Pioneers need victory at top-seeded Weddington
to reach 3AA championship game in Raleigh
BOONE – Watauga High moved a win away on Friday night from playing in its first state title football game since 1978.
The second-seeded Pioneers ran their win streak to 11 games by eliminating sixth-seeded Mount Tabor 35-13 in Boone.
Watauga (13-1), the Northwestern 3A-4A champion this season, travels to top-seeded Weddington (14-0) next Friday for a 7:30 p.m. battle for the West 3AA title.
Weddington advanced Friday by winning at home 49-7 over fifth-seeded Northwest Cabarrus.
The game winner at Weddington advances to a Dec. 14 state championship game against No. 2 Wilmington New Hanover (13-1) or No. 1 Lee County (14-0) at N.C. State.
Weddington, the defending 3AA champion, ousted Watauga 42-14 in the third round last season.
On Friday night, running back Jake Watson sparked Watauga with three scores and ran 22 times for 106 yards, and running back Jaiden Bond added 88 rushing yards and quarterback Anderson Castle had 82.
Watauga limited Mount Tabor to 118 yards rushing and 172 yards of offense.
The Pioneers went 13-0-1 in 1978 and won the state 3A title under head coach Bill Mauldin.
Watauga has had two teams win 10 or more games since – the 2006 team went 12-3 and the 2007 team was 11-4, both coached by Adrian Snow, and Habich coached the 2017 team (10-3) and 2018 team (13-1).