Week 10 was an opportunity to celebrate the tremendous accomplishments of two of the top high-school football coaches ever to walk on the field in the mountains.
WNC Sports Hall of Fame member David Gentry, 72, of Murphy won his 400th game in a 48-year career with a 49-7 win over Swain. He is 13 wins away from being the all-time leader in wins in the state.
In Swannanoa, Owen High inducted Kenny Ford into the school's all of Fame. Ford won 230 games and 14 conference titles in 29 seasons with the Warhorses (1986-2014).
He is the only coach in the history of Buncombe County to win 200 games at the same school.
In addition to these two, here are some more efforts worth applauding:
Noah Pitman, Mitchell
Concerns about replacing talented quarterback Ben Young have been put to rest in Ledger, thanks to the great play of the son of coach Travise Pitman.
Noah piled up 457 yards of offense in a 62-13 romp over Polk County. He threw for 305 yards and five touchdowns and rushed for 152 yards and a score, with Tyler McKinney (four catches, 162 yards) hauling in scoring passes of 35, 51 and 56 yards.
In nine games, the junior has 2,036 yards of total offense (1,146 passing, 890 rushing) and has accounted for 22 touchdowns.
Landon Orr, Robbinville
The Black Knights' quarterback completed 12-of-122 passes for 182 yards (including touchdown throws of 22 and nine yards to Jase Philips) and also ran for 25 yards and a score in a 41-19 win over Cherokee. He got help from tailback Rylee Anderson, who rushed 18 times for 195 yards, including a 55-yard score.
Ty Davidson, Owen
The Warhorses' versatile playmaker rushed for 112 yards (including a pair of 3-yard TD runs) and also returned a fumble 75 yards for another score in his team's 48-0 whitewash of Avery County. Owen also got 143 yards rushing from Frank Walsh and 118 yards passing from Audun Meyers.
Rashod Chaffin, Erwin
The Warriors' back-up tailback has stepped in for injured starter Don Mosley very impressively. Chaffin rushed 23 times for 237 yards and four scores on runs of 1, 8, 18 and 46 yards in a 49-7 win over Enka.
Zack Sheppard, Andrews
The Wildcats' senior ran for 165 yards and a 25-yard touchdown in a 34-14 win over Hayesville. Andrews finished with 389 yards rushing, getting 98 yards and three TDs from Landon White and 95 yards and a score from Gavin Wilson.
Korey Griffith, Pisgah
The Bears' sophomore quarterback continues to grow into his job in his first year as a starter. He threw for 178 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for two scores to lead a 52-17 waltz over Hendersonville. Tailback Jon Mehaffey led a strong ground game with 153 rushing yards and Tanner Wike did a little bit of everything - 59 yards rushing, 69 yards receiving (with a 15-yard TD catch) and he threw a 47-yard TD pass to Devan Dodgin.
After going 1-9 for three consecutive seasons, coach Nathan Padgett has the Warhorses (3-5, 2-1) headed in the right direction. Tied for second in the Western Highlands Conference after a 48-0 rout of Avery County, Owen is in position to battle for a playoff spot.
After blowing through opponents of a suspect schedule during a seven-game winning streak, the Greenies have manned up the last two weeks for close wins against tougher teams. A 44-yard touchdown pass from Navy Shuler to Kaedin Robinson late in the fourth quarter sealed a 21-14 win over Providence Day and left the team at 8-1 under first-year coach Tommy Langford.
The Bears have been getting by with a strong defense for much of the season, but it was the offense of coach Brett Chappell that shined in a 52-17 rout of Hendersonville. Showing it could move the ball out of a power run formation (303 rushing yards) and from a spread set (249 yards passing), Pisgah took over first place alone in the Mountain Six Conference.
Perhaps lost in the hoopla of coach David Gentry's 400th win was a dominating performance by the Bulldogs (4-0, 7-1) in a 49-7 win over Swain County that put the team in great position to win the Smoky Mountain Conference. Devonte Murray ran for four touchdowns and the defense limited the Maroon Devils to 140 total yards to key a seventh straight win.
Veteran coach Dee Walsh has quietly guided his team to a 7-2 mark (4-1 in the Smoky Mountain Conference). After early losses to Christ School and Murphy, the Black Knights have won four in a row by plowing past four league opponents by a combined 178-57.
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