North Lincoln 38, East Lincoln 13
Many thought it would be a defensive battle, but somebody forgot to tell the North Lincoln Knights, who scored almost every way possible Friday night. The defense's only points came on a safety, but they still managed to hold East Lincoln scoreless in the second half while the offense continued to roll.
Justin Barnett hit Sidney Dollar with a 49-yard pass for a touchdown and Ryan Shanklin kicked the extra point to give East Lincoln the early lead 7-0, but it didn't take long for North Lincoln to respond. Jake Soorus ran for three yards to cut the lead to 7-6, but a bad snap on the extra point try meant the Mustangs still led.
Devan Gray recovered an East Lincoln fumble on the Mustangs' 34-yard line and Sam Brady caught a touchdown pass to give the Knights a lead they would never relinquish. Another muffed extra point left the score 12-7 at the end of the first quarter.
Then Clayton Cribb, who finished the night with 147 yards rushing, ran four yards for a score. This time, Ian Fiore kicked the extra point and North led 19-7.
A long run by Jud Reel got the Mustangs deep into Knights' territory, but they missed a field goal try. Paulie Menegay then recovered a North Lincoln fumble at the Knights' 17-yard line, and Cole Barber got a one-yard TD run to make it 19-13 after a two-point try failed.
Dollar intercepted a pass and Cribb recovered a fumble before Landon Beard completed a 25-yard pass to Daniel Carter for a touchdown and Fiore's kick gave North a 26-13 halftime lead.
In the third quarter, a long run by Cribb gave the Knights another scoring opportunity. Christian Delaney kicked a 22-yard field goal to make it 20-13.
Then late in the third quarter, the Knights tackled Barnett in the end zone for a safety and it was 31-13.
Soorus ran for an 18-yard score and Fiore kicked the extra point with four minutes left to produce the final score 38-13.
Now the Knights (10-3) will travel to Shelby (10-3) for a third round matchup next Friday. The Mustangs finished the season with a 6-7 record.
Bandys 51, West Stokes 14
Those who expected Bandys game with West Stokes to be another episode of the Ethan Howard show weren't disappointed, but it was quarterback Lake Hojnacki who scored four touchdowns for the Trojans in what became a lopsided win Friday night.
Howard finished the evening with 221 yards rushing, adding to his career record, and he scored three touchdowns--including the first for Bandys; but Hojnacki showed that the Trojans aren't just a one-star-player team.
Like Bandys, the Wildcats, who outlasted Fred T. Foard last week, came into the game with an 11-1 record.
After Howard's second touchdown on a 76-yard run, Ben Joseph kicked a 33-yard field goal to make it 17-7. Isaiah Talbert’s 24-yard punt return to the West Stokes 14 set up a one-yard plunge by Hojnacki with 40 seconds left in the first half to make the score 24-7; but West Stokes managed to score again just before halftime to make the score at the break 24-14.
Bandys took the second half kickoff and marched for another score on another one-yard run by Hojnacki. Then he ran seven yards for another touchdown with four minutes left in the third quarter.
An intercepted pass gave the Trojans the ball again with eight minutes left in the game and Howard ran 50 yards to paydirt to make it 45-14.
Hojnacki's fourth TD came with four minutes left in the game on a 24-yard run.
Next week the Trojans play on the road at Hibriten.
Shelby 45, Ashe County 26
Ashe County actually scored first, but after that it was all Shelby.
Diavonni Daley scored the Lions first TD on a 12-yard run. A Caden Sheeley field goal made it 10-7 at the end of the first quarter.
A blocked punt set up a 5-yard TD pass from quarterback Isaiah Bess, who on the night completed 17 of 25 passes for 159 yards and three touchdowns. The first one went to Jahari Mitchell and with the EP kick made the score 17-7.
Mitchell then returned a punt for a 33-yard score and with the kick it was 24-7. The Huskies managed another touchdown just before halftime to cut the lead to 24-14, but Shelby added another offensive touchdown on a touchdown pass from Bess to Daley and the Golden Lions defense dominated in the third quarter with three interceptions--two by Dashaun Christopher and another pick-six by Dorian Davis to make the lead 45-14 going into the final period. Two fourth quarter scores by Ashe County cut the final score to 45-26 but the Huskies were no match for the Lions.
Next week, Shelby hosts North Lincoln in round three of the 2AA playoffs.
Hibriten 28, South Point 20
For awhile Friday night, it looked like another typical blowout for the Panthers. Turnovers by South Point had helped them to a 28-0 lead. The Red Raiders fumbled four times in that first half--once at the Hibriten goal line. Things weren't looking good for the team from Belmont.
That's when the Red Raiders began an unsuccessful but impressive attempt at a comeback.
Perhaps they remembered that it was South Point that last defeated Hibriten in the 2016 playoffs. The Panthers haven't lost since; they're the defending champs.
Quarterback Keaton Hale’s 45-yard run for a touchdown cut the lead to 28-7. Then a 42-yard pass from Hale to Jamani Leeper set up a one-yard TD run by Naseem Jones, cutting it to 28-14.
A Hibriten fumble late in the third quarter gave South Point another chance to score, and Jones scored just past midway in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 28-20. The extra point try was blocked.
South Point tried an onside kick but didn't recover the ball. Hibriten didn't make a first down, however, and the Raiders had one more chance with just over three minutes remaining. On a fourth & three from their own 41 with a minute l7 left, they failed to get a first down and Hibriten held on for the win.
Next Friday, the still unbeaten Panthers will host the Bandys Trojans in the third round of the 2AA playoffs.
Hunter Huss 35, Crest 0
The first time the two teams met this season, Hunter Huss won a defensive battle over the Crest Chargers. Friday night looked much the same until late in the third quarter. Huss scored in the first period and held onto a 7-0 lead until they cranked up their offense late in the third period and scored 28 points in a matter of less than eight minutes. The defense was responsible for the win--just like the first time the two teams met, shutting out Crest for the second time this season and forcing multiple turnovers. Next week, Huss--still undefeated--will host Charlotte Catholic (12-1), 42-0 winners over Monroe Friday night.
Kings Mountain 35, Statesville 21
Kobe Paysour, who is best known as the all-time receiving leader for the Mountaineers, put on a defensive show Friday night to help Kings Mountain advance to the third round of the 3A playoffs.
The Mountaineers led all the way, but after they built a 21-7 lead, Statesville cut the margin to 28-21 and were marching down the field in big chunks and looked ready to tie the score. That's when Paysour caught a pass from the other team's quarterback--at the goal line--and returned it 100 yards for a score.
Paysour also had a good night on offense--catching five passes for over a hundred yards and two of them for touchdowns.
Mounties quarterback Kaylon Wade threw for four touchdowns n all as Kings Mountain, now 11-2, advanced to the third round and another road trip next week to Concord to play the undefeated Northwest Cabarrus Trojans. The 13-0 Trojans defeated Tuscola Friday night 41-8.
Thomas Jefferson 34, Bishop McGuiness 3
They started slow and had only a 6-3 lead until shortly before halftime, but the unbeaten Gryphons rolled to an easy victory over Bishop McGuiness Friday night. Next week, they play Robbinsville at Thomas Jefferson Academy.
East Surry 62, Bessemer City 22
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