On a night where the rain turned the playing field in Hudson to a swamp, Alexander Central routed South Caldwell and claimed the Northwestern Conference Championship with a 57-14 win.
The game was played in a pouring rain for the final three quarters and the Cougars had more success hanging on to the wet football than the home-standing Spartans. AC took the opening kick and marched 64 yards in 8 plays capped by Devon Weiss punching it in the end zone from one yard to give the Cougars a 7-0 lead.
An inspired South Caldwell team counter-punched and went 76 yards in 11 plays to tie the game at 7 when Jason Martin hit Auston Raynor from 9 yards. The Cougars fumbled the ensuing kick and South Caldwell took advantage and assumed the lead at 14-7 on a 19 yard scoring toss to Raynor. From that point forward the rain started and the rout began with Alexander Central scoring 50 straight points.
Alexander Central put the throttle to their prolific ground game and scored three unanswered touchdowns in the second quarter on runs by Byrson Godfrey, Tevin Clark, and Gunnar Anderson. At the half the score was 28-14 in favor of the visitors from Taylorsville.
The second half began with a fumble by South Caldwell on the first play from scrimmage and the Cougars went 27 yards in 5 plays. Tevin Clark ran through the puddles from 17 yards to make the score 36-14 in favor of the Blue and Gold. Clark would add another score on a 17 yard run less than a minute later following another Spartan fumble. Bryson Godfrey scored before the end of the period from 4 yards and the Cougars were heading to the fourth quarter leading 50-14.
Steven Montgomery would outrun the defense to the end zone with 3:56 remaining in the contest and the Cougars were putting an exclamation point on the game and the conference championship. The Cougars cleared the bench in the fourth quarter and the fans that remained got a chance to celebrate a 10-1 regular season.
Bryson Godfrey led the way for ACHS picking up 175 yards on 15 carries and a pair of scores. Devon Weiss who suffered a rib injury early in the second quarter left the contest, not to return, but not before he had gashed the Spartans for 113 yards and a score. Tevin Clark took advantage of the absence of Weiss and scored three touchdowns on 84 yards rushing. On the night the Cougars amassed 524 yards of offense, 505 of it on the soggy turf at Spartan Stadium. Steven Montgomery led the Cougar defense that allowed just 188 yards with 8 tackles and Jamison Benfield was in on 6 stops.
The Cougars will head to the post season with some injury issues however. Devon Weiss would have to be considered doubtful for next week’s playoff game with an injured rib. Linebacker Lyndon Strickland suffered a shoulder injury and left the game in the third quarter, not to return. Linebacker Trey lackey watched the second half action from the sidelines on crutches after sustaining an injury as well.
Now the Cougars will await the playoff pairings which should be announced sometime Saturday afternoon by the North Carolina High School Association. With a league title in hand and a 10-1 record, the Cougars are almost certain to host a playoff game next week.
Notes: Byrson Godfrey went over 1,000 yards rushing for the third straight season becoming the first player in school history to do so. Godfrey also became the school’s all time leader in touchdowns with 49 in his career.
With the win, Alexander Central wins the schools 7th all time Conference Championship and their first since 2010. The championship in 2010 was also clinched in Caldwell County when then Cougars beat Hibriten on the road.
Coach Butch Carter went 2-0 against South Caldwell where he coached for 15 seasons.
The Cougars never punted