“The Gathering: Surprising results, top-performing teams heading into playoffs, significant achievements.”

Welcome to The Huddle again!

The long-awaited playoffs have arrived! We will provide extensive coverage in the days leading up to the first round, including a special edition of The Huddle that will feature bracket superlatives later today.

For this edition of The Huddle, I discussed the most notable victories from week 11, highlighted the top-performing teams heading into the playoffs, and provided updates on significant milestones in players’ careers.

Week 11’s 11 Notable Wins

Last week, I was most impressed by the following 11 performances.

Mooresville 34, Lake Norman 7

  • In the championship game for the Greater Metro 4A division, Mooresville emerged as the victor in a dominant victory over their 9-0 opponents. The Blue Devils’ exceptional defense recorded seven tackles for a loss, three sacks, two interceptions, and a forced fumble. Under the leadership of head coach Joe Nixon, the Blue Devils have achieved two consecutive 10-win seasons and are on their way to becoming a top-tier program.

The final score of the North Mecklenburg versus West Charlotte game was 34-8, with North Mecklenburg emerging as the victor.

  • This is one of the more stunning final scores from the final week of the regular season. North Mecklenburg is a young and talented team, but literally no one saw this coming. My expectation for West Charlotte was if it was going to struggle, it was going to be on offense. In this game, both the offense and defense struggled. Maybe ending the season on a two-game skid will serve as a wakeup call for the Lions to get through the 3A West gauntlet.

Davidson Community School defeated Pine Lake Prep 58 to 15.

  • In the 2023 season, there were doubts about CSD due to the departure of their talented senior quarterback AJ Sirianni. However, the Knights proved themselves as the top team in the Football Only 1A/2A Conference. Brandon Albert, son of the coach, led the team with 310 yards of total offense and six touchdowns.

Christ School defeated Metrolina Christian 43 to 19.

  • Christ School had a strong performance in NCISAA basketball, despite starting the season with multiple losses to teams from other states. Metrolina Christian also had a successful season with an even record. Along with a close game against Rabun Gap (GA), Metrolina only had three other losses by three points or less.

Shelby 58, Burns 27

  • Hello Shelby, I previously predicted that Burns would win this game at the beginning of the season and still held onto that belief until last week. This year, Shelby has a younger team, particularly in the quarterback position with sophomore Lan Farmer. However, the Golden Lions are starting to resemble their usual formidable selves in the 2A West. As we enter the playoffs, Shelby has a 7-game winning streak. They were defeated by Kings Mountain, A.C. Reynolds, and Crest, all 3A teams, at the start of the season. But now, Shelby has defeated every 2A team they have faced this year with a margin of at least 31 points.

Fike 27, Hunt 10

  • The Wilson public school team that received the most attention this year was Hunt, and for good reason. They have a dominant defense and an effective offense that has led them to several victories. However, their only defeat so far was against the reigning 3A East champion, Northern Nash. Their rival, Fike, had a different plan in mind. They managed to score 27 points against Hunt’s defense, which had previously shut out four of their last five opponents.

Dudley 35, Eastern Guilford 10

  • Dudley’s recent victory was a major milestone after a long break, and the Panthers performed exceptionally well. While we anticipated a strong offensive performance from the Panthers, their defense also stepped up by containing the Wildcats, especially after Steven Murray’s early touchdown. The Dudley team effectively limited Eastern to only 143 passing yards and 90 rushing yards.

Havelock defeated J.H. Rose by a score of 35-7.

  • Havelock ended the season with a perfect record of 10 wins and 0 losses. They defeated Rose, who had been performing significantly better in October compared to earlier in the year. Havelock’s only loss was to New Bern, but they were awarded the win after New Bern forfeited five games. The Rams only threw the ball eight times, gaining 49 yards. However, their rushing offense was dominant with 490 yards and five touchdowns. What’s even more impressive is that most of this team is made up of juniors.

Marvin Ridge 24, Weddington 20

  • In 2022, the Mavericks from Marvin Ridge nearly defeated the team from Weddington twice, but in 2023 they were able to secure a victory. Despite some pressure, Marvin Ridge’s defense held strong and limited Weddington to only 20 points, despite their offense gaining 390 yards. Evan Medders, who is committed to the Air Force, had a stellar performance with 218 passing yards, two touchdowns, and 131 rushing yards with one touchdown.

