Maiden gets tough battle from St. Stephens, prevails 29-19 at home
By CHRIS HOBBS
Bunker Hill High’s explosive offense got hot on Friday night with junior quarterback Redek Robinson throwing for 350 yards and three touchdowns in a 27-20 victory over North Iredell on the road.
Playing in Olin for the first time in the series, the Bears (3-0) jumped to a 14-0 lead on Robinson’s 23-yard pass to Xavier McCleave and a 39-yard strike to Devin Brice with PATs after both scores by Alan Bahena Soto.
Leading 14-6 in the second quarter, Bunkter Hill extended its lead with a 75-yard kickoff return TD by McCleave.
Robinson’s third scoring throw was 75 yards to Ayden Killian in the third quarter.
Robinson went 16 of 24 with one interception and threw seven times to McCleave for 127 yards and three times to Brice for 107 yards.
On defense, Robinson had two interceptions and sophomore Alex Wright had four tackles and five assists and junior Ayden Killian and sophomore Xzaiver Rinehardt each had a sack.
Maiden 29, St. Stephens 19
Senior wide receiver Chris Culliver had five catches for 76 yards and one score and returned an interception 57 yards for a key TD as Maiden (2-1) beat the visiting Indians for the ninth straight time.
Senior running back Ben Gibbs had 178 rushing yards for the Blue Devils and scored on a 37-yard run early.
Maiden trailed 7-6 and got the lead for good on a 20-yard field goal by Carson Foard in the first quarter.
Brycen Gaither, who led the Indians (1-2) with 55 rushing yards, had them within 16-13 in the second quarter after a 1-yard TD run.
Maiden answered with two scores in about four minutes – a 30-yard pass from quarterback Wesley Thompson to Culliver and Culliver’s interception return. Culliver picked of a pass on the far side of the field, angled his run toward the right sideline and made a cut down the field. He dodged two defenders in the last 15 yards to score.
Gaither scored on an 8-yard run just before halftime, putting the Indians with 10 points, but there was no more scoring in the game.
Other than their five wins in the series since 1980 (Blue Devils lead 31-5-1), it was the 11th time St. Stephens has been within nine points in a loss to Maiden.
The closest loss for the Indians in the series is a four-point game at St. Stephens in 1992.
Both teams are idle on Friday and begin league play on Sept. 16: Maiden opens Catawba Valley 2A Athletic play at home with East Burke, and the Indians start Western Foothills 3A play at home against West Iredell.
Maiden has now won 57 of its 74 games under head coach Will Byrne (seventh year).
West Lincoln 54, Fred T. Foard 7
The Rebels (3-0) won for the third straight time in the series and took a 17-16 lead in wins since 1982, with a home victory sparked by running back Mason Avery.
Avery rushed 12 times for 201 yards and three TDs, and Lucas Howell scored twice and added 52 rushing yards for West Lincoln.
Avery opened the scoring with a 70-yard run, and the Rebels led 14-0 after one quarter via a 19-yard scoring run by Jaylin Winnex (6-66).
Winnex added an 18-yard TD run, Avery ran a yard for a score and Chi Chi Phansool returned an interception for a TD for a 34-7 halftime lead for West Lincoln.
Avery added a 38-yard TD run in the third quarter, and Howell’s scoring runs were 1 and 3 yards.
West Lincoln ran 426 yards on 35 carries.
Foard dropped to 0-3 and has lost 17 straight games heading into an open date on Friday and then a home game on Sept. 16 against North Iredell to start the Western Foothills 3A schedule.
Defensively, Curtis Goins led the Rebels with eight tackles, three assists and one interception and Nathan Rye provided six tackles, one assist and forced two fumbles. Terry Hice added six tackles and Avery had five tackles, one assist and forced a fumble.
West Lincoln — 27-10 under Darren Ponder in his fourth season as head coach — is off Friday. The Rebels’ opener in the Catawba Valley 2A Athletic is Sept. 16 at home against Bandys.
