In the penultimate week of the regular season of high-school football in WNC, five teams already have reason to celebrate.
Half of the WNC/WLOS.com Top 10 Poll members – Reynolds High, Pisgah, Murphy, Mountain Heritage and Thomas Jefferson – remained unbeaten in conference play and each claimed at least a share of their regular-season conference titles.
And all five can claim outright crowns by winning next week in the final week of the regular season.
1. Reynolds 9-1, 7-0
Seriously challenged by a local team for the first time this season, the Rockets rallied from a 14-0 deficit to beat a valiant West Henderson squad 21-14. Coach Shane Laws might fess up that this is exactly what his team needed.
Last week’s rank: No. 1
Next game: Friday at home vs. Roberson
2. Pisgah 9-1, 4-0
The Bears are already playoff tough after gutting out a 21-14 win at Franklin. To win the Mountain Six Conference title outright, they have to get on the bus again and play a very good team.
Last week’s rank: No. 2
Next game: Friday at Brevard
3. Murphy 8-1, 5-0
The Bulldogs appear to be peaking at the right time after a 71-22 dismantling of Rosman, their eighth straight win. Coach David Gentry needs two wins to pass Bob Paroli (403 victories) for second place on the all-time list of most coaching wins in the
Last week’s rank: No. 3
Next game: Friday home vs. Cherokee
4. Christ School 8-1, 4-0
The Greenies take a seven-game winning streak into Saturday’s rivalry clash with Asheville School. Christ School’s current eight-game winning streak vs. the Blues is the longest by either school in a series that dates back to 1911.
Last week’s rank: No. 4
Next game: Friday in first round of NCISAA playoffs
5. Erwin 8-1, 6-1
The Warriors won their sixth straight in Western Mountain Athletic Conference play, a 62-18 romp over North Henderson. Coach Rodney Pruett’s team has won 14 of their last 15 regular-season games and will almost certainly be the league’s second seed in the upcoming playoffs.
Last week’s rank: No. 5
Next game: Friday at Tuscola
6. Mountain Heritage 8-1, 4-0
The green machine keeps rolling right along, a 51-15 waltz over Polk County the program’s 14th straight victory in Western Highlands Conference play. One more win and coach Joey Robinson will claim the league title for the second straight season outright and has already earned a fourth in a row overall.
Last week’s rank: No. 6
Next game: Friday at home vs. Avery County
7. Mitchell 8-2, 3-1
The Mountaineers break the 60-point mark for a second straight week, hammering Avery County 63-14. Next is a game to decide second place in the Western Highlands Conference, assuming Mountain Heritage takes care of business against Avery.
Last week’s rank: No. 8
Next game: Friday at home vs. Owen
8. Brevard 8-2, 3-1
Playing their second and third-team quarterbacks with starter Mitchell Johnson out with an injury, the Blue Devils outscored Hendersonville 45-31. Now comes an opportunity to win a share of the Mountain Six Conference title by beating Pisgah.
Last week’s rank: No. 9
Next game: Friday at home vs. Pisgah
9. Thomas Jefferson 10-0, 5-0
The Gryphons survived a challenge in Southern Piedmont 1A Conference play, outlasting Mountain Island Charter 32-27 to remain the area’s only unbeaten squad. Now coach Jerry Cash’s squad will go after the first undefeated regular season in the school’s brief history.
Last week’s rank: No. 10
Next game: Friday at home vs. Union Academy
10. East Rutherford 8-2, 2-2
A 31-14 loss to Shelby leaves the Cavaliers in third place in the six-team Southwestern 2A Conference, where they should finish and earn a postseason berth.
Last week’s rank: No. 7
Next game: Friday at East Gaston
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