Huskies prepared for North Wilkes
by Jordan Davis
"Banner." This has been the Huskie's mantra all season as the team breaks huddle after every practice.
A win this week against North Wilkes (7-1, 4-0), the only other undefeated team remaining in conference, would be a big step toward achieving this goal of putting a Mountain Valley Conference banner in the rafters of the Ashe High School gym.
"We know it's a big game. We're talking about it like it's a big game," Huskies coach Brian Hampton said. "This is one of those games as a player you dream of playing in -- a big game against a conference opponent with a lot on the line."
This will be the last road game for the team this season. Kickoff is at 7:30 Friday night at North Wilkes High School.
The winner of this game will have sole possession of first place, but Hampton said that the outcome of this game doesn't guarantee anything.
"If we win that doesn't mean we're conference champs and if we lose our season is not over," Hampton said. "There's two more after this and we have to take care of business."
Ashe (5-3, 4-0 MVC) comes into this game riding a four game win streak in which they have outscored their opponents 142-65. The Huskies have gotten off to quick starts the past few weeks by capitalizing on early turnovers, including a five-turnover first quarter last Friday against East Wilkes.
The final result was a 39-14 Huskies win.
They have looked less spectacular in the second half, although the games have been mostly out of reach. With it likely being a close game throughout this Friday, Hampton thinks the mental errors will stop happening.
"The past three weeks we've been getting penalties like crazy because we're up so much and we get lackadaisical," Hampton said. "If it's a close game then we'll have to focus for four quarters."
The Vikings (7-1, 4-0) also come into this game with a five game winning streak, and have scored at least 40 points five times this season.
Last week the Huskies secondary held East Wilkes to just one pass completion and picked off three passes. But, the Cardinals only threw the ball eight times. They will face a different test this week against the Vikings passing offense and receivers Josh Martin and Josh Bare.
The best defense for the Huskies may be the offense. The longer they can keep this quick-strike offense off the field will increase their chance of winning.
"They can score any time," Hampton said. "It's not that they're driving the ball on you, but they're going to hit you deep. If we can limit the big plays and play ball-control offense I think we'll be all right."