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Beyond the Scoreboard: Christ School plays for state title on Friday

Christ School won the 92nd meeting with Asheville School in convincing fashion (WLOS Staff).PNG
Photo credit: WLOS Staff

The Christ School football program knows the drill by now.

The Greenies are one of WNC's pigskin powers, with eight straight winning seasons and a 73-18 record since 2011.

Playoff tested, the program has been in postseason play each of the past 12 seasons.

And they have had some success, reaching the state championship game in NC Independent Schools Athletic Association four times in seven seasons.

But the Greenies have yet to win the big one. Despite nine playoff wins in the past seven years, the program is 0-3 in title games, losing in 2012, '15 and '16.

On Friday night, coach Tommy Langford's squad has a chance to rewrite that narrative.

No. 2 seed Christ School (10-1) will take a nine-game winning streak into undefeated top seed Charlotte Christian (10-0) with the NCISAA Division I state championship on the line.

In his first season as head coach at the Arden private school for boys, Langford has continued the winning tradition established by Mark Moroz, who had seven straight winning records and a 63-17 mark at the school from 2011-17.

Despite losing leading rusher Sidney Gibbs to a season-ending leg injury in the second game, the offense has been explosive behind some big-play performers.

Junior quarterback Navy Shuler has put together one of the best throwing seasons in the history of WNC football (239-of-337, 3,798 yards, 43 touchdowns with just nine interceptions).

He has a variety of weapons - former Reynolds standout Kaedin Robinson has caught 89 passes for 1,600 yards and 22 touchdowns.

Junior receiver Aydan White is another game-breaker (57 receptions, 971 yards, 11 scores), and Keyvaun Cobb is a versatile playmaker.

Cobb is dangerous running the ball (66 carries for 769 yards, eight TDs), catching the ball (29 receptions, 584 yards, six scores) and defending the ball (10 interceptions for 329 return yards, 46 tackles, 14 passes defended).

Defensively, the Greenies are paced by junior Read Sunn (125 tackles) and West Henderson transfer Jasper Thomas (114 stops).

Charlotte Christian is the defending Division I state champion that routed Christ School 52-12 last season in the semifinal round.

The program has won 20 straight games over two seasons and has outscored opponents 439-58 this season, shutting out six teams and limiting two others to one score.

In the NCISAA Division III playoffs, Asheville School (6-4) is the second seed and will host No. 3 SouthLake Christian Academy (7-4) Friday night in semifinal play.

The Blues defeated SouthLake 34-12 earlier this season.

Coach Gus Schill's Asheville School squad features a strong running game that includes former East Henderson star Chris Hemphill (853 yards rushing, 12 TDs), Uchenna Ikwuakor (723 yards, 13 scores) and Titus Morrison (457 yards, 2 TDs). Quarterback Connor Davis has thrown for 849 yards and six scores.

Ikwuakor paces the Blues defense with 85 tackles.

A win would put Asheville School into the D-III state title game next week.

Care to comment? Contact keithjarrettasheville@gmail.com

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Keith Jarrett

President, Asheville Tourists/Eblen Charities Children's Fund

President, WNC Sports Hall of Fame

Board Member, Mountain Amateur Athletic Club

828-712-6324

--

Keith Jarrett

President, Asheville Tourists/Eblen Charities Children's Fund

President, WNC Sports Hall of Fame

Board Member, Mountain Amateur Athletic Club

828-712-6324

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