ALL-SOUTH FORK 2A FOOTBALL: Rebels’ QB, head coach win awards

Published Tuesday, April 20th, 2021

N-C’s Shade named tops on offense,

East Lincoln’s Cutter leads defensive picks


Newton-Conover senior running back, selected Offensive Player of the Year in the South Fork 2A, averaged nearly 176 rushing yards per game and had four games with 200 or more.


West Lincoln High has earned two of the South Fork 2A’s top awards in football.

In voting by conference head coaches, Mason Huitt of the Rebels was named Specialist of the Year and his head coach, Darren Ponder, was voted the top coach.

The Rebels tied East Lincoln for second in the conference and advanced to the state 2A playoffs, falling 21-20 last Friday night at Mount Pleasant.

The league’s other top award winners are Newton-Conover running back Allan Shade (Offensive Player of the Year) and East Lincoln sophomore linebacker Ben Cutter (Defensive Player of the Year).

Huitt is a 6-foot-1, 180-pound senior who averaged 33.5 yards per punt for West Lincoln. As starting quarterback, he went 26 of 54 with five interceptions, 550 yards and five touchdowns.


The Rebels are 15-7 under Ponder after two seasons and have reached the postseason in five straight seasons. Ponder was hired when Tom Sain retired as West Lincoln head coach.

West Lincoln began varsity football in 1962 and did not reach the postseason until 2005.

Shade (6-0, 220), a senior, ran 157 times for 1,053 yards in six games for Newton-Conover. He averaged 6.7 yards per carry, 175.5 yards per game and scored 13 TDs to cap his career with 289 carries for 1,812 yards and 21 scores.

Shade started the season with 238 yards rushing against Lincolnton and had more than 200 yards in the next three games as well.

East Lincoln sophomore Ben Cutter (9) is the South Fork 2A’s Defensive Player of the Year. He had 91 tackles this season, averaging 13 per game./EAST LINCOLN PHOTO

Cutter (6-1, 210) had 20 solo tackles and 71 assists and averaged 13 tackles for East Lincoln, which tied West Lincoln for second place and missed having its 16th straight playoff bid because it lost head-to-head with West Lincoln in a year the league had only two automatic state playoff bids.

Cutter has 44 solo tackles, 228 total tackles and is averaging 12 per game in his career with 4 ½ sacks and three interceptions.


(as voted on by conference head coaches)

Bandys: Maddox Spires, Cole Howard, Terick Bumgarner, Dylan Thompson.

East Lincoln: Ben Cutter, Paul Menegay, Lucas McConnell, Trent Smith, Austin Smith, Jeremiah Jones, Markell Clark, Tyler Mizzell.

Lincolnton: Amontre Finger, Bernard Wingate, Andre Smith, Connor Williams.

Maiden: Daniel Harris, Brennan James, Cameron Day, Amarion Craig, Ethan Rhodes, Dru McClough, Aaron Lefevers, D.J. Spring, Chris Culliver.

Newton-Conover: Allan Shade, Xavion Coulter, Ryan Walker, Quincey Spain, Zane Redmond.

North Lincoln: Daniel Carter, Jack Carter, Seth Whitley, Kyle Kovalchuk.

West Lincoln: Mason Avery, Samuel Duncan, Curtis Goins, Mason Huitt, Hunter Leonhardt, Tubby Neal, Ricky Reynolds, Luke Willis.

COMING SOON will post the final individual statistical leaders in rushing, passing and receiving in the South Fork 2A this season.


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