Mount Airy clobbers East Wilkes 48-0

Mount Airy linemen Reece Deaton (4), Logan Dowell (7), Sao Lennon (66) and Mason Hill (70) pave the way for running back Tyler Mason (5) early in Friday night’s playoff win.

Zach Colburn | Special to the News

MOUNT AIRY – Mount Airy steamrolled East Wilkes 48-0 on Friday to move on to the Sweet 16 of the 1A State Playoffs.

The Granite Bears celebrated a new school record of eight shutouts in a single season on Nov. 5, then extended that by holding East Wilkes scoreless on No. 12. The 48-point loss is East Wilkes’ largest margin of defeat this season and is only the second time the 2021-22 Cardinals were held scoreless.

Mount Airy’s second-round playoff win over East Wilkes puts the No. 2-ranked Bears at 12-0. This is the ninth season – out of more than a century of Granite Bear football – in which the team has reached 12 wins, and is the second under coach J.K. Adkins.

Friday marked the Bears’ second meeting this season against the Cardinals of Wilkes County. During the regular season, Mount Airy traveled to Ronda and defeated East Wilkes 45-6. In that game, East Wilkes became the only team all season to score on Mount Airy in the first quarter and held the Bears to just 19 first-half points. The Bears regrouped after halftime and outscored the Cards 26-0.

The only points Mount Airy has given up since Sept. 24 came from East Wilkes’ two field goals in that game. Mount Airy minimized mistakes this time around to post an even more lopsided victory.

Mount Airy’s offense finished with 376 total yards, which was balanced between 195 yards rushing and 181 yards passing. Five of the Bears’ touchdowns came on the ground, and two were in the air.

Both passing touchdowns saw quarterback Ian Gallimore connect with Zeb Stroup: once for 51 yards and then again for 26 yards. Zeb finished with three catches for 90 yards. Gallimore rounded out his 181 yards passing with three completions to Walker Stroup for 31 yards, one completion to Mario Revels for 34 yards and one completion to Tyler Mason for 26 yards.

Walker Stroup also converted 6-of-7 PATs for Mount Airy.

Mason led Mount Airy’s ground game with 11 carries for 97 yards and three touchdowns. His 97 yards rushing put Mason over the 1,000-yard mark for the season. Mason’s 20 rushing touchdowns this year are tied for second in the 1A West and 21st in the state among all classifications.

The Bears utilized six different players in the ground game. Mason led the team in carries, yards and touchdowns, then Gallimore was next in all three categories with nine carries for 75 yards and a touchdown. Caleb Reid rushed five times for 27 yards and a TD, Josh Penn had six carries for 5 yards, and Brison George and Traven Thompson each rushed once for a loss.

After giving up 183 yards to East Wilkes in Ronda last month, the Granite Bears defense held the Cardinals to just 89 total yards on Friday. The Cards rushed 33 times for 28 yards and completed six passes for 61 yards.

East Wilkes quarterback Briggs Gentry completed 6-of-14 passes for 61 yards and was picked off twice. Zeb and Walker Stroup each had an interception, bringing both their season totals up to four.

Most of Gentry’s yards passing came from four completions to Brennan Arnder, who led the Cards’ receiving corps with 64 yards. Brody Martin caught one pass for 2 yards, and Weston Brown had one reception for a loss of 5 yards.

Easton Martin led East Wilkes’ ground game in yards with 40 on six carries. Martin was next with 16 rushes for 23 yards, and Brown and Anthony Graham each ran once for no gain. Gentry had the Cardinals’ remaining carries, but went for a loss of 35 yards. Nic Isom, Payton Fonville and Reece Deaton each sacked Gentry, and Deaton and Josh Chavis each recovered a Cardinal fumble.

Mount Airy will run into another Northwest 1A Conference opponent in the third round: Starmount. The No. 7-ranked Rams (8-4) defeated No. 26 South Stanly 65-8 in the first round, the topped No. 10 Andrews 27-20 in the second round.

The Bears defeated the Rams 43-0 on Oct. 1 for Starmount’s only NW1A loss. Starmount is 5-0 since losing to Mount Airy.

The winner of Mount Airy/Starmount will face the winner of No. 3 Mitchell (10-2) and No. 6 Thomasville (9-2) in the West Regional Semifinal.


East Wilkes – 0, 0, 0, 0 = 0

Mount Airy – 20, 21, 0, 7 = 48


7:30 MAHS 7-0 – Ian Gallimore pass to Zeb Stroup 51-yard TD reception, Walker Stroup PAT

4:21 MAHS 14-0 – Tyler Mason 12-yard rushing TD, Walker Stroup PAT

3:25 MAHS 20-0 – Ian Gallimore pass to Zeb Stroup 26-yard TD reception, PAT no good


11:12 MAHS 27-0 – Ian Gallimore 16-yard rushing TD, Walker Stroup PAT

5:44 MAHS 34-0 – Tyler Mason 15-yard rushing TD, Walker Stroup PAT

2:05 MAHS 41-0 – Tyler Mason 9-yard rushing TD, Walker Stroup PAT


7:15 MAHS 48-0 – Caleb Reid 5-yard rushing TD, Walker Stroup PAT