PILOT MOUNTAIN—Despite a forecast of showers, the rain stayed away.
The home team, however, showed up right on time.
Getting 181 total yards from one ACC-bound player and 207 all-purpose yards from another, East Surry rode a dominant first half to a 69-7 nonconference win over East Wilkes Friday night at David H. Diamont Stadium in the season opener for both teams.
It’s the most points East Surry (1-0) has ever scored against East Wilkes (0-1) in 27 meetings and the fourth time in the past two seasons it has scored at least 60 points in a game.
For East Wilkes, it is the third-largest margin of defeat in school history and one point shy of the most points it has ever allowed.
Quarterback Jefferson Boaz, who has committed to play at UNC-Chapel Hill next season, threw for 157 yards and three touchdowns in the first half and ran for another score. Receiver Stephen Gosnell, who has committed to play at N.C. State, caught five passes for 123 yards and a touchdown and ran for 84 yards, including a 73-yard touchdown off a lateral from Boaz.
Senior Dillon Mosley ran for a touchdown and caught a touchdown pass. Backup quarterback Benjamin Gosnell scored a pair of second-half touchdowns.
Also getting a touchdown on defense and special teams, East Surry had 321 yards in the first half and scored four touchdowns in each of the first two quarters.
“We’ve got a lot of experienced players,” said Trent Lowman, in his second year as the East Surry head coach. “We got a lot of important downs last year deep in the playoffs, so in a first game you kind of hope that experience shows, and it did.
“Those guys came out and executed well, and it was fun to watch.”
East Surry’s longest and most impressive drive of the game came on its opening possession. Boaz, who completed his first seven passes, was 5-of-5 as East Surry moved 85 yards in seven plays. Boaz’s 7-yard pass to Landon Stevens and the first of Derek Sutterby’s nine extra points made it 7-0 just over four minutes into the game.
Tye Needham’s fumble recovery set up Mosley’s 12-yard scoring run, and Boaz threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Stephen Gosnell and ran for a 19-yard score for a 27-0 lead after the first quarter.
After Isaac Washington’s sack and a third-down loss pinned East Wilkes at its 5-yard line to start the second quarter, Hoyt Bullington partially blocked Blaine Wagoner’s punt. Sutterby leaped high to corral the loose ball, then weaved through traffic for 11 yards to make it 34-0.
Boaz threw his third touchdown pass of the half, a 12-yarder to Mosley, and Stephen Gosnell added his 73-yard run. Defensive back Kyler Jessup capped the half by intercepting a Caeden Howell pass intended for Brayson Church and returning it 65 yards to make it 55-0 at halftime.
East Surry held East Wilkes to a net 2 yards in the first half and 16 total yards for the game. The second half was played with a running clock.
“They’re a really good football team,” Jonathan Wilmoth, the East Wilkes head coach, said of East Surry. “When you take a really good football team, and you make a lot of errors, you get beat 69-7.”
On an otherwise forgettable night, there were a couple of bright spots for East Wilkes. Defensive back Trey Lambert made a leaping interception of a Boaz pass intended for Mosley near the goal line at the end of the first half.
And fellow senior Garrett Vernon — as he did a season ago — provided the scoring with an 84-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter. Vernon had a 91-yard kickoff return touchdown in last season’s game. He has returned three kicks for scores in the past two seasons.
East Surry used last year’s win as a springboard to an 11-4 record and a run to the Class 1AA state championship game, where it lost to Tarboro. Currently ranked No. 2 in the state according to Simmons Ratings and No. 3 according to Maxpreps, the question is this: Is there another run in the making?
“That’s our plan,” Lowman said. “It takes a lot to go right to get all the way there. We stayed free of injuries last year, and we didn’t have stupid turnovers. A lot of things lined up the right way, and that helped us get there last year.
“There’s only one expectation in the locker room and in the coaches’ office, and that’s to get back there. Hopefully we can do that.”
Notes: East Wilkes wore black helmets for the first time since the 2003 season…. East Wilkes’ 16 yards was its lowest offensive total since being held to 49 yards in a loss to Starmount in 2011…. Weston Brown had a fumble recovery for East Wilkes…. East Wilkes’ best play of the first half — a 19-yard pass from Howell to sophomore Kole Lambert — was wiped out by a penalty…. Church did not play in the second half after an injury, and Wagoner injured a knee late in the game.