In a border battle, Cloudland came up short.
The ‘Landers dropped a 42-16 decision to neighboring Avery County (N.C.) on Friday night at Orr Field despite a hard-fought effort. With the loss, Cloudland falls to 1-3 on the season.
CHS had to battle back from an early deficit.
After the ‘Landers saw a 10-play drive come up scoreless, Avery moved quickly to take a 7-0 lead when Troy Hoilman found Ty Smith for a nine-yard touchdown pass with 4:09 to play.
The ‘Landers lost a fumble on the ensuing series, and the Vikings took advantage as Smith caught his second pass of the night – this one from four yards out for the score. That gave Avery a 14-0 lead after a quarter of play.
Cloudland settled down in the second quarter – once play was able to resume after a 30-minute lightning delay.
The ‘Landers went on a 14-play drive that took over five minutes off the clock. The series was capped off as Triston Lacey scored on a four-yard run and then added the two-point conversion.
After Avery returned the ensuing kickoff for an 88-yard touchdown, the ‘Landers went back to work in a drive that was capped off as Lacey caught a 48-yard touchdown pass from Hunter Shell. Lacey added the conversion as CHS closed the gap to five points.
In the closing minutes of the second quarter, Cloudland marched into scoring position, but time expired before CHS could get back on the board.
The teams traded possessions to open the third quarter before Lucas Andrews scored on a five-yard run to push the Avery lead to 35-16 after three complete quarters.
The Vikings added two more scored in the final quarter – including in the final minute of the game – to account for the final score.
Lacey finished with 101 yards on 27 carries along with 59 yards on three catches, while Seth Birchfield had 70 yards on 15 carries. Hunter Blair added 55 yards to the Cloudland cause.
Hoilman led Avery as he went 24-of-33 for 164 yards, while Smith had eight catches for 48 yards. Andrews added 88 yards on the ground.
As a team, Cloudland outgained Avery 287 to 266 and held a 32:12 to 15:48 time of possession advantage.
The ‘Landers return to action next Friday with a trip to Unaka for a Region 1-A clash.
For more photos, click here.