Connor Williams

St. Stephens’ Connor Williams (8) tries to avoid pressure from Maiden’s Jesse Hewitt (50) and Aaron Lefevers (56) in this file photo.

The St. Stephens football team celebrated homecoming with a dominant 28-7 victory over McDowell on Friday in Hickory. Following close games between the Indians and Titans the previous two years — St. Stephens won 19-17 in 2017 and 40-36 in 2018 — the hosts earned a three-touchdown win in their latest meeting.

St. Stephens (3-3 overall, 1-1 Northwestern 3A/4A Conference) finished with 330 yards of offense and three takeaways on defense, with Zak McLauchlin returning the opening kickoff 91 yards for a score to put the Titans behind right away. McLauchlin also totaled 113 yards and a TD on 20 carries.

Quarterback Connor Williams completed 6 of 11 passes for St. Stephens, amassing 77 yards and a TD through the air. Zach Lee had five receptions for 62 yards and a score to help drop McDowell to 1-5 overall and 0-2 in conference play.

FOOTBALL

Draughn 44, Patton 6

The Wildcats extended their program-record winning streak to five games with a homecoming victory on Friday in Valdese. Draughn (5-2 overall, 3-0 Northwestern Foothills 2A Conference) scored on six straight possessions in the first half and held Patton scoreless until the fourth quarter.

The Wildcats’ Braxton Cox completed 10 of 17 passes for 302 yards and three TDs, including two to Khe-nai Banks (four catches for 113 yards). Denver Treadway added three receptions for 91 yards and Nick Chrisco had two for 88 and a TD, while Trent Corn carried 18 times for 63 yards and three scores.

Hibriten 52, West Caldwell 0

The Panthers continued to roll and the Warriors continued to struggle on Friday in Lenoir. Visiting Hibriten scored in every quarter, including 21 points apiece in the second and third periods, to improve to 5-1 overall and 2-0 in the Northwestern Foothills 2A Conference.

West Caldwell lost its 20th straight game dating back to 2017 and is 0-6 overall and 0-2 in the Northwestern Foothills 2A.

West Lincoln 28, Maiden 27

Despite leading twice in the third quarter, the Blue Devils suffered their second one-point loss of the season on Friday in Lincolnton. The Rebels notched their first South Fork 2A Conference win to move to 1-1 in league play and 5-1 overall.

The loss snapped Maiden’s three-game winning streak and sent the Blue Devils to 4-2 overall and 1-1 in the South Fork 2A.

Watauga 42, Alexander Central 10

The Pioneers outgained the Cougars 381-150 and ran 13 more plays than Alexander Central while recording a pair of takeaways in Friday’s 32-point win in Taylorsville. AJ Miller scored the Cougars’ lone TD on a 19-yard run with under five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter and was the team’s leading rusher with nine carries for 59 yards.

Miller was also the leading receiver for Alexander Central (4-2 overall, 0-1 Northwestern 3A/4A Conference) with two catches for 32 yards, but his efforts were not enough to keep up with Watauga, which moved to 6-1 overall and 2-0 in league play.

West Iredell 43, East Burke 20

The Cavaliers never led on Friday in Icard, dropping their second straight home contest to fall to 2-4 overall and 1-1 in the Northwestern Foothills 2A Conference. Josh Moore had three TDs for East Burke in a losing effort, but injuries to quarterbacks and key defensive players Seth Pruitt and Brett Childers hampered their chances of winning.

The Warriors improved to 3-3 overall and 1-1 in the Northwestern Foothills 2A.

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