ASHEBORO — It didn’t take long for Asheboro High School junior quarterback Logan Laughlin to make a connection with junior wide receiver Elijah Woodle. A lot of very key connections.
Laughlin, who transferred into AHS just a few weeks prior, and Woodle, a speedy, athletic receiver, hooked up eight times for 144 yards and three touchdowns as the Blue Comets opened the season with a 24-22 victory over Albemarle last Friday night at Lee J. Stone Stadium.
The win came in the first game for head coach Calvin Brown, who arrived at AHS after a number of successful seasons at Providence Grove High School. Laughlin and Woodle were two key reasons as to why the Blue Comets were celebrating their first win since Week 4 of last season.
“They are both great young men and great kids,” Brown said of the duo, who hooked up for touchdowns in the first, second and fourth quarters, the final turning out to be the game-winning score. “Elijah is the backup quarterback right now, so they are in the quarterback room together. They spend a lot of time together. They have become close.”
The two said they have known each other for quite some time, but never played on the same team until Laughlin enrolled at AHS just prior to the start of football practice. The two looked, at least on this night, like they have been playing together for years.
“I’ve played against him, but never played with him,” Laughlin said after going 16-for-24 for 220 yards and the three scores. “His speed and his IQ. We have a connection and it showed on the field. When he’s even with his defender, I will put the ball in the air because he’s going to get it.”
Woodle, who has been working at the quarterback position, moved over to receiver where he lined up on the outside and in the slot.
“Logan is a good quarterback and he’s smart,” Woodle said. “He just came from Randleman, but we’ve been close friends. We never played on the same team, but we do throw a lot in practice.”
On the very first offensive possession of the season, Woodle hauled in a 28-yard scoring pass from Laughlin for a quick 6-0 lead.
Trailing 8-6, AHS forced a turnover deep in Albemarle territory and on the first play of the series, Woodle caught an 18-yard scoring strike to make it 12-8.
Leading 18-16 midway through the fourth, Woodle caught an 8-yard TD pass to make it 24-16. Albemarle scored with 3:38 to play, but a key stop on the two-point conversion run by the defensive front, including Lleyton Coberly, and a last-minute interception by Kai Matthews secured the victory.
“Our quarterback, the way he threw the ball and the catches Elijah made for touchdowns saved us,” Brown said. “They bailed us out.”
Amare Godwin caught three passes for 43 yards and Aiden Robinson caught four for 35 yards. That helped offset a running game that produced less than 10 yards in the contest.
“We have to figure out how to run the ball,” Brown said, with his team prepping for a game against Eastern Randolph this week. “To get where we need to be, we have to have a balanced offense.”
Still, there were plenty of things to be optimistic about.
“All we talked about all week was we don’t care how we win, we just want to win,” Brown said. “We talked all week about not laying down and quitting when we faced adversity. We try to stay positive with them and tell them to keep fighting and fighting.”