Mountain Heritage 52, Draughn 15

  • What occurred in this situation? Mountain Heritage dominated Draughn in the 1A/2A Western Highlands division, despite Draughn’s recent improvement. The Cougars’ defense limited senior quarterback Eli Tiller to only 78 passing yards on 14 attempts and also ended senior running back Nigel Dula’s streak of 19 consecutive games with over 100 rushing yards. On the other hand, junior quarterback Brandon Quinn of the Cougars threw for a touchdown and ran for 286 yards and four touchdowns.

Crest 39, Kings Mountain 14

  • Crest’s highly anticipated game turned out to be underwhelming as they easily defeated their 9-0 opponent, the Chargers. Despite facing a strong defense from Kings Mountain, Crest’s impressive offense still managed to score points. However, it is worth mentioning that their defense, which had been a source of concern, was able to limit the Mountaineers to only 14 points. The top teams in the 3A West division are sure to make for an exciting competition.

Second down: The most in-demand teams heading into the playoffs.

We have previously discussed Shelby’s consecutive wins in 7 games. However, here is a compilation of other teams who are entering the playoffs with a winning streak.

  • Mount Airy (1A West) has a winning streak of 24 consecutive games.

  • 10 matches at Bunker Hill (2A West).

  • The Cleveland team from the 4A East division has played a total of 10 games.

  • Clinton, representing the 2A East division, played a total of 10 games.

  • “Ten games for Crest in the 3A West division.”

  • Dudley, who plays in the 3A West division, has played 10 games.

  • Grimsley, from the 4A West division, played a total of 10 games.

  • Havelock High School’s 3A East team played 10 games this season.

  • 10 games played by Hickory in the 3A West division.

  • Mooresville (4A West) – 10 games
  • Ten games played by Northeastern in the 2A East division.

  • 10 games played by Pinecrest in the 4A East division.

  • Jay M. Robinson High School in 3A West has played 10 games.

  • Salisbury (2A West) – 10 games
  • 71st (3A East) – 10 matches

  • There are 10 games for Vance County in the 3A East division.

  • Ten games in Watauga’s 4A West division.

  • West Henderson High School, located in the 3A West region, has played 10 games.

  • Butler (4A West) – 9 games
  • Eastern Randolph, in the 1A West division, played a total of 9 games.

  • Hoggard High School (4A East division) has played in 9 games.

  • Hough (4A West) – 9 games
  • Tarboro (1A East) – 9 games
  • The East 1A division of Wilson Prep played 9 games.

  • Brevard’s (2A West) record in 8 games.

  • Monroe (2A West) – 8 games
  • There are 8 games for Oak Grove in the 3A West division.

  • Rolesville in the 4A East division played 8 games.

  • Southern Alamance (3A East) – 8 games
  • White Oak (3A East) – 8 games
  • Mountain Heritage (1A West) – 7 games
  • There were seven games played at Myers Park in the 4A West division.

  • Shelby in the 2A West division has played 7 games.

  • Wallace-Rose Hill has played a total of seven games in the 2A East division.

  • A.C. Reynolds High School (3A West division) – 6 matches

  • Bear Grass Charter (1A East) – 6 games
  • Cardinal Gibbons in the 4A East division played a total of 6 games.

  • Community School of Davidson (2A West) – 6 games
  • The team at North Moore (1A East) played 6 games.

  • North Surry (2A West) has played 6 games in the 2A West division.
  • Northside-Pinetown (1A East) – 6 games
  • Reidsville (2A West) – 6 games
  • Southern Nash has played a total of 6 games in the 3A East division.

  • Six games for SouthWest Edgecombe in the 2A East division.

  • Six games in the West Columbus (1A East) division.

  • East Forsyth (4A West) – 5 games
  • Fike High School’s 3A East team played a total of 5 games.

  • The team from Hillside (4A East) has played a total of 5 games.

  • Holly Springs, representing the 4A East division, has played a total of 5 games.

  • Laney High School in the 4A East division has played a total of 5 games.

  • North Lincoln (3A West) – 5 games
  • There were 5 games played by Northwest Guilford in the 4A West division.

  • Robbinsville (1A West) will play a total of 5 games.

  • Durham South (3A East) – 5 matches

  • Williams (3A East) – 5 games

Third down: Achievements and Consistent Performance

The West Brunswick team ended a 14-game losing streak by winning an exciting 43-42 shootout against South Brunswick. With less than a minute left, the Trojans scored a touchdown to take the lead.

