The teams from Lincoln & Catawba counties had already been eliminated from the NCHSAA football playoffs; Gaston County never had a team in the playoffs; and now Cleveland County's last three have also seen their seasons end.
Monroe 35, Kings Mountain 21
Kings Mtn. decided to strike early, but their attempt to score on the game's opening possession turned into a pick-six for the Monroe Redhawks and the visitors added two more TDs on their first two possessions for a 21-0 first quarter lead. The Mountaineers got on the board early in the second period, cutting the lead to 21-7, but then Monroe added another score to lead by 21 again. KM cut that to a 28-14 halftime score and in the third period, the Mounties scored to make it 28-21, but Monroe held the Mountaineers to no more scores and added another TD with six minutes left in the game for a 35-21 win.
Hendersonville 33, Shelby 31
Shelby scored first, but once Hendersonville got rolling, they never trailed again. Hendersonville scored every way possible: the Bearcats staked out with a field goal, then tied the Golden Lions and added another TD to make it 17-10; after a Shelby score, they sacked the Shelby quarterback for a 19-10 margin before Shelby scored to cut it to a 19-17 halftime advantage for the home team.
Hendersonville scored first in the second half to lead 26-17, but Shelby cut that to 26-24. Another Bearcats score made it 33-24. Shelby scored again, but with only a minute and a half left, and their on-side kick try failed as Hendersonville got the ball. The final was 33-31 as the defending 2A champs saw their season come to an end.
Salisbury 10, Burns 7
The best playoff game of the night was Burns' 10-7 loss to Salisbury. After routing Maiden the previous week, the Hornets found the Burns defense too tough to handle early on. Neither team threatened early, but late in the first quarter, Salisbury recovered a Bulldogs fumble at the Burns 40-yard line and the Hornets got the only score of the first half as JyMikaah Wells plunged from one-yard out and Wade Robbins kicked the extra point for a 7-0 Salisbury lead. Robbins' punts and kickoffs kept the Bulldogs starting from deep in their own territory. On their next possession, Burns marched 88 yards to get to the Salisbury one, but they couldn't make a TD and on fourth down, Garrett Geter's field goal try was no good. Salisbury led 7-0 at the half.
Salisbury threatened to add another score early in the fourth period, but Robbins missed on a 32-yard field goal try, his only faux pax of the night. Burns finally broke loose Jeremiah Morris, who scored on a 60-yard run with just two minutes left in the game. This time, Geter's kick was good to tie the score. After the Bulldogs kicked off, a couple of big plays including a screen pass got the Hornets into the red zone, but a sack by Dorien Starnes pushed them back to the 30. On fourth down, with the ball at the Burns 23, Robbins was called on to give it another try. With just 2.8 seconds left, he kicked the ball through the uprights and the visitors won 10-7. The Bulldogs had to play their final game of the season without start quarterback Cam'Ron Sweezy. We were told he suffered a hamstring injury in the Burns win over Hibriten the previous week. Coach David Devine decided to go with freshman Ben Mauney. Mauney completed 12 of his 17 passes for just over a hundred yards.