A major Western North Carolina record was set and several quarterbacks shone brightly Friday night to highlight play in Week 9 of local high-school football play.
Trey Robinson, Mountain Heritage
Western North Carolina’s all-time leader in total yardage and touchdown responsibility is now also the area’s career leader in rushing yardage. The Cougars’ senior quarterback ran 13 times for 220 yards in a 54-7 win over Owen, the program that featured the player who previously owned the rushing record (Jager Gardner’s 6,955 yards from 2012-14).
Robinson now has 6,968 rushing yards, 10,960 total yards and has accounted for 137 touchdowns (86 rushing, 51 passing).
According to the NCHSAA record book, Robinson’s total yardage ranks sixth in the history of the state and his rushing total is ninth.
Ben Young, Mitchell quarterback
Throwing for five touchdowns for the second time in three games, Young moved into second place in WNC history in total yardage during a 62-20 rout of Madison.
The Mountaineers’ senior quarterback completed 12-of-15 passes for 235 yards and the five scores. He now has 10,291 total yards (7,282 passing, 3,009 rushing) to pass Erwin’s Damien Ferguson (10,281 total yards from 2014-16).
Young is also second behind Robinson in the WNC career ranks in TD responsibility with 125 (65 passing, 60 rushing).
His total yardage ranks eighth in the history of the state, according to the NCHSAA record book.
Chris Hemphill, East Henderson
The Eagles’ junior quarterback accounted for all four scores in a 27-22 upset of Pisgah.
He ran for an 86-yard TD and threw for three scores, including the 13-yard game-winning toss to Caleb Shipman with 10 seconds left.
Hemphill also connected with Shipman on a 26-yard score and a 13-yard TD to Tyler Pace.
Brock Kloeppel, Franklin
The Panthers’ running back rushed 25 times for 203 yards, including TD runs of 1 and 53 yards, to key a 28-12 win over Brevard.
Teammate Grant Stiles (195 yards) and A.J. Carpenter (73) added a touchdown each for the Panthers, who finished with 476 yards on the ground.
Alex Flinn, Reynolds
The Rockets’ junior quarterback was nearly flawless in a 35-0 romp over Asheville High.
He completed 24-of-29 passes for 177 yards and a touchdown and also ran for a 14-yard score.
In eight games, Flinn has completed 131 of 168 passes (78 percent) for 1,869 yards and 18 TDs.
Brodie Bowman, Swain County
The Maroon Devils’ quarterback had 261 yards of offense and accounted for three touchdowns in a 49-14 win over Rosman.
He rushed 16 times for 186 yards, including TD runs of 5 and 83 yards. Bowman also completed 5 of 10 passes for 75 yards, with a 15-yard scoring pass to Brier Younce.
Teammate Bryce Sain contributed 131 yards rushing and three TDs on runs of 60, 60 and 7 yards.
Tye Mintz, Cherokee
The Braves’ senior quarterback piled up 290 yards of offense and four scores to keep his team undefeated with a 32-12 win at Andrews.
He rushed 12 times for 194 yards, with touchdown runs of 11 and six yards. And he threw for 194 yards (5 of 12), including TD tosses of 37 yards to Sterling Santa Maria and 83 yards to younger brother Cade Mintz.
Ty Gossett, Roberson
The junior quarterback led the Rams to their second win of the season, 41-14 over Enka.
He completed 12 of 18 passes for 225 yards and three TDs – 47 and 19 yards to Kobe Miles and 21 yards from Shaq Gist. Miles finished with six receptions for 163 yards.
The Panthers’ domination of Brevard went beyond the 28-12 final score.
They won the total offense battle 509-126, due to a 476-yard effort on the ground.
While a competitive Mountain Six Conference has four 1-1 teams, Franklin (8-0, 2-0) has settled in as the favorite.
The beat – and the beatings – go on for the Rockets (7-1, 5-0). A 35-0 rout of Asheville High was the third straight shutout for a defense that has allowed six total points in its last 16 quarters.
The whitewash was the first time in 109 games the Cougars failed to score.
It’s been a challenge for first-year coach Justin Heatherly to rebuild a program that was 5-39 over the previous four seasons and begin this year with a 15-game losing streak, but there are signs of progress.
The latest is a surprising 27-22 win over Pisgah in which a rising star (junior quarterback Chris Hemphill) accounted for all four scores.
With a chance to fold in the final minutes, the Eagles (3-5, 1-1) instead scored the game-winner on a Hemphill TD pass with 11 seconds remaining.