They'll be talking about his one for years.
The Watuaga High football team hooked up in an old fashioned shootout with its biggest rival, the Avery Vikings, on Friday night.
The end result, the Vikings (2-1), led by their brilliant quarterback, Alex Villanueva, outscored WHS 46-27 at MacDonald Stadium in Newland, NC. The teams endured a two-hour, 54 minute lightning/rain delay, they combined for more than 800-yards of offense, nearly 300 yards in penalities, the teams scored 33 points in the third quarter and combined, they scored four touchdowns in a 3:30 span in the third period. The game officially ended at 1:12 a.m. Saturday morning.
Villanueva completed 14-19 passes for 320 yards and five touchdowns as the Vikings defeated WHS (1-2) for their second straight win in this long-standing series (WHS leads the series 30-13-1). And the Vikings settled the issue by scoring 21 unanswered points on their first three possessions of the first quarter. A WHS interception and fumble on consecutive possessions set up two of those scoring chances. The Vikings also out gained WHS 182-46 in the opening stanza.
But the play of the game actually occurred on the opening series of the game. With the Vikings facing a third and 18 at their 11-yard-line, Villanueva hooked up with Hunter Sheilds on an 18-yard pass that gave the Viklings a first down at their 29, and rejuvenated their confidence.
"They weren't very good the first week, they were ok last week, and they were very good this week against us," said WHS coach Tim Pruitt. "But how many times did we have them facing first and long, or third and long, and we let them off the hook. We just didn't play very well and they made the big plays."
That pass play from Villanueva to Sheilds ignited a nine-play, 81-yard scoring drive the culminated with Villanueva hooking up with Thomas Moore on a 39-yard catch-and-run and a 7-0 Vikings lead.
Lost in the shuffle was a marvelous performance by WHS senior Kyle Chambers, who picked up right where he left off last week. Chambers rambled for a career high 183 yards and four touchdowns. He did his best to keep the Pioneers in the game. But Villaneva and the Vikings were just a little bit better.
"Poor job on my part," Pruitt said. "We should have established the run early on, but we didn't do it. Kyle had a very good game, but overall, they out rushed us. We ran one more play than they did, but we coughed up 490 yards. I really felt coming in, their biggest weakness was the running game--both running the ball and stopping the run. But they just outplayed us in that area tonight."
Inclement weather forced a lengthy delay just as the second quarter was about to begin. The stoppage occurred at 8:04 p.m., and the teams didn't start playing again until 10:58 p.m. And the Pioneers finally got on the board on their second possession of the second quarter. Chambers capped off a five play, 42-yard scoring drive with a seven-yard run that made it 21-7 with 3:12 to play in the first half. But the Vikings responded by scoring exactly 1:55 later.
Villanueva hooked up with Spencer Blackburn on a 30-yard scoring strike that gave the Vikings a 27-7 halftime lead. Blackburn turned in a yoeman effort for the vikings. Offensively, he amassed 120 yards of total offense and scored twice; defensively, he had 13 tackles, including two tackles-for-loss.
"We were playing from behind all night," Pruitt said. "I really feel had we scored before the delay, it might have helped us. But they made more big plays than we did. Their receivers were real effective. They picked up some big yards after the catch, and we did a poor job of tackling. That can't happen."
NOTES: Ethan Greene, who was sacked four times, was 8-16 for 160 yards with an interception; Ethan Poulos caught five passes for 121 yards; the Pioneers had 318 yards of total offense.....The Vikings, who out rushed WHS (170-158), finished with 490 yards. Ironically, the Vikings had rushed for 300 yards in their first two games. In turn, they had coughed up 861 rushing yards.....Sheilds was Avery's leading receiver with four catches for 142 yards and two touchdowns.....Avery's 46 points Friday night were the most scored by the Vikings in this series since 1999.....The teams also set a new series record by scoring a combined four touchdowns in a span of 3:30.....Linebacker Will Morgan was disqualified from the game with 1:29 to play in the first quarter. He will be allowed to return for WHS's next game at West Caldwell.....The Pioneers travel to West Caldwell Friday night, September 9. Our covearge begins at 6:30 p.m. on Oldies 100.7 FM.
1 2 3 4 T
WATAUGA 0 7 20 0 - 27
AVERY 21 6 13 6 - 46
7:21 AHS - VILLANuEVA 39 YD PASS TO MOORE (CLARK KICK), 9-81, 4:39 7-0
3:36 AHS - VILLANuEVA 21 YD PASS TO SHEILDS (CLARK KICK), 7-75, 2:32 14-0
1:24 AHS - BLACKBURN 3 YD RUN (CLARK KICK), 5-35, 1:47 21-0
3:12 WHS - CHAMBERS 7 YD RUN (PARSON KICK), 5-42, 1:56 21-7
1:17 AHS - VILLANuEVA 54 YD PASS TO ROBBINS (KICK FAILED), 1:44 27-7
6:10 WHS - CHAMBERS 44 YD RUN (PARSON KICK), 2-54, 0:22 27-14
5:06 AHS - VILLANuEVA 30 YD PASS TO BLACKBURN (CLARK KICK), 3-49, 0:55 34-14
4:12 WHS - CHAMBERS 1 YD RUN (KICK FAILED), 3-44, 0:45 34-20
3:56 AHS - VILLANUEVA 67 YD PASS TO SHEILDS (KICK FAILED), 1-67, 0:10 40-20
0:39 WHS - CHAMBERS 10 YD RUN (PARSON KICK), 9-80, 3:17 40-27
10:12 AHS - MOORE 1 YD RUN (RUN FAILED), 6-51, 1:48 46-27
TOTAL OFFENSE: WHS 318, AVERY 490
RUSHING: WHS 158, AVERY 170
PASSING: WHS 160, AVERY 320
TURNOVERS: WHS 2, AVERY 0
TIME OF POSS. WHS 22:52, AVERY 25:02
3RD DOWN CON. WHS 4/10, AVERY 3/7
4TH DOWN CON. WHS 0/2, AVERY 2/2
WHS: CHAMBERS 25-183-4 TD
AVERY: BLACKBURN 12-90-1 TD, ARNETT 10-46
WHS: GREENE 8-16-1 INT 160
AVERY: VILLANUEVA 14-19-320-5 TD
WHS: POULOS 5-121
AVERY: SHEILDS 4-142-2TD, MOORE 4-67-1TD, ROBBIE 3-60-1 TD
NORTHWESTERN 3A/4A CONFERENCE SCOREBOARD:
FRIDAY NIGHT'S GAMES:
SOUTH CALDWELL 52, PATTON 0
HIBRITEN 32, WEST CALDWELL 25
DAVIE COUNTY 21, ALEXANDER CENTRAL 10
WEST LINCOLN 9, FRED T. FOARD 6
MAIDEN @ HICKORY PPD, RESCHEDULED FOR SATURDAY 7:30 P.M.
NEWTON-CONOVER 23, ST. STEPHENS 20 (OT)
NORTH SURRY 33, ASHE COUNTY 24