The Starting 22: Best players from week ten of high school football

HighSchoolOT will publish the Starting 22 every week, which highlights the top players in each position throughout North Carolina.

Each week, coaches can submit nominations for performance consideration to [email protected].


High School

Quarterback Nydarion Blackwell is a junior at Clinton High School.

  • Blackwell broke Clinton school records for most passing yards (302) and passing touchdowns (five) in a single game during the first round against Kinston. He achieved this feat by completing 10 out of 13 passing attempts.

Jeremiah Johnson, a junior at Pender, was listed as RB.

  • During Pender’s 58-42 victory against Warren County, Johnson had a total of 410 rushing yards and scored four touchdowns with 35 carries.

Murphy senior Hunter Stalcup received the RB designation.

  • Stalcup had an impressive game, running for a total of 321 yards and scoring four touchdowns on only 19 carries. He also made an impact on defense, recording three tackles and an interception. The final score was 57-21, with Murphy emerging as the victor over Polk County.

WR — Jaire Richburg, sophomore, East Forsyth

  • The young second-year receiver’s recruiting process has gained momentum in recent months. He performed impressively in East Forsyth’s 42-6 victory against Page in the playoffs, recording six receptions for 112 yards and scoring two touchdowns.

Amir Hall, a senior at Southern Durham High School, is the recipient of the WR award.

  • During the game between Southern Durham and Eastern Alamance, Hall caught six passes for 201 yards and scored three touchdowns, contributing to their impressive 36-7 victory.


Williamsport’s senior running back, Haneef Rasheed II, is a key player for the team, known as FLEX.

  • Rasheed II had an impressive performance against the skilled Hunt defense, rushing for 153 yards and scoring three touchdowns on just 11 attempts. He also caught three receptions for 67 yards and two touchdowns as a receiver.

High School

Chandler Clontz is a senior at Southern Alamance High School.

  • Clontz is technically a tight end, but we’re giving him a spot on our offensive line because he is six feet tall and 270 pounds. He helped pave the way for the Patriots’ 428 total yards of offense and six touchdowns in their 44-0 win over Orange.

OL — Logan Pulley, sophomore, Rolesville

  • Pulley, a member of the Rolesville Ram offensive line, is the third player this season to join the Starting 22. As a sophomore, he has had a successful year and stands at 6-foot-5 and weighs 275 pounds. In Rolesville’s 62-0 victory against Purnell Swett in the first round, he received an A- grade.

OL — Tristan Haddock, senior, Bunker Hill

  • The elder Haddock, who stands at 6 feet 6 inches and weighs 285 pounds, proved to be a formidable player in the state and displayed dominance against East Rutherford.

OL — Bradley Haddock, junior, Bunker Hill

  • Bradley, the younger sibling of Haddock, is also a large individual standing at a height of 6-foot-3 and weighing 284 pounds. In the game, Bunker Hill gained 258 yards and scored four touchdowns through rushing, and also threw for 320 yards and five touchdowns.

High School

Jake Clemmons, a senior at Scotland High School.

  • Clemmons has assisted Scotland’s Zay Jones in achieving over 2,000 rushing yards this season. He also received an offer from Elon. Jones stands at 6 feet and 6 inches tall, weighing 300 pounds.

Get up to date on past versions of the Initial 22.


EDGE — Tyquan McDonald, senior, Albemarle

  • In Albemarle’s dominant 49-0 victory against South Davidson, McDonald recorded a total of eight tackles, two of which were for a loss. This brings his season totals to 25 tackles for a loss and 13.5 sacks.


Brycen White, a junior at South Granville High School, was named DL.

  • During the final game of the season, South Granville’s team suffered a defeat against Whiteville. White, who weighs 230 pounds, ended the game with 10 tackles, 1 tackle for a loss, and 1 sack. As a junior, he accumulated a total of 15 tackles for a loss and 10 sacks throughout the season.

DL — Keenen Hatcher, senior, Grimsley

  • The massive 315-pound defensive tackle effectively blocked lanes and made several tackles in Grimsley’s 54-0 victory against North Mecklenburg.

EDGE — Khamoni Heath, senior, Lincolnton

  • Heath had another impressive performance, recording six tackles and a sack in Lincolnton’s unexpected victory against North Surry. He also had over 200 rushing yards and four touchdowns on offense.

LB — Sawyer Lowe, junior, Cleveland

  • Lowe continued to post dominant numbers with 18 tackles, three tackles for a loss, one sack, one forced fumble, one fumble recover, and one pass breakup in Cleveland’s 57-13 win over Gray’s Creek.

High School

Tyquan Rankin is a senior at Butler High School.

  • During Butler’s dominant 49-7 victory against Alexander Central, Rankin contributed his usual impressive 11 tackles and also scored two touchdowns from interceptions.

High School

Quinton Cypher, a freshman at Millbrook High School, is referred to as LB.

  • The first-year player made a significant impact in the narrow 28-21 victory against Heritage for Millbrook, recording 17 tackles, a sack, and an interception.

DB — Ivion Smith, junior, New Bern

  • We’re sneaking Ivion onto the defensive side of the Starting 22, even though he did most of his damage on offense. Smith had four total tackles and an 80-yard interception return for a touchdown from his defensive back position. On offense, Smith had six receptions for 180 yards and two touchdowns.

DB — Currine Henry, junior, New Bern

  • The sticky Henry joined Smith in intercepting Apex in New Bern’s 51-35 first round win over Apex. Henry has played in nine games this season and recorded an interception in eight of them.

DB — Kenyon Moore, junior, Pisgah

  • The defensive player for the Bears made two interceptions during their 35-17 victory against North Henderson in the first round. Additionally, he scored a 69-yard receiving touchdown while playing on offense.

High School

D.J. Jones, senior linebacker from Mallard Creek High School, was selected for FLEX.

  • Jones was highly active during Mallard Creek’s 41-7 victory away from home, recording a total of 15 tackles.