After most area football teams took last Friday off, it's back to the gridiron this week. Conference play begins with all of the Lincoln County teams except Lincolnton, Maiden and Cherryville playing at home.
The Wolves will travel to Bunker Hill, where the Bears are off to a 3-0 start averaging 36 points per game. East Lincoln will host Hickory.
The Mustangs have outscored their three opponents 116-8 and will face a Hickory squad that is 2-1 with two wins over South Caldwell (54-7) and Newton-Conover (35-28) after losing their opener to Alexander Central. Quarterback Tyler Mizell has completed 50 of his 72 passes for 9 touchdowns. Markell Clark and Keandre Walker have been his favorite targets, averaging 59 and 51 yards per game respectively. East lost a close game at Hickory last year (22-21). While this is the first conference game for both, the Mustangs are the only Western Foothills team with a 3-0 record; Hickory is second best at 2-1.
North Lincoln finally gets a home game--and on its new artificial turf field. The Knights are 0-3 after losses to West Lincoln, Lincolnton and Northwest Cabarrus. They'll be playing the Statesville Greyhounds. The Hounds won last year's meeting 14-5.
West Lincoln will host Bandys. The Rebels are 3-0; the Trojans are 1-2, but they came close in last week's 31-24 loss at South Caldwell.
Maiden is 2-1 after losing to Watauga in a game in which they led most of the way but ended up losing 23-19 on August 26th. The Blue Devils beat St. Stephens two weeks ago. East Burke is also 2-1. The Cavaliers came from behind to tie their game with Draughn two weeks ago, then won it in overtime. QB Wesley Thompson has completed 29 of his 46 passes for an average of 179 yards per game and 6 touchdowns. Ben Gibbs has rushed for 272 yards (averaging over 90 yards per game) for four TDs. Chris Culliver, a UNC signee who was the Devils top receiver last year has averaged 119 yards receiving per game and caught four touchdown passes.
Cherryville hopes to pull off a major upset after a terrible night against powerhouse Chase last week. The Ironmen will host Shelby and will be hoping that it isn't another night like last week's 50-0 onslaught. The Golden Lions lost their first three games but most believe they're the best 1-3 team in the state.
Other games this week have Burns at Highland Tech, Hunter Huss at Kings Mountain, Ashbrook at Crest, Cherokee at East Gaston, North Gaston at Forestview, West Caldwell at Newton-Conover, North Iredell at Fred T. Foard, West Iredell at St. Stephens, South Point at Stuart Cramer, Thomas Jefferson at Bessemer City, and Mtn. Island Charter at Pine Lake Prep.
ON THE RADIO and ONLINE
WLON (1050AM, 107.5FM) will carry the Bandys at West Lincoln game.
WNNC (1230AM, 101.3FM) will carry the West Caldwell at Newton-Conover game and will also have reports on the LHS vs Bunker Hill, Maiden vs East Burke, Foard vs North Iredell, St. Stephens vs West Iredell and Hickory at East Lincoln games. You can also hear them online at https://wnncradio.com/football/.
WCSL (1590AM, 92.9FM) will have the Shelby at Cherryville game. WOHS (1390AM, 101.5FM) will carry Ashbrook at Crest. Those games can also be heard on ktcbroadcasting.com. The Burns at Highland Tech and Statesville at North Lincoln games are supposed to be (unless technical problems prevent) on YouTube (see ktcbroadcasting on YouTube and find your game).
The Bunker Hill at Lincolnton JV football game that was scheduled for Thursday has been canceled. We were not provided any information on why.
North Lincoln's JVs won their third game without a loss in a see-saw game at Statesville. The Knights led 22-20 at the half, but the Greyhounds then took the lead in the third period. North regained it in the fourth, but Statesville led 34-30 until just over a minute left when North scored and made a two-point conversion for a 38-34 lead. They recovered a fumble at midfield on Statesville's final possession to close out the game with their third win of the season.
The Hickory JVs beat East Lincoln 24-14.
The Bandys JVs beat West Lincoln 41-20.
The Maiden JVs beat East Burke 26-6.