Has there ever been a high-school football season with so many record-breaking performances?
In the history of WNC football, records for the top two players in total yardage and touchdown responsibility and rushing were set this year, along with the new all-time receiving leader in catches, yardage and TDs...and all those numbers will be increased as the playoffs begin this week.
Some of the best performances from the last week of the regular season:
Ty Gossett, Roberson
In a 56-34 loss to Reynolds, Gossett threw for a school-record 462 yards and three touchdowns.
With his second straight performance of more than 400 yards passing, the Rams’ junior finished the season with 2,509 yards and 26 TDs.
Bershia Young, Roberson
The Rams’ senior receiver finished his career in style, with 11 catches for 261 yards and a touchdown in the Reynolds loss. He had 45 catches for 857 yards and seven scores this season.
Nate Coffey, Smoky Mountain
The Mustangs’ gifted signal caller completed 32-of-48 passes for 408 yards and three TDs in a 45-21 loss to Franklin.
Coffey has thrown for a WNC-best 2,873 yards and 24 scores this season.
Isaiah Poore, Erwin
The Warriors’ senior tailback rushed for 218 yards and two touchdowns in a 51-20 win over Tuscola. After rushing for over 1,000 yards last season, he has 941 yards and 14 scores this season.
Poore had plenty of help from teammates Kendrick Weaver (13 of 18 for 190 yards) and Simeon Thompson (three TD receptions).
Alex Flinn, Reynolds
WNC’s leader in touchdown passes increased his total to 32 with three scoring tosses in the win over Roberson. He has completed 187 of 262 passes (71 percent) for 2,646 yards in 11 games.
Darren Lammons, North Henderson
How’s this for doing a little bit of everything?
The Knights’ versatile senior capped an outstanding career with a great effort in a 34-31 overtime loss to Enka.
He scored on a 17-yard touchdown pass and an 85-yard kickoff return. He completed a throw on a receiver end around play, and had four punts of more than 40 yards, including a 62 and 60-yarder.
Ben Young, Mitchell
The Mountaineers’ senior quarterback moved to within 16 yards of 11,000 total career yards in a 49-7 win over Owen.
In his 45th win as a starter over four years, Young passed for 212 yards and two scores and ran for 76 yards and a TD.
He has 10,984 yards of total offense and 133 touchdowns (70 passing, 63 rushing), both of which rank second in WNC history behind his friend and former Little League teammate, Mountain Heritage’s Trey Robinson.
Young needs 142 passing yards to pass Tuscola’s Scott Brosius (7,895) as the mountain’s second all-time leader in passing yardage. No. 1 is Erwin’s Damien Ferguson (9,179 yards).
Slade McTaggert, Murphy
The Murphy running back touched the ball just eight times, but he finished with 105 yards and four of his carries ended in the end zone to key the Bulldogs’ 35-12 win over Choerkee.
McTaggert scored on runs of 1, 6, 14 and 36 yards.
Coach David Gentry’s 390th win, 35-12 over Cherokee, allowed him to secure a share of his 14th Smoky Mountain 1-A Conference regular-season title. Now the Bulldogs begin defense of their state 1-A championship and go after their eighth crown under Gentry.
The red-hot Warriors’ 51-20 win over Tuscola was their sixth straight and earned third place in the Western Mountain Athletic Conference. This is not a team you want to meet in the playoffs.
The Panthers used a strong running game to finish the regular season 11-0 with a 45-21 win over Smoky Mountain. Rushing for 379 yards and six scores, Franklin had Grant Stiles (87 yards, three scores) and Brock Kloeppel (137 yards, three TDs) go over 1000 yards on the season, while AJ Carpenter added 155 yards on the ground.
The Cougars (10-0) joined Franklin on the short list of WNC’s undefeated regular-season squads. Playing just the first half, senior quarterback Trey Robinson rushed for 171 yards and three scores and threw for another touchdown to reach the 150 total in TD responsibility for his career.
That’s the best ever in WNC and fifth best in the history of the state. He also increased his career rushing yards to 7,657 and his total yardage to 11,810, both the best ever among local players.
Coach Shane Laws got just what he wanted out of a rivalry game at Roberson – a win (56-34) and a challenge that pushed his players, who haven’t been tested very often in a dominating 10-1 regular season.
The Rockets continued their control of WNC football through a fourth straight season – 33 consecutive victories against local opponents and 24 in a row against league foes, including playoffs (22 straight in conference games).