Last year, Wesley Thompson played for Ashe County, where he threw for nearly 2,000 yards and 16 touchdowns. This year, he's at Maiden High School and in four games, he has already thrown 10 touchdown passes. His favorite receiver is Chris Culliver, but Jacob Sigmon has been his target on occasion. When the Blue Devils need to make yards on the ground, they rely mostly on Ben Gibbs, who has averaged over five yards per carry. The Devils have averaged 36 points per game. Most picked them pre-season as the favorite to win the Catawba Valley Conference championship, and while West Lincoln & Bunker Hill are unbeaten, the Blue Devils are still considered the favorite by many. Their only loss was at Watauga, where they led 19-8 going into the fourth quarter but ended up losing 23-19.
A year ago, both Maiden and West Lincoln were undefeated when they played. The Blue Devils won on a touchdown with only eight seconds left in the game.
West has two runners who have averaged over a hundred yards a game. Mason Avery, who was stopped just inches from the goal line in a drive that would have given the Rebels the lead in last year's meeting, is having a huge year. He ran for 269 yards, the second most in a single game in school history, in last week's win over Bandys. His average is 197 yards per game, and he has run for 14 TDs. Against the Blue Devils last year, he scored both Rebels TDs, one of them on a pass reception. Jaylin Winnex has run for 431 yards and three touchdowns. For Maiden, Gibbs isn't called upon to be the bigger part of the offense, but he's capable. He ran for 145 yards in the regular season game with West last year.
West relies heavily on their defense, which has intercepted eight passes by opposing quarterbacks, had five sacks and recovered four fumbles by opponents. They don't pass the ball; they've had only 11 passes in four games. By comparison, Thompson averages over 12 passes per game--he threw over 20 against St. Stephens.
While Lincolnton has only won once this season, the Wolves played well in a 7-6 loss at Bunker Hill last week, especially Andrew Phelps. He had three interceptions, a big return, and caught the pass from QB Andre Bost that gave LHS their only points. This week, Lincolnton plays at home against Newton-Conover and it will be Alumni Night. Former players, cheerleaders and other students are encouraged to come early for the celebration of LHS Football history.
East Lincoln will take its offensive show on the road to Statesville Friday night. The Mustangs have given up only 20 points in four games including two shutouts, and their defense has recorded 14 sacks and 32 tackles for loss; but the offense gets the most attention. Tyler Mizell has completed 68 of his 106 passes, ten of them for touchdowns. His favorite receivers are Markell Clark and Deandre Walker. Clark has caught six of those TD passes; Clark has 268 yards receiving while Walker has 236. Sophomore Christopher Daly II has rushed for 397 yards, an average of 9.9 yards per carry, and six touchdowns.
North Lincoln is still looking for a first win after four losses. The Knights will play at Hickory this Friday.
Other games Friday night include:
Cherryville at East Gaston
Kings Mountain at North Gaston
Fred T. Foard at West Iredell
Crest at Stuart Cramer
Bunker Hill at West Caldwell
St. Stephens at North Iredell
Forestview at Ashbrook
Hunter Huss at South Point
Thomas Jefferson at Shelby
Bessemer City at Highland Tech
Community School of Davidson at Mountain Island Charter
ON THE RADIO & ONLINE:
WLON (1050AM & 107.5FM) will have the West Lincoln @ Maiden game [Technical problems that caused them not to have the North Lincoln game as planned last Friday will not be a problem; Maiden gives them a direct internet connection, so if you can't attend, you can hear the game.] That game will also be on WNNC (1230AM, 101.3FM) and online at https://wnncradio.com/football/.
The Newton-Conover at Lincolnton game will be on YouTube (find ktcbroadcasting.com and Newton-Conover @ Lincolnton on YouTube).
WCSL (1590AM, 92.9FM) will have the Cherryville @ East Gaston game; also available on ktcbroadcasting.com.
The Kings Mtn. @ North Gaston game will be on YouTube (ktcbroadcasting.com and game description).
North Lincoln @ Hickory and East Lincoln @ Statesville games will both be on NFHS (https://www.nfhsnetwork.com/) [subscription required].
THURSDAY SEPT. 22ND JV FOOTBALL SCORES
Hickory 46, North Lincoln 30
Statesville 32, East Lincoln 30
Lincolnton 40, Newton-Conover 34 OT
Maiden 38, West Lincoln 16
West Iredell 36, Fred T. Foard 16
THURSDAY VOLLEYBALL SCORES
Bandys 3, West Lincoln 0
Lincolnton 3, Bunker Hill 2
Lincoln Charter 3, Langtree Charter 0
Burn 3, Cherryville 1
Fred T. Foard 3, Alexander Central 0
THURSDAY SOCCER SCORES
West Lincoln 3, Bessemer City 2
David Hoyle, Jacob Coleman & Joel Sellers had goals for the Rebels.
Hibriten 5, Lincoln Charter 4
THURSDAY TENNIS SCORES
Bandys 8, Lincolnton 1
Lincolnton's only winner was Kendria Bynum.
West Lincoln 9, Bunker Hill 0
Chloe Norman, Bailey Huss, Kaitlyn Ballenger, Laura Willis, Addison Sain, and Jada Willis won in singles; Norman & Huss, Ballenger & Sain, and Laura & Jada Willis won in doubles.