Wilkes Central High School Athletics


Eagles fall short on late conversion attempt


DOBSON — On second and nine, with just a little more than a minute left in the game between Wilkes Central and Surry Central on Friday night, Justin Parsons picked up the last 32 of his 316 rushing yards on a draw play that brought the Eagles to within one point of the host Golden Eagles. After calling a timeout to talk it over, Wilkes Central came back to go for the 2-point conversion and the win. But Surry Central’s Riley Dockery and Parsons collided at the goal line and though Parsons and the Eagles thought he had scored, the referee disagreed, sealing Surry Central’s 28-27 win. “I thought he got in,” Wilkes Central Interim Head Coach Terry Johnson said. “I thought he was a yard in the end zone. We’ve got one official on one sideline calling a touchdown, we’ve got one guy on the other side that runs in and marks the ball down when we’ve got a touchdown signal on the other side. Justin — I believe the kid — I don’t think there’s any kid who’s more truthful and he said he’s a yard in the end zone. I don’t know what the guy’s seeing. “But that’s part of the game and you can’t allow that opportunity to happen.” On the play, the Eagles called for a direct snap to Parsons — a play that Wilkes Central had used successfully on several third-and-short situations earlier in the game. Parsons took the snap and cut inside of Eric Ramirez blitzing off the right end of the line. After squeezing through traffic and meeting Dockery, Parsons hit the turf just outside of the end zone, but only by inches. “I stretched the ball across — just not everything given that was deserved,” a disappointed Parsons said after the game. The play ultimately handed the Eagles their first loss of the season and moved Surry Central to 3-0 for the first time since 2003. Surry Central Head Coach Monty Southern said he saw the 2-point conversion attempt coming. “I felt like if I was in their shoes, I would have gone for two as well,” Southern said. “Both offenses were moving the ball really well and both defenses really looked tired and I think I would have done the same thing. From my view, it really looked like oh gosh, that’s a pretty big hole there. But Riley Dockery for us really stepped down quick and closed it up. “But I knew when the guy from their sideline coming in and I didn’t see hands going up that he must of stopped him. Great play by Riley and a lot of heart from our kids.” Both offenses had turned things up in the second half after reaching halftime tied at 8-8. The touchdown run that set up the pivotal point after was Parsons’ third of the day and came on his 36th carry. As a team, the Eagles racked up 469 yards of total offense with 345 on the ground and 124 through the air. Quarterback Camden Wyatt went 13-for-29 including a 12-yard touchdown pass to Jojo Horton that gave the Eagles’ their first lead of the game. That score came on the end of a 14-play drive that opened the third quarter and included four third-down conversions. Surry Central answered with a 25-yard pass from Chandler Johnson, who went 9-for-14 for 147 yards, to Ethan Danley but missed the extra point, leaving the Eagles ahead 15-14. Parsons extended that lead with a 70-yard run in the third quarter but Surry Central’s Eric Ramirez picked up some steam in the fourth and scored a pair of touchdowns to take a 28-21 lead. Ramirez finished the night with 154 yards on 16 carries. His second touchdown came with just 3:05 left in the game, putting the Eagles’ backs to the wall in the final seconds. Wilkes Central responded with a quick, seven-play drive that saw Wyatt complete three passes — two to Jasiah Ferguson and one to Horton. “In the first half we gave up a quick one and we responded. And then we got down late and we responded with two minutes on the clock to drive the field 80 yards and score,” Johnson said. “That just shows you how quickly we can score on people. But we shouldn’t have put ourselves in that situation either way.” After the loss, the team, which was visibly disappointed, shared an emotional few minutes on the field with Head Coach Ron Turner. But before they broke for the locker room, senior Dedric Smith addressed his team and told them that it was already time to put the loss behind them and move on. “This is just another game,” Smith said. “You see the scoreboard over there, you see it, it’s gone. It’s in the past, all we can do is move on. There is no point in being sad, what is being sad going to do, it’s only going to make us play worse. We move on and try to win conference and make a run in the state (playoffs).”