West Lincoln 21, Ashbrook 19 Mason Avery, the West Lincoln workhorse, had his third hundred yard plus game, carrying the ball 25 times for 176 yards, and Trace Gilmore accounted for 134 yards on 19 carries, but in the end, it came down to defense as the Rebels improved to 3-0 winning against a Green Wave team that finally got to play.
Ashbrook--which had two earlier scheduled games canceled because opponents were on COVID protocol-- looked like a team playing for the first time. They fumbled the opening kickoff but recovered it...only to fumble again on the first play from scrimmage at their own 31. Then Avery and Gilmore took turns eating up yards and West took a 7-0 lead on a 9-yd run by Gilmore on its first possession. Trista Primmer made good on her only EP attempt of the night.
Ashbrook answered but missed the extra point try when the kick was partially blocked by Avery and West led 7-6, a first quarter lead that lasted until the fourth quarter. Ashbrook quarterback Chandler Meeks escaped mutiple hard rushes by the Rebels, and en route to their first score, they made good on a 4th down try--something that would happen again and again because of the elusive Meeks.
Early in the final period, Avery scored on a hard up-the-middle run that made it 13-6. West went for two on the extra point try but didn't make it--that left the Green Wave an opportunity to take the lead if they scored and made two extra points. A 4th down pass completion got them to the West one-yard line, but three plays later, it was fourth and goal from the nine when Meeks again connected on a 9-yard pass to Carmelo Bess with seven minutes left. Rather than try for two, Ashbrook went for one, and kicker Jair Harris' extra point kick hit the upright but fell through and tied the game at 13-all.
Ashbrook had multiple opportunities but first-game jitters were evident. Passes were dropped or overthrown that could have given them scores. The West Lincoln defense stopped them in the 'red zone' on one occasion in the first half, and after West took a 19-13 lead when Avery scored again on a two-yard run with only a minute and 26 seconds left, they had to do it again. Avery also ran for a two-point conversion, so the best Ashbrook could hope for was tie with a TD and two extra points--and they came close.
Ashbrook's first TD had come on a drive in which they succeeded on two fourth down plays--the first a 4th & 38 and the second a fourth and goal run by Meeks from the Rebels' 5-yd line. After West took the lead so late in the game, it appeared it was all over; but the Greenies, and even moreso after three plays left AShbrook facing a fourth at their own 16-yard line with only a little over a minute left. Meeks connected with Bass on an 84-yard TD toss with 51 seconds left to cut the margin to 21-19. They had to have a two-point conversion, but Meeks pass was intercepted and the Rebels won their 3rd game with no losses.
While Avery and Gilmore and quarterback Jordan Truesdale certainly deserve praise for their work on offense, the Rebels defense secured the win. Nathan Kester had 10 tackles and recovered a fumble, Xandor Hedrick and Zach Daigler each had 6 tackles, Avery had five including a tackle for loss. He also broke up a pass and blocked a kick. Curtis Goins had 4 tackles, one tackle for loss, a quarterback sack and a pass break-up.
West will open Catawba Valley 2A Conference play on Friday (Sept. 17th) at Bandys. The Trojans had Friday night off after winning their first two games 44-7 over St. Stephens and 49-6 over Fred T. Foard.
Maiden 27, Christ School 21...in overtime After a scoreless first period, the Blue Devils scored first against the team from Arden, NC, but the Greenies answered to tie the score. Maiden scored again--on a pass from Ethan Rhodes to Chris Culliver--and again Christ School answered to tie the game at 14-all. Carson Foard made his EP kicks, but missed a field goal try late in the first half.
The visitors took the lead in the third period by returning the opening kickoff of the second half for a score, but Maiden relied on what had been working all night to tie the score again. Rhodes' TD pass to Culliver and Foard's kick made it 21-all. Christ School missed a field goal and the regulation time expired sending the game to overtime.
In overtime, Christ School got the first chance to score--but a Blue Devils' interception nixed that and Maiden got its turn. This time, Culliver scored on an end-around play and the Blue Devils improved to 3-0.
The Blue Devils hadn't given up a point in their first two games, but while the defense had their hands full, they played well. While they gave up 178 yards to the Greenies' passing attack, they held the visitors to 87 yards rushing, and three of the opponents' 24 passes (they completed 11) were intercepted.
Maiden opens conference play Friday at East Burke. The Cavaliers didn't play Friday. They beat Patton in their first game of the season 14-6 but lost to Freedom two weeks ago 13-12.
South Pointe 51, Shelby 37 Desperate for a game after Hibriten canceled because of COVID, the Golden Lions managed to get one of the best teams from South Carolina to come to Blanton Stadium--and for much of the game, it looked like a bad decision. Shelby was dominated by the Stallions for most of the first three quarters.