Tyler Mason, who has committed to play running back for Virginia Tech, had an impressive run of 10 consecutive touchdowns come to an end. This means that he scored a touchdown on 10 consecutive carries. His 10th touchdown was a spectacular hurdle over the defense in a game against Alleghany. Unfortunately, the Spartans were able to prevent him from scoring on his next attempt. This statistic is truly remarkable.

On Friday, quarterback Ben Mauney of Burns High School broke the record for the most passing yards in Cleveland County during their game against Shelby. Mauney’s total passing yards now stand at 7,825.

Al Lee, quarterback for Reidsville High School, set a new record for most passing yards in school history with 295 yards during Friday’s game against Morehead. Lee’s career total now stands at 7,628 yards, surpassing the previous record of 7,347 yards held by Javada Harden.

Cutler Adams surpassed 6,000 career rushing yards with his 117-yard performance against Swain County. He is currently 104 yards away from breaking Rylee Anderson’s record of 6,159 yards for the school and Smoky Mountain Conference.

Jamal Rule, the running back for Salisbury, has set a new record for the most rushing yards in a single season at the school with a total of 2,161 yards this year. Additionally, his six touchdowns against North Rowan have tied the school’s record for most touchdowns in a single game.

Mason Fortune, the quarterback for Millbrook, holds the record for the most passing yards in the school’s history. In the game against Wake Forest on Friday, Fortune surpassed 10,000 career yards with his 253-yard performance.

I am keeping track of the losing streaks.

  • Cedar Ridge’s streak of consecutive losses (19 games)

  • The losing streak at Chatham Central is currently at 16 games.

  • The East Henderson team has currently lost 16 consecutive games.

  • The Foard team has not won a game in their last 34 attempts.
  • The Garinger team has not won a game in 27 consecutive matches.

  • The Highland Tech team has a record of 34 consecutive losses.

  • Jones has lost 14 consecutive games.

  • Reworded: The Morehead team has lost 13 consecutive games.

  • Patton’s losing streak of 14 consecutive games.

  • The losing streak of Rocky Mount Prep (16 games)

  • Spring Creek’s streak of consecutive losses (15 games)

  • The losing streak for West Caldwell has reached 31 consecutive games.

  • The West Davidson team has been on a losing streak for 16 consecutive games.

Quick Hits

  • The Donut Squad was victorious in week 11 as they managed to keep their opponents from scoring. The impressive teams included Bessemer City, Camden County, Chapel Hill, East Wilkes, Louisburg, Mount Airy, North Lincoln, Northampton County, Northwest Guilford, Providence, Southern Durham, Southern Nash, Southside, Starmount, Tarboro, West Columbus, Whiteville, and White Oak.

  • The top scoring teams for burgers were East Gaston (72), East Carteret (67), Beddingfield (66), Kinston (66), North Duplin (63), Providence (63), Reagan (63), Watauga (63), St. Pauls (62), Reidsville (61), Vance County (61), Bessemer City (60), Clinton (60), Pinecrest (60), East Wilkes (59), Northern Nash (59), A.C. Reynolds (58), Community School of Davidson (58), Shelby (58), Trask (58), Middle Creek (57), Smoky Mountain (57), West Rowan (57), Bunker Hill (56), Hough (56), Monroe (56), Pine Forest (56), South Granville (56), Asheville School (55), Pisgah (55), Providence Day (55), Salisbury (55), Terry Sanford (55), West Columbus (55), Williams (55), Carson (54), Forestview (54), Richlands (54), Mount Airy (53), Nash Central (53), Whiteville (53), Jacksonville (52), Mountain Heritage (52), Northwest Halifax (52), Erwin (51), East Burke (50), and West Mecklenburg (50).

  • Asim McGill and Martin County deserve major recognition for their recent victory against Bertie, with a final score of 41-32 on Friday. Despite starting the year with a 2-4 record and losing their coach, the first-year consolidation program persevered. Interim coach and current Martin County athletic director Asim McGill, formerly the head coach at Riverside-Martin, led the team to three wins in their last four games, achieving a .500 record and securing a home playoff game. This is particularly impressive considering Bertie’s strong performance against Northeastern and their only other conference loss to Tarboro.

  • The 2023 hiring cycle has revealed that several schools are currently searching for a new head coach. Havelock, Hertford County, Knightdale, and Martin County have all had interim coaches this year. Issac Marsh, the longtime head coach at Chapel Hill, has declared that this will be his final year. In the upcoming weeks, we can expect to see numerous job vacancies arise.

Victory Formation

This week’s normal edition of The Huddle has come to an end. I also have an exclusive edition on its way featuring bracket superlatives.

Source: highschoolot.com