WILMINGTON – Bradley Plyler’s strong running game led the Ashley Screaming Eagles to a 34 to 12 victory over Fairmont Thursday night.
For the second week in a row, the senior running back scored three touchdowns, including a 60-yard dash to the end zone with just under 10 minutes to go in the fourth quarter.
“My blockers were doing their job and blocking for me, and I was able to outrun everybody else,” Plyler said, giving credit to his offensive line. “We play as one. I love my O-line. We’re like a family.”
The Golden Tornadoes defense was unable to stop Plyler, who often went straight up the middle en route to more than 200 rushing yards.
“Bradley’s just a terrific, terrific runner,” Ashley Head Coach Jeff Turner said. “They’re keying in on him, and he still finds a way to break free. He’s a special running back.”
Junior running back Freddie Thames also took advantage of a solid offensive line, notching several rushes of 20 or more yards, including a third-quarter run to the end zone from 33 yards out. Quarterback Jacob Reed had a touchdown of his own, rushing in from the four-yard line with less than a minute to go in the game.
The defense also stepped up. Though Fairmont quarterback Julius Caulder was able to showcase his ability to throw on a few plays, including on a 27-yard pass to Brent McDonald in the fourth quarter for a touchdown, he was picked off on the Golden Tornadoes’ first two drives of the game. In the fourth quarter, Caulder was picked off twice more by Ashley’s Isaiah Fields.
“I’m very proud of my guys. It’s nice for them to get this win to pick up our program,” Turner said. “We’ve just got to keep getting better in all aspects of the game — fundamentals-wise and with our positions — and just keep building off of that.”
Fairmont’s two touchdowns both came in the second half. Senior running back Halijah McLean rushed in for a score at the 8:22 mark of the third quarter, followed by the Caulder-to-McDonald score with just over 10 minutes to go in the game. No field goals were attempted, as both teams went for two-point conversions after every touchdown.
The Screaming Eagles are now 2-0 on the season. Next, the team travels to Fayetteville to face Westover High School