Then, trailing 44-14, the Lions came to life. A combination of a punt return, some great defense including a pick-six and offense that had been missing earlier saw Shelby cut what had been a 30-point deficit to just a TD at 44-37 following that pick-six with less than three minutes left. After Shelby failed to make a first down, the Stallions added a final score for a 51-37 win, but the Lions can feel good about what they accomplished. Shelby, now 2-1, will host Cherryville Friday. Strange as it seems, the two are both members of the same 1A/2A conference--along with Burns and East Gaston and 1A schools Cherryville, Bessemer City, Highland Tech and Thomas Jefferson.
Chase 42, Cherryville 16 The Ironmen fell to 1-2 as they lost on the road. Chase led 26-0 before Cherryville scored late in the first half. Trailing 42-8, Cherryville scored again late in the game but it was never close. It won't get any easier--they visit Shelby on Friday.
Bunker Hill 41, North Iredell 0 The Bears are for real! They lost their first game in the long-delayed season last school year, but then won five straight. This Fall, they demolished St. Stephens 42-0 after winning their opening game 29-18 over Stuart Cramer. Friday night, they cruised to another easy win over North Iredell. The game almost didn't happen. The Iredell County school went to all remote learning because of COVID, but after the game was postponed from a week ago and then canceled earlier in the week, they decided to play. They only came close to scoring once--they got to the Bunker Hill one-yard line just before the first half ended. North Iredell hasn't won a game since September 2018. Now 0-2 this season, they're scheduled to host Fred T. Foard on Friday. The Bears will be coming to Lincolnton.
South Caldwell 16, Newton-Conover 13 The Red Devils finally got to play a second game after losing their opener at Polk County in August. They took the lead on their visitors 7-0, but then South Caldwell scored twice before halftime to lead 16-7. A fumble recovery got one of Newton-Conover's TDs and the other came after an interception. They had a chance to take the lead in the final minutes and got to a first and goal at the South Caldwell five-yard line. What appeared to be pass interference didn't get a call, and when the Red Devils receiver complained, he got whistled for unsportsmanlike conduct and the 4A opponents improved to 3-0 while Newton-Conover fell to 0-2. The Red Devils play at West Caldwell on Friday.
Watauga 28, Burns 20 For the second week in a row, the Bulldogs saw a first quarter lead disappear and ended up with their second loss. This time, they were ahead 14-0, but Watauga cut that to 14-6 at halftime, then took the lead 21-14 in the third period. The Pioneers scored again to make it 28-14 before a late TD by Burns cut the final margin to 28-20. Burns will host Highland Tech on Friday.
Bessemer City 28, Christ the King 8 Justice Cooper rushed for 230 yards and five touchdowns, helping the Yellow Jackets to their first win of the season. Bessemer City, now 1-3, will play at 2-0 Thomas Jefferson Academy on Friday.
Draughn 69, Highland Tech 34 No, that's not a basketball score. Nobody played defense but the two teams combined for over a hundred points as Draughn got its first win and Highland Tech fell to 0-3.
Mtn. Island Charter 68, Union Academy 12 Quarterback Dylan Bisson completed 16 of his 19 passes for 541 yards and four touchdowns while wideout Reggie Taylor caught six of those passes for 334 receiving yards and two touchdowns as the Raptors won easily 68-12 over Union Academy. Now 3-0, the Raptors host Pine Lake Prep on Friday.
Crest 46, North Gaston 21 Crest running back Mari Adams ran for 164 yards and two touchdowns--the first of them a 51-yarder on the opening play of the game. Chargers quarterback Nytavious Huskey passed for over 150 yards and three touchdowns and scored another on a 5-yd run. Crest, now 2-1, will play at Ashbrook on Friday.
Lincolnton, East Lincoln & North Lincoln all had Friday night (Sept. 10th) off. The Wolves--as noted with the Bunker Hill report--will host the Bears in the first Catawba Valley Conference game for both. That game will be broadcast on WLON Radio (1050AM, 107.5FM) and also available online at ktcbroadcastng.com.
The East Lincoln Mustangs will open their Western Foothills 3A schedule at Hickory. The East @ Hickory game will be live streamed on the NFHS Network (https://www.nfhsnetwork.com/schools/east-lincoln-high-school-denver-nc) It isn't free--but if you can't make it to Hickory for the game, you can subscribe and watch it online. The Mustangs will be without Tyler Mizzell for this game. Mizzell suffered an injury to his left arm in the Lincolnton game and had surgery on Friday (Sept. 10th). All went well, and he'll be back in a few weeks, but not this week.
Bunker Hill @ Lincolnton East Lincoln @ Hickory North Lincoln @ Statesville West Lincoln @ Bandys Maiden @ East Burke Cherryville @ Shelby Forestview @ North Gaston Kings Mtn. @ Hunter Huss Stuart Cramer @ South Point Cherokee @ East Gaston South Caldwell @ Hibriten St. Stephens @ West Iredell Fred T. Foard @ North Iredell Newton-Conover @ West Caldwell Highland Tech @ Burns Bessemer City @ Thomas Jefferson Academy Pine Lake Prep @ Mtn. Island Charter