Footballs should fill the air Friday night at Kerr Stadium when MY 40’s Friday Night Rivals series returns to the mountains.
After three weeks of showcasing Upstate S.C. teams, the televised high-school football games come back home to WNC for a Western Mountain Athletic Conference showdown between Buncombe County schools.
The key match-up of Roberson High at Erwin should be at quarterback, where a pair of three-year starters who have combined to throw for more than 10,000 yards and 100 touchdowns square off.
Roberson (1-5, 1-2) features Ty Gossett, a strong-armed senior who is on pace to throw for more than 2,000 yards for a third straight season.
Erwin (5-1, 3-1) counters with Kendrick Weaver, a dual threat to pass and run who is having an outstanding senior season, with 19 touchdown passes with just two interceptions.
Gossett has thrown for 6,072 career yards and 55 touchdowns for the Rams, including 1.127 yards and nine scores this season.
Weaver has thrown for more than 1,000 yards in each of the past three seasons, including 1,076 yards and nine TDs as a sophomore at Owen High.
After transferring to Erwin, Weaver has thrown for nearly 3,000 yards and 36 touchdowns (with just four interceptions) while leading the program to 11 wins in their last 13 games.
As a runner, Weaver has 991 career rushing yards and 18 TDs.
Combined, Gossett and Weaver have totaled 11,238 yards of offense and accounted for 125 touchdowns since 2015.
But as talented as both QBs are, these are two programs headed in opposite directions.
The Rams are 4-13 since the start of the 2017 season after a promising 8-4 record in 2016, coach J.D. Dinwiddie’s first season with the program.
The defense has really struggled this year, a unit that starts just one senior and has allowed an average of more than 40 points a game through its first six outings.
That’s not a recipe success against a Warriors’ offense that averages more than 38 points a game.
In what could be more bad news for the Rams, this is the time of year when Erwin really seems to play at its best.
Over the previous four seasons, the Warriors are 20-2 in the second half of the regular season.
Erwin is one win away from clinching a winning record for the 11th straight season.
In a county rivalry that dates back more than a half-century, Roberson leads the all-time series 29-28.
But Erwin has closed the gap by winning each of the last five meetings since 2013, averaging 33 points a game in those victories.
The Friday Night Rivals telecast begins at 7 p.m., with kickoff set for 7:30.
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