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By CHRIS HOBBS
STATE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF TIDBITS
No. 30 Mount Pleasant (6-4) at No. 3 Maiden (10-0), 7:30 p.m.: Maiden’s 41st bid into the postseason since 1972 but unofficially its 95th state playoff game (had state playoff games prior to 1972)… Unofficially, home playoff game No. 52; Blue Devils have won 33 …. Playing Mount Pleasant in postseason for the third time — won 6-2 at Gurley Stadium in Western 2A title game; lost 21-35 at Maiden in opening round, 2016.
No. 22 East Davidson (6-4) at No. 11 Bunker Hill (9-1), 7:30 p.m.: First home postseason game for the Bears since they fell 28-21 to Mitchell County in first round in 1989… Bears’ last home state playoff win was 59-27 over Starmount in second round, 1987… Bunker Hill’s last state playoff win was in 2013, 20-17 in first round at Ashe County (then lost 34-28 at Hunter Huss) … Bears reached third round in 1985 and in 1987, falling at Lexington and at Mount Airy, respectively… Seventh home postseason game (3-3).
No. 31 Newton-Conover (3-6) at No. 2 East Surry (9-0), 7:30 p.m.: Red Devils battle former Bandys head coach Trent Lowman, facing the Cardinals in the postseason for the second time … Lowman was 2-3 against Newton-Conover in his five seasons at Bandys … Newton-Conover beat East Surry 28-11 at Gurley Stadium in the first round of the 1985 playoffs… The Red Devils have not won a state playoff game on the road since defeating East Lincoln 17-10 in overtime in the third round of the 2009 bracket (eventually lost to Reidsville in state title game).
No. 21 Hickory (6-4) at No. 12 Smoky Mountain (7-2), 7:30 p.m.: Hickory goes for its first on the road state playoff victory since beating North Surry in the opening round of the 3A postseason in 1998 … Since that win, the Red Tornadoes are 0-11 if away from Barger Stadium (one of the 11 was a neutral field game played at Kings Mountain) … Hickory’s last postseason victory was 35-17 over Hibriten in Hickory to start the 2012 3A playoffs … Since going 16-0 and winning a state 3A title with arguably the area’s/state’s most dominant team of the modern era, HHS is 8-19 in the state playoffs.
No. 26 Freedom (5-4)at No. 7 Hibriten (6-3), 7:30 p.m.: Northwestern 3A-4A rivals meet for the second time this season… Hibriten won 42-14 in Morganton when Coby Wilson had more than 200 yards of total offense and ran for four scores and threw a TD pass … In 11 games played since 1981, Freedom leads the series 6-5… The Patriots’ last win over the Panthers was 54-0 in Morganton in 2015 and they won 57-0 the year before in Lenoir … Hibriten has 34 postseason wins — 29 of them at home — and other than a first-round 2021 spring home loss to Burns had been at least two rounds deep in the brackets every year since 2015… Freedom has not won a postseason game on the road since beating Burns 19-18 in overtime in the third round of the state 3A playoffs (game played at Kings Mountain).
No. 23 South Caldwell (7-2) at No. 10 Chambers (9-1), 7:30 p.m.: The Spartans have not won a state playoff game since beating A.L. Brown in the second round of the 2015 playoffs, 23-14… Chambers was renamed (used to be Vance) and beat the Spartans 14-3 in Charlotte in the 4A first round in 2010 … South Caldwell’s last postseason road win — 38-21 over Alexander Central in Taylorsville in the first round of the 2005 bracket.
Note: An earlier post about South Caldwell’s last state playoff victory was inaccurate and has been corrected in this post.