East Burke 28, Draughn 27, OT
Ben Mast’s fourth completion of the game came in overtime, throwing 11 yards to Darren Hammons, and the Cavs won at home on a PAT by Eli Carico.
In the 13th game of their all-time series, the Cavs grabbed the series lead (7-6) with Caden Buff rushing 15 times for 151 yards. He broke a run for an 80-yard score in the fourth quarter and Carico’s kick tied it at 21.
Draughn (2-1) took a 27-21 lead on a 5-yard overtime run by quarterback Eli Tillery, who had 63 yards rushing and 130 passing.
Jordan Cunningham led the Wildcats’ run game, picking up 120 yards on 27 carries. He had scoring runs of 8 and 25 yards, the latter putting Draughn up 21-14 at the half.
East Burke, 9-9 in two-plus seasons with Derrick Minor as head coach, is off on Friday. The Cavs begin Catawba Valley 2A Athletic play on Sept. 16 at Maiden.
Draughn will be at home Friday (7:30 p.m.) to play Highland Tech.
South Caldwell 28,
Hickory Hawks 7
Junior Sam Moore ran for 159 yards and quarterback Anderson Raynor added 147 yards of offense as the Spartans (2-1) won at home.
South Caldwell gained 357 yards – 269 of it rushing – to win for the 11th time in 14 games since Casey Justice, a former starting quarterback for the Spartans, became head coach.
South Caldwell will be at home on Friday (7:30 p.m.), facing Bandys.
Hibriten 60, West Caldwell 14
The Panthers remained dominant on Black and Blue Friday, winning for the 20th straight time over the Warriors.
Host Hibriten (1-2) had leads of 28-7 after one quarter, 41-7 at the half and was up 53-7 heading into the final quarter.
The Panthers have won 27 of 43 games against West Caldwell since 1980, including 15 of the 21 played in their stadium in that time span.
The win margin far exceeded the average loss margin for the Warriors in a 10-game stretch of games at Hibriten; coming in, it was 35.1 points.
West Caldwell’s last win at Hibriten was in 2002.
Hibriten will be at home Friday (7:30 p.m.) against state power Shelby, off to a surprising 0-3 start.
West Caldwell is idle Friday and opens Catawba Valley 2A Athletic play on Sept. 16 at Newton-Conover (7:30 p.m.).
Forestview 13, Freedom 7
The Patriots (1-2) fell in Gastonia and by the same score as last year’s game in Morganton.
Quarterback Jaylen Barnett gave Freedom an early 7-0 lead with a 3-yard run and a PAT by Jake Kota.
Forestview (1-2) tied it in the second quarter on a 7-yard run by Christian Holland and PAT by Plamedi Warsinsky, and the winning score was a 1 –yard run by Jaxon Hill in the third quarter.
Freedom was limited to 142 yards on offense and had 13 penalties for 140 yards.
The Jaguars had 195 yards of offense and they had 11 penalties for 90 yards.
The Patriots are at Patton on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
A.C. Reynolds 49, Alexander Central 7
Limiting the host Cougars to 57 rushing yards and 81 on offense, the Rockets (3-0) rolled past the Cougars (2-1) in Taylorsville.
Running back Max Guest ran for 140 yards and three scores on 14 carries and quarterback Hayden Craig completed eight of 12 passes for 146 yards and three scores to lead A.C. Reynolds.
Logan Shoemaker led the Cougars with 16 rushes for 43 yards, and quarterback Tanner Moore had Alexander Central’s only score, a 5-yard run late in the third quarter.
Craig threw scoring passes of 34 and 46 yards to M.A. Skanes while Guest ran 8, 8 and 55 yards for TDs.
Asher Cunningham had eight tackles to lead the Rockets’ defense, Judson Sizemore added seven tackles and two of Marquan Harper’s six tackles were for lost yardage.
Thomas Cline had seven tackles, three for lost yardage, plus two sacks and Kellun Triplett made five tackles for the Cougars.
Alexander Central will play at home on Friday (7:30 p.m.), battling Lake Norman.
