Games that were postponed from Friday night were mostly played Monday. The Lincolnton at Maiden matchup was the exception. The Wolves and Blue Devils are now rescheduled for Wednesday evening at 7:30 at Maiden.
East Lincoln 38, Newton-Conover 16
East Lincoln may or may not get invited to participate in the state playoffs, but on Senior Night Monday, the Mustangs ended their regular season with an impressive win over Newton-Conover.
The Red Devils scored first in the game with a 32-yard field goal, but the Mustangs scored two TDs on a 10-yard run by Paulie Menegay and a 24-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Justin Barnett to Sidney Dollar to take a 14-3 lead, and they led 14-9 at the half.
Then came the third quarter and the Mustangs' defense took over. The Red Devils drove to the East Lincoln 22-yard line, but Lucas McConnell picked up a fumble by Allen Wilfong and ran 83 yards for a touchdown. The Ryan Shanklin extra point made it 21-9 and the game was never close again.
Shanklin's kickoff rolled into the end zone, and starting from their own 20, the Red Devils got a taste of the Mustangs' defensive prowess. Trent Smith chased Wilfong out of bounds at the seven-yard line. Then he sacked the Newton-Conover quarterback again, and then blocked the punt on fourth down to give East Lincoln the ball at the Newton-Conover 20. Ethan Martin scored on a 5-yard run to make the score 28-9.
Shanklin's kickoff again made it to the end zone and the Red Devils again had to start from their own 20. They eventually scored another touchdown, but the Mustangs added ten more points to their third quarter surge in the final period for the win. Cole Barber, who ran for 101 yards on the night, scampered 47 yards on an end run for the final TD.
The Mustangs, who suffered from injuries more than any other team in the South Fork Conference this season, got super performances from their seniors and with an eye to the future, a couple of juniors and some sophomores also had a great game.
Sophomore Lucas McConnell, who had missed much of the season with a broken leg, returned with a vengeance. Senior Sidney Dollar, who had started the season as the #1 receiver for his team and also missed part of the season with an injury, looked like the same player who starred for the Mustangs last season. Justin Barnett, the junior quarterback, had a great game as did fellow junior Ethan Martin; and sophomore Trent Smith's sacks gave him 17 for the season, most likely a team record. The underclassmen's performance served notice on the rest of the league that next year's Mustangs will be a tough team to beat.
The question now is: will they make the playoffs? Coach Dave Lubowicz said he isn't sure, but he's hopeful. East finished the regular season 5-6, 3-4 in the conference and they lost three of their last four games, but Monday night's win may have been enough to get them a low seed invitation to post-season play. If it does, their opponents had better take notice: this team is a lot better than their injury-plagued record.
Cherryville 20, Bessemer City 8
They didn't win the Southern Piedmont 1A conference championship; in fact, they finished tied for fourth place in the league with three conference losses, but the Ironmen may have punched their ticket to the playoffs with an impressive second win over Bessemer City Monday night.
Cherryville had opened the season beating the Yellow Jackets on their field 17-14. That game didn't count in the conference standings; this one did--and this time, it wasn't close.
The big difference was the Cherryville defense. Bessemer City was held to just 11 yards total offense. “Our defensive effort was unbelievable,” Coach Tim Pruitt said.
The win gave the Ironmen a 7-4 record, their first seven win season since 1977. They finished 4-3 in the conference.
Trailing 8-7 at the end of the first quarter, Cherryville took control of the game the rest of the way.
While it isn't certain, it appears likely that the Ironmen will be going to the NCHSAA 1A playoffs when the brackets are announced Saturday.
Kings Mountain 22, Crest 17
The game was tied at halftime, but Chargers QB Peyton Kemmerlin scored on a five-yard run and Evan Davis kicked the EP to give Crest a 17-10 lead that they held until the final quarter. Then in the fourth period, the Mountaineers scored but failed to make the extra point, so they still trailed 17-16.
Finally, with a minute and 28 seconds left in the game, quarterback Kaylon Wade tossed a pass to his favorite target, Kobe Paysour, and he broke two tackles and scored, giving the Mounties their first lead of the night and the only one that counted. When Crest couldn't score, the game ended with a Kings Mountain victory and the Mountaineers secured second place in the Big South 3A Conference. Kings Mountain finishes 9-2, 6-1 in the conference. Crest finishes 8-3, 5-2 in the conference. Both teams will no doubt be in the NCHSAA 3A playoffs when pairings are announced on Saturday.
Mountain Island Charter 50, Highland Tech 0
Elijah Burris had 10 rushes for 227 yards and three TDs in the win for the Raptors, who finished the regular season 8-3, 5-2 in the Southern Piedmont 1A Conference. Now it's on to the playoffs for Mtn. Island Charter.
Bandys 30, North Lincoln 29
West Lincoln 65, Lake Norman Charter 7
Shelby 41, South Point 25
Hunter Huss 46, Ashbrook 0
Stuart Cramer 45, Forestview 7
Burns 28, North Gaston 7
East Rutherford 48, East Gaston 7
St. Stephens 28, Hickory 21
Fred T. Foard 41, West Iredell 14
Thomas Jefferson Academy 42, Union Academy 14
Community School of Davidson 24, Pine Lake Prep 20
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