In a season marked by record-setting performances, the numbers continued to blow up Friday night as WNC teams posted an impressive 9-3 mark in round 2 of the state high school playoffs.
Here’s a look at who did what to makes sure their team advanced to next week’s quarterfinal round.
Trey Robinson, Mountain Heritage
The legend – and his yards – continue to grow in Burnsville. The Cougars’ record setting quarterback scored all 52 points, and his team needed every one of them, in a wild 52-44 win over Whiteville.
Robinson rushed 31 times for 271 yards, with seven touchdowns and five two-point conversions as Heritage improved to 12-0.
He passed the 8,000 rushing yard and 100 rushing touchdown plateaus for his career, and his four-year numbers include three WNC career records – total yards (12,363), rushing yards (8,142) and touchdown responsibility (161).
Ben Young, Mitchell
The Mountaineers’ senior quarterback went over the 11,000-yard mark in total yardage during a 67-21 romp over Community School of Davidson.
Young threw for 205 yards and four scores and rushed for 67 yards and two more touchdowns to pace an offense that finished with 672 yards of offense.
That impressive effort included three runners with 100 or more yards – Ben Robinson, Ethan LaPlante and Noah Pitman - as Mitchell piled up 467 rushing yards.
Young now has 11,256 total yards and 139 combined touchdowns, both second in the history of WNC behind Robinson.
Isaiah Evans, Cherokee
The Braves’ running back got his team off to a great start by scoring the first four touchdowns in the first half to key a 58-35 win over Union Academy.
Evans finished with 190 yards on 23 carries and five scores on runs of 11, 10, 7, 6 and 4 yards. He got plenty of help from quarterback Tye Mintz (140 yards rushing, 96 yards passing), who had three rushing touchdowns.
Mintz (9,065 yards) became the sixth player in WNC history to soar past 9,000 total yards in a career.
Rylee Anderson, Robbinsville
The Black Knights’ running back’s sophomore season continued to impress in a 46-34 win over Mountain Island Charter.
He ran 26 times for 271 yards and three touchdowns and now has 1,821 yards and 16 TDs this year.
Teammate Ian Wiggins added 83 rushing yards, including scores of 14 and 13 yards.
Alex “Bud” Williford, Hendersonville
The Bearcats’ senior quarterback achieved his second straight 3,000-yard passing season in a 56-14 win over Red Springs.
Williford passed for 274 yards and two touchdowns (97 and 27 yards to Kalin Ensley) and rushed for 36 yards and two more scores. Ensley finished with five catches for 159 yards.
Fellow receiver Tykel Landrum had four catches for 66 yards but was more impressive on the other side of the ball with two interceptions, including a 75-yard return for a touchdown. Landrum now has 27 career interceptions.
Williford, after throwing for 3,398 yards and 36 TDs last season, has 3,153 yards and 31 scores this year.
After averaging 48 points per outing in winning 10 straight games, the Rockets were limited to three scores but leaned on their defense to pull out a 21-7 win over Southwest Guilford.
No. 2 Reynolds allowed just 92 yards of offense and had three interceptions to improve to 12-1 and advance to the third round of the 3AA playoffs, a home game vs. No. 3 South Iredell (11-2).
Rockets’ quarterback Alex Flinn threw for 233 yards and two touchdowns and passed the 3,000-yard mark for the season (3,209 passing yards). He has thrown for 40 touchdowns.
The high-scoring Panthers managed just 31 points in two matchups this season with mountain rival Pisgah, but walked away with a 2-0 record after a 14-7 victory in 2AA playoff action.
A defensive battle similar to the first meeting (Franklin won 17-13 four weeks ago) that included a questionable official’s call that wiped out a 49-yard gain for the Bears, the game was decided on Franklin quarterback Andrew Moore’s 61-yard touchdown pass to Bailey Watts in the fourth quarter.
No. 3 Franklin (12-0) will travel to No. 2 Hibriten (13-0) next week.
Nobody does November better than the Bulldogs, who had to rally from a fourth-quarter deficit with two touchdowns in the last five minutes on the road to knock off No. 3 North Stanly 49-35.
Coach David Gentry’s 393rd career victory was assured when KJ Allen scored from two yards out with 4:57 remaining and Joey Curry added a two-yard TD run with 47 seconds left to play.
Curry threw for 203 yards and two scores to increase Murphy’s postseason mark to 28-4 over the past eight seasons.
The victory also secured a home game next week vs. No. 7 East Surry (9-4). The sixth-seeded Bulldogs are 24-0 in home playoff games since 2009.
The question for the undefeated and second-seeded Cougars (12-0) was how they would handle a close game after blowing through so many opponents with lopsided wins and running clocks.
The answer was a 52-44 win over Whiteville, a 13-touchdown scoring bonanza keyed by another amazing performance by Heritage quarterback Trey Robinson (see above).
The reward is a rematch with No. 3 Hendersonville (10-3) at home next week in the 2A quarterfinals. The Cougars edged the Bearcats 28-22 earlier this season on a last-minute scoring drive in Hendersonville.
Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy
The Gryphons got six touchdown passes from Nomi McMullens in a 55-34 win over Elkin to stretch their record to 11-1.
The high-scoring offense of coach Jerry Cash scored 34 or more points for the ninth time this season. No. 3 seed TJCA travels to No. 2 Cherokee (11-1) in quarterfinal play in Class 1A.