For a while, Asheville High’s defense was its best offense Friday night.
In fact it was the only offense.
The Cougars got things sorted out in the second half, and in the process moved one week closer to a winner-take-all game for the Mountain Athletic Conference 3-A championship.
Jalyn Folston (68 yards), Reggie Battle (2) and Cameron Ray (2) rushed for second-half touchdowns in a 35-28 home win over Roberson.
Folston ran for a team-high 100 yards on just three carries and Ray (17 carries for 80 yards) iced the game on a fourth-down run with 1 minute, 26 seconds remaining.
“It was a good classic Asheville-Roberson game,” Cougars coach Danny Wilkins said.
“I was disappointed with the way we played in the first half. But we made some adjustments at halftime and kudos to our offensive line. Our backs ran hard. We had a whole lot more in the playbook than we showed, but it was enough to win.”
Asheville (7-2, 4-0) travels to North Buncombe next week, with a game against Erwin (9-0, 5-0) looming on Nov. 8. The Cougars and Warriors shared last year’s MAC 3-A championship and are the only teams without a loss in the 3-A/4-A league.
In 23 all-time meetings, Roberson (4-5, 2-2) has never won at Asheville.
Friday’s game was tied 14-14 at halftime.
Asheville had just 52 yards of offense at that point, but was in the game thanks to some opportunistic defense.
Danquiries Green scooped up a Roberson fumble and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown just 1:03 into the game. Charlotte recruit Markevis Davis brought an interception back 23 yards for another score with 4:20 left in the second quarter.
Both of Roberson’s first-half touchdowns came in the second quarter.
Seth Coleman ran for a 7-yard score at the 10:38 mark and Marcus Jenkins hauled in a 27-yard reception from Reggie Pinner with 7:49 left until halftime. It was the 24th touchdown pass of the season for Pinner, who went over 2,000 yards last week.
The senior later tossed an 8-yard touchdown pass to Angelo Cogburn with 9:59 to go in the game.
Pinner finished with 101 passing yards and his 6-yard keeper with 4:50 to play was the final score of the game. Coleman ran for 118 yards. Jenkins made two receptions for 81 yards.
Each of Asheville’s first two possessions ended with fumbles covered by Roberson senior Alex Schultz.
“I’m proud of my kids,” Rams coach Jim Beatty said.
“They continued to fight and we were able to cut it down to seven there at the end. We just came up a play or two short.”
The Rams have already clinched the MAC 4-A division championship and are back at home next week for a game against Reynolds.