A wild and unpredictable Week 1 of WNC high-school football included four losses by teams ranked in the preseason WNC/WLOS.com Top 10 Poll.
After some reshuffling of the teams, Week 2 could be more of the same, with a pair of games pitting four teams ranked in this week’s poll.
A look at this week’s games:
No. 1 Pisgah (1-0) at Enka (0-1)
The Bears were impressive last week in a 15-8 win vs. Murphy, especially the defense.
Enka struggled on both sides of the ball in a 34-7 loss to Owen .
These two neighbors in west Buncombe and east Haywood counties have played for 17 straight years, with Pisgah winning 15 of them.
The Bears have won six straight meetings, outscoring Enka 207-43.
Pick: Pisgah by 23.
Shelby (1-0) at No. 2 Reynolds (0-1)
The Reynolds defense allowed just 188 yards of offense – only 53 on the ground – but lost 27-24 at Southern Durham last week.
Shelby opened with a 31-10 win against Freedom.
Since the middle of the 2014 season, the Rockets are 33-0 against WNC opponents, 26-0 against conference foes, but 8-8 vs. teams outside WNC.
Three of those eight losses have come against Shelby, a perennial power.
Pick: Shelby by 3.
No. 7 Franklin (1-0) at No. 3 Murphy (0-1)
The names change, but the game remains the same for Franklin.
Debuting a new backfield, the Panthers ran for more than 300 yards last week to beat No. 10 Asheville High 37-29.
Murphy played well on defense but managed just one score in a 15-8 loss to Pisgah.
The Bulldogs have dropped just 22 regular-season games since 2009, and nine of those losses have come against Franklin.
This has been a competitive series for six decades, with Murphy leading the all-time results 35-33 despite the Panthers’ current nine-game win streak. .
Pick: Franklin by 4.
Episcopal (0-0) at No. 4 Christ School (1-0)
The Greenies’ home opener is a 5 p.m. start on Saturday.
Getting a slew of big plays from running back Sidney Gibbs, receiver Kaedin Robinson and quarterback Navy Shuler, Christ School routed Christian Academy of Knoxville 44-7 last week.
Episcopal is a program from Bellaire, Tex., that is 34-9 over the past four seasons.
Pick: Christ School by 6.
No. 8 Mountain Heritage (1-0) at No. 5 Erwin (1-0)
Interesting match-up between the running game of Mountain Heritage and the passing attack of the Warriors.
The Cougars pounded out 265 rushing yards in a 28-14 win over Brevard and also got a 90-yard kickoff return for a score from Jake Autrey.
Erwin’s Kendrick Weaver had more than 300 yards of total offense 245 passing, 98 rushing – and was named the News 13 Player of the Week while keying a 31-14 win over Mitchell.
Pick: Erwin by 1.
West Henderson (1-0) at No. 6 Hendersonville (1-0)
The Bearcats’ big-play attack in a 49-0 win at North Henderson last week was evident from the first play, when Kalin Ensley took the opening kickoff into the end zone.
West Henderson was solid on both sides of the ball and got a lot of playing time for some inexperienced players in a 58-6 rout at Madison.
Hendersonville is 27-6 against its Henderson County rivals over the past 10 seasons, including 9-1 vs. West Henderson.
Pick: Hendersonville by 9.
Webb School (0-1) at No. 10 Asheville High (0-1)
The Cougars threw for 375 yards in a 37-29 loss to Franklin, but gave up more than 300 yards rushing.
Webb School out of Knoxville has won three state titles in the past nine seasons. The Spartans began the season with a 13-10 loss to Evangelical Christian.
Since the start of the 2016 season, Asheville High is 2-9 vs. non-conference opponents. Webb School won last year’s meeting 26-16.
Pick: Asheville High by 3.
Idle this week: No. 9 Tuscola (1-0).
Last week: 4-4 overall, 4-4 against the spread.
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