Anyone paying attention to high school football in WNC knows all about the impressive streaks the Reynolds High football program has built over the past five seasons.
No local or conference team has beaten the Rockets since the middle of the 2014 season - runs that include 39 consecutive victories over WNC opponents and 31 straight over conference teams (29 in the regular season, plus two playoff victories).
And as it prepares for the monumental task of playing at Reynolds on Friday night in this week’s edition of the Friday Night Rivals series of televised games on MY 40, North Buncombe is not only part of that streak but has a rather ignominious run of its own involving the Rockets.
The Black Hawks (6-3, 4-2) have lost 14 straight games vs. Reynolds, a run that dates back to the 1995 season, when North Buncombe beat the Rockets 37-14.
Since then, the Black Hawks haven’t come closer than 17 points of the final score.
Since both became members of the Mountain Athletic (now the Western Mountain Athletic) Conference in 2009, it has been particularly ugly if you pull for the team in black.
The Rockets (7-1, 5-0) have outscored the Black Hawks 456-122 over the past nine meetings, and have scored between 42 and 62 points in each rout.
In order to break a lot of streaks and pull off an upset of monstrous proportions, North Buncombe will most likely have to play keep away from a Reynolds offense averaging 386 yards and 42 points a game.
The Black Hawks like to run the ball (291 yards per game on the ground) behind a talented line and the area’s top two rushers, quarterback Caden Higgins (1,103 yards, 18 touchdowns) and tailback Skylar Jutras (1,075 yards, 14 TDs).
The Rockets will counter with a balanced attack that features quarterback Alex Flinn (1,899 yards passing, 24 scores, seven interceptions).
Both defenses have played well - Reynolds is allowing just 10 points a game in a seven-game winning streak and has two shutouts, while the Black Hawks are allowing just 17 ppg.
Reynolds leads the all-time series 42-12-1.
The MY 40 telecast starts at 7 p.m., with kickoff set for 7:30.
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