WEST JEFFERSON — After dominating Elkin on the road 8-1 Wednesday, Sept. 18, the Ashe County Huskies (3-6) returned to West Jefferson for their third game in four days, losing 5-0 to the 11-0 Mount Airy Granite Bears Thursday, Sept. 19.
The conference foes faced off earlier in the season, with Mount Airy handing the Huskies a 1-0 loss on the road.
Despite the differences in records, the game was looking to be even for most of the first half. The Granite Bears got pressure early, but could not put their shots on target, while Ashe struggled to get enough good looks at Mount Airy’s net.
The Granite Bears got their breakthrough in the 31st minute, when Ashe keeper Matt Potter deflect two consecutive shots, only for the ball to find Luis Tena, who stuck it in for the 1-0 lead. Mount Airy senior Jackson Tumbarello added to the lead six minutes later bouncing a header to the high corner of the goal. Ashe then went into halftime down 2-0.
After a series of no-calls and letting the game get rougher as time wore on, the referee crew starting handing out yellow cards left and right. Huskies forward Chris Luna was the fist of five Ashe players and three Mount Airy players to get booked, after a tough challenge in the 46th minute. Huskies Head Coach Paul Winterton said after the game that he did not appreciate how rough the referees let the game get, saying that it wore down both teams as the night went on.
Two minutes after Luna’s booking, Kaleb Morrison scored Mount Airy’s third goal of the night, one minute before his teammates Tumbarello and Bryan Valadez were both booked for one challenge.
In the 55th minute, Valadez made up for the card with a goal after the ball ricocheted off Potter’s deflection. Kaiyon Milon finished the rout only a minute later, capping the five-goal Huskies defeat.
While he said he didn’t have much praise for the officiating, Winterton was quick to point out the strength of the Huskies’ opponents. He said they were a good team, and was proud of how his own stepped up to face them head-on.
As of press time, the Huskies’ next game is at home against the North Wilkes Vikings (6-2) Monday, Sept. 23, before they head on the road to face the Wilkes Central Eagles (2-7) Wednesday, Sept. 25.