The final week of regular-season play included the usual heroic efforts of teams and individuals.
Some players wrapped up great careers, while others will spend the next two weeks preparing for the playoffs that begin Nov. 16.
The outstanding performances included:
Alex Flinn, Reynolds
The Rockets’ senior quarterback threw for 335 yards and three touchdowns in a 55-29 win over Roberson. Increasing his record to 24-3 over two seasons, Flinn has now thrown for 6,989 career yards with 71 TDs.
Against the Rams he got plenty of help from running back Markesse Jackson (seven receptions, 127 yards) and receiver Jhari Patterson (seven catches, 113 yards. One TD).
Ty Gossett, Roberson
The Rams’ signal-caller capped a strong career by throwing for 271 yards a pair of touchdowns in the loss at Reynolds. A three-year starter who threw for at least 2,400 yards and 20 scores each year, Gossett finished fifth on the WNC career passing yardage list with 7,357 yards and had 71 passing TDs.
Against the Rockets, receiver Kobe Miles had eight catches for 182 yards and a TD.
Will Frady, Smoky Mountain
The Mustangs’ workhorse ran 26 times for 213 yards and a score in a 28-21 win over Franklin. Frady passed the 1,000-yard mark and has 1,182 yards and 15 TDs for the season.
Rylee Anderson, Robbinsville
WNC’s leading rusher carried the ball 27 times for 188 yards and five touchdowns in a 55-38 slugfest with Andrews. The junior has 1,511 yards and 26 TDs this season and 3,676 yards and 46 scores for his career.
Clark Gray, Madison
The senior quarterback completed a great career by rushing for 173 yards and three scores in a 48-23 loss to Polk County. Gray finished with 4,988 yards of offense and accounted for 50 touchdowns for the Patriots over three seasons.
Reynolds (Western Mountain Athletic), Pisgah (Mountain Six), Mountain Heritage (Western Highlands), Murphy (Smoky Mountain) and Thomas Jefferson (Southern Piedmont) all won conference titles outright by going undefeated in league play.
Some very good teams finished second in league play, five squads that were a combined 43-11, including Erwin (9-1 in the WMAC), Brevard and Smoky Mountain (8-3 in the Mountain Six), Mitchell (9-2 in the WHC) and Robbinsville (9-2 in the SMC).
The Greenies (10-1) won their ninrth straight, rallying from an early 20-7 deficit and outscoring Trinity Christian 26-12 over the final three quarters for a 33-32 win to advance to the NCISAA state title game for the third time in four seasons and fourth time in six years. Navy Shuler threw for three touchdowns, while Kadein Robinson and Keyvaun Cobb scored twice each.
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