WALNUT COVE — The final four and a half minutes was a roller-coaster.

South Stokes held off a last-ditch offensive effort by Winston-Salem Prep, defeating the Phoenix 58-56 at Saura Stadium on Friday night.

The homecoming game under the lights had all the thrills, as the Sauras picked up their first conference win of the season in what was the Northwest 1-A opener for both teams.

Winston-Salem Prep, trailing 58-50, scored with four seconds left on a 22-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Tim Davis to Tresean Stewart in the end zone, covered by two defenders.

Winston-Salem Prep attempted the team’s ninth 2-point conversion of the night, and it became the eighth that failed. Davis scrambled in the backfield, throwing incomplete to Stewart, who slipped in the end zone.

It was the last of five touchdowns scored in those final four and a half minutes.

Paul Thomas Fischer had two for the Sauras — one of them a 29-yard fumble recovery from Stewart to tie the game 50-50 with 3:50 remaining.

Fischer, a 5-foot-10 senior, followed it up, making an interception off a pass from Nasir Graham for a 54-yard touchdown. That pushed the Sauras ahead 58-50 with more than 3:30 left.

At running back, Fischer led a dominant ground game for the Sauras. He amassed 172 yards, with 141 in the first half.

He scored three rushing touchdowns in that span — the longest being a 52-yard handoff from quarterback Logan Nelson. That came on the first drive of the night for South Stokes, as it took an 8-6 lead with 10:24 left in the first quarter.

Nelson, a senior, finished the night with 162 yards passing and an interception. He threw two touchdown passes, both to wide receiver Landon Parsons, for 34 and 46 yards.

Stewart led a stout ground game for the Phoenix, as well. He led Winston-Salem Prep in rushing with 100 yards in the first half alone. Stewart had three touchdowns on the ground, with his longest for 66 yards just 15 seconds into the first quarter as the Phoenix took a 6-0 lead.

Nelson’s interception highlighted a solid defensive stand by Stewart.

On third down from the Winston-Salem Prep 8, a Nelson pass was picked off by Stewart in the end zone with just over a minute left in the first half. Stewart ran it 100 yards down the sideline for a touchdown, and the Phoenix led 32-22.

Stewart got a second touchdown on defense with 7:47 left in the third. He stripped the ball out of Nelson’s hands at the South Stokes 35, sprinting in to score.

That gave Winston-Salem Prep a 50-28 lead, before the Sauras clawed back.

South Stokes 58 Winston-Salem Prep 56

Winston-Salem Prep 14 18 6 18 — 56

South Stokes 14 8 6 30 — 58

WSPA — Tresean Stewart 66 runs (Conversion failed)

SS — Paul Thomas Fischer 52 run (Conversion good)

WSPA — Juwan Lyons 58 pass from Tim Davis (Conversion good)

SS — Fischer 1 run (Conversion failed)

WSPA —Antwon Springs 5 pass from Davis (Conversion failed)

SS — Fischer 2 run (Conversion good)

WSPA — Stewart 5 run (Conversion failed)

WSPA —Stewart 100 interception off pass from Logan Nelson (Conversion failed)

SS — Nelson 1 quarterback keeper (Conversion failed)

WSPA — Stewart 5 run (Conversion failed)

WSPA — Lyons 14 pass from Davis (Conversion failed)

WSPA — Stewart 35 strip of Nelson (Conversion failed)

SS — Landon Parsons 34 pass from Nelson (Conversion failed)

SS — Parsons 46 pass from Nelson (Conversion good)

SS — Fischer 29 fumble recovery (Conversion good)

SS — Fischer 54 interception off pass from Nasir Graham (Conversion good)

WSPA — Stewart 22 pass from Davis (Conversion failed)

Records: Winston-Salem Prep 5-2 (0-1); South Stokes 5-2 (1-0).

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