The West Lincoln Rebels have their work cut out for them as they travel to Shelby to play the Golden Lions Friday night. They're definitely considered underdogs--Shelby is the #1 seed in the west region, while West Lincoln was seeded 12th; but they've already knocked off the 5th seeded Avery County team, and after beating South Point last week, they believe they can pull off the upset.
West is led by Canon Bridges. The senior has rushed for 2215 yards and 32 touchdowns. He also leads the team on defense with 112 solo tackles and he was in on 28 more. He has sacked opposing quarterbacks nine times. West Lincoln has another thousand-plus yard rusher in Xander Pendergrass. He has run for 1282 yards and 15 touchdowns and also caught a pass for a TD.
West Lincoln doesn't pass much--quarterback Mason Huitt has only thrown 73 passes, completing 37 of them. Huitt has 593 yards rushing--almost as many as the 610 passing.
By comparison, Shelby QB Isaiah Bess has thrown 261 passes, completing 150 of them, 37 for touchdowns. The Golden Lions have amassed 3058 yards passing compared to 1316 yards rushing. They've only lost one game--to Kings Mountain by a 42-17 score--and the Mountaineers used a hard rush to frustrate Bess for most of that contest. If the Rebels can do the same, they have a shot at pulling off the biggest upset of the year; but Shelby has tradition on their side--they've won the state championship five of the last six years including last season.
The winner of the West Lincoln at Shelby game will play the winner of the Burns at North Lincoln game for the west region championship next Friday (Dec. 6th). The winner of that game will advance to the state championship game Saturday Dec. 14th at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem.
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