Watauga 28, Mitchell County 21
The Pioneers got 146 rushing yards and one of their two-fourth quarter rushing scores by Maddox Greene to wipe out a deficit and win on the road.
Mitchell County (2-1) led 21-14 after three quarter but Watauga (3-0) won via a 1-yard TD run by Will Curtis and Greene’s 2-yard scoring run.
Greene rushed times and also completed five of six passes for 17 yards while Curtis ran 11 times for 59 yards with Watauga finishing with 300 rushing yards.
Curtis also added a 2-yard TD run to open the scoring.
Calton Horine led Watauga’s defense with seven tackles and eight assists, Isaiah Shirley had 5 ½ tackles and three assists and Greene had an interception.
Watauga head coach Ryan Habich reached 85 wins in Boone with the victory (85-27, 10th season).
The Pioneers go for a 4-0 start on Friday when they visit Burns.
South Iredell 43, West Iredell 6
The Vikings (3-0) extended the Warriors’ losing streak to eight games, winning at West Iredell after leadng 23-0 at halftime.
Senior quarterback Brice Warren ran for two TDs (8 and 39 yards) and threw for one while senior running back Jaylon Neal scored on runs of 7, 73 and 14 yards.
The Warriors (0-3) are idle on Friday and open Western Foothills 3A play on Sept. 16 at St. Stephens.
Lake Norman 35, Statesville 14
With Trae Sechrest rushing for 131 yards and a score, the Wildcats (3-0) rolled past the visiting Greyounds.
Lake Norman ran for 369 yards and led 21-0 at one point.
Sechrest had a 1-yard TD run that finished a Wildcats drive of 80 yards.
Phoenix Lowrance ran for 93 yards and passed for another 94 for Statesville, which open with a shutout victory over Carson and then lost 29-13 at South Iredell.
The Greyhounds are off on Friday and open Western Foothills 3A play on Sept. 16 by visiting North Lincoln.
East Lincoln 27, Lincolnton 0
The Mustangs (3-0) picked up career win No. 36 for head coach David Lubowicz, shutting out the Wolves on the road.
East Lincoln’s scoring included a pass from quarterback Tyler Mizzell to Markell Clark and an opening drive score by Christopher Daly.
The Mustangs led 13-0 at halftime.
East Lincoln extended its lead to 27-0 on a punt return TD with about six minutes to play.
Lincolnton dropped to 1-2 overall.
East Lincoln is idle on Friday and prepares for a Sept. 16 game that could have a big impact on who wins a Western Foothills 3A title, as Hickory visits the Mustangs (7:30 p.m.).
The Wolves are idle Friday and then go to unbeaten Bunker Hill to start the Catawba Valley 2A schedule on Sept. 16 (7:30 p.m.).
Northwest Cabarrus 14, North Lincoln 0
Quarterback Alex Walker got the ball into the right hands twice on screen passes for scores that beat the visiting Knights (0-3).
After a scoreless first half, RayJay Waters turned a screen pass into an 86-yard TD, and Tevin Tucker later ran 51 yards with a screen pass for Northwest Cabarrus’ scores.
The Trojans improved to 2-1 and the Knights fell in Nick Bazzle’s 262nd game as a prep head coach at Newton-Conover, Alexander Central and North Lincoln.
The Knights are idle on Friday and then play at home – on a new turf field for the first time – against Statesville in a Western Foothills 3A opener.
Wilkes Central 34, Patton 8 (Thursday)
Wilkes Central quarterback C.J. McGill threw for 302 yards, completing 15 of 18 passes, to spark the Eagles’ home victory.
Anthony Graham had seven catches for 182 yards and Hunter Wyles made three for 73 yards for Wilkes Central.
Patton’s only score was a 2-yard run and two-point conversion run by Trevor Smith in the second quarter, which left the Eagles ahead 14-8 at the half.
Smith ran 21 times for 88 yards and all 172 of Patton’s yards on offense came via rushing.
Wilkes Central had 434 yards but did not score a passing TD.