Two teams in last week’s poll – No. 5 Hendersonville and No. 8 Tuscola – got smoked by quality opponents and fell out, but the other squads showed they belong in the rankings for the best in WNC.
1. Franklin (3-0)
Rude homecoming for former Franklin and NFL star Shawn Bryson, now the head coach of Rabun Gap, Ga., which came to the Pit and left 45-0 losers on Friday night. Coach Josh Brooks has another solid team and looks like one of the favorites in the Mountain Six Conference.
Last week’s ranking – No. 1
Friday’s game – home vs. Swain County.
2. Mountain Heritage (2-0)
Salisbury High found a way to slow down Cougars’ quarterback Trey Robinson (525 yards rushing, 178 yards passing, combined for eight TDs) – bad weather forced game to be cancelled. Coach Joey Robinson’s team may not get challenged next two weeks vs. 1-A opponents.
Last week’s ranking – No. 2
Friday’s Game – at Rosman
3. Reynolds (2-1)
A 52-0 walkover of Owen was the Rockets’ 25th straight win against a WNC opponent over the past two-plus years. Quarterback Alex Flinn and his teammates are ready now to begin defense of back-to-back conference titles in the league now called the Western Mountain Athletic.
Last week’s ranking – No. 3
Friday’s game – home vs. Erwin
4. Murphy (2-1)
A 55-15 waltz over Greenwood Raptors for the Bulldogs, who have two more non-conference games before a Sept. 22 showdown vs. Smoky Mountain Conference rival Robbinsville.
Last week’s ranking – No. 4.
Friday’s game – at North Georgia
5. Mitchell (3-0)
No contest vs. Trinity Academy, as the Mountaineers rolled to a 60-9 rout. No conference games until Oct. 6, but it’s a huge one, vs. No. 2 Mountain Heritage.
Last week’s ranking – No. 6
Friday’s game –at McDowell
6. Robbinsville (2-0)
The Black Knights have yet to be challenged while overpowering North Georgia and Enka by a combined 93-3. Next two weeks are non-conference games at cozy Big Oak Stadium before traveling to No. 4 Murphy.
Last week’s ranking – 10.
Friday’s game – home vs. Christ School
7. Pisgah (2-1)
A fifth straight win over its Haywood County rival Tuscola (31-10) should have the Bears flying high. Coach Brett Chappell has back-to-back non-conference games against non-WNC schools before beginning Mountain Six Conference play Sept. 22 vs. Polk County.
Last week’s ranking – 9
Friday’s Game – home vs. R-S Central
8. East Rutherford (3-0)
Cavaliers are off to a great start, including a 47-7 rout of South Caldwell in their last outing. Schedule gets much tougher later in the year with league games vs. South Point and Shelby.
Last week’s ranking – Unranked
Friday’s game – at Burns
9. Christ School
The Greenies have outscored first two opponents 69-25 and look ready for another run at a private-school tile-game appearance under coach Mark Moroz. Interesting to see how they match up this week against a quality public-school opponent.
Last week’s ranking – No. 7
Friday’s Game – at Robbinsville.
10. West Henderson (2-1)
Just a couple of seconds away from being 3-0, the Falcons are playing well defensively and have a stable of interchangeable running backs for coach Paul Whitaker.
Last week’s ranking – Unranked
Thursday’s Game – at North Buncombe
In this week: East Rutherford, West Henderson. Out: Hendersonville, Tuscola.