rusher - of the ball as Worley pounced on it. The Rams took over at their own 31 with 4:13 left to play.
On the strength of the running game, Starmount moved the chains twice - once on a 4th-and-three pick-up by Simpson - moving down to the 35-yard line.
But on the following play, Trey Money’s pass intended for Brady Lamm was intercepted, sealing the upset win for the Eagles.
Williams picked up a final first down as Central exacted revenge and celebrated the conference crown.
The loss ended Starmount’s unprecedented streak of 40-straight MVAC victories, dating back to 2007. The Rams’ four-year reign as conference champs came to a halt as well.
Despite the loss, Starmount will host a playoff game next Friday night as the conference’s No. 2 2A seed.
In East Bend, the Buckin’ Elks punched their ticket into the postseason in a big way after a one-year hiatus.
Just one season removed from a 1-9 campaign, Elkin captured the 1A championship with a 42-21 victory over Forbush tonight.
The Elks will host a 1A state playoff game next Friday as the No. 1 seed from the MVAC.
For full recaps of tonight’s action, check out Monday’s Tribune.
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or firstname.lastname@example.org.