BOONE – It was a long bus ride to Boone for the McDowell Titans Friday night. The game itself felt much longer.
The Titans were only in contention for a quarter or so before succumbing to an offensive avalanche by the Watauga Pioneers that led to a 61-17 blowout loss. Watauga (3-2 Northwestern 3A/4A Conference, 7-2 overall) led 27-3 at halftime and scored 28 points in a six-and-a-half-minute span of the third quarter to break open the game.
It was the seventh consecutive defeat for the Titans (0-5, 1-8), who have two games left on the schedule, both of them at home.
The Pioneers rolled up 543 yards of offense Friday. Most of the damage came from the sophomore duo of running back Bryce Satterfield and quarterback Anderson Castle.
Satterfield ran for 242 yards on just 20 carries, and scored on touchdown runs of 5, 63, 1 and 1 yards. Castle was 6-of-9 passing for 142 yards and two more scores with an interception. He also carried the ball nine times for 76 yards and another score.
Watauga took the lead on the game’s opening drive. Sophomore Jaiden Bond scurried 13 yards for the score, and the Pioneers led 7-0 with 9:22 left in the first quarter.
McDowell answered with a solid drive that led to a 22-yard field goal by Chase Baird.
But Castle hooked up with Bond on a 28-yard pass play that made it 14-3 at the end of the first quarter, and the Pioneers never looked back.
Satterfield had a pair of touchdown runs in the second quarter to make it 27-3 at the break. He added two more scoring runs in the third. Watauga also got a 9-yard run from Castle and a 59-yard hookup from Castle to Zachary West and led 55-10 after three quarters.
McDowell got a 19-yard run from J.C. Olivo and a 1-yard score from Adam Randolph in the second half.
Olivo rushed for 81 yards and a TD on 17 carries to lead the Titans’ ground game. Quarterback Ben Ballew was 12-of-23 passing for 100 yards. Randolph split time with Ballew under center and went 7-of-8 passing for 44 yards. He also ran for 22 yards and a TD. In addition, Randolph had the first interception for the Titans’ defense this season.
Tight end Seth Phillips caught seven passes for 32 yards. Andruw Randolph (5 receptions, 27 yards), Dakota Effler (4-37), Trevor Pearson (2-45) and Olivo (1-3) also caught passes.
Ballew went past the 1,000-yard passing mark for the second season in a row, and also moved past Dakota Arrowood into third place all-time in career passing for the Titans.
McDowell hosts West Caldwell – fresh off a 44-42 upset of Freedom – next Friday before closing out the season with Freedom the following week.