Who is the best quarterback in Western North Carolina?
Take your pick, and it is quite a smorgasbord to choose from.
You like a pure passer?
How about Reynolds High junior Alex Flinn? The junior is putting up video-game numbers, leading all local throwers with 1,294 yards in five games, highlighted by a ridiculous completion percentage of 77 percent (81-of-105). Accuracy while averaging nearly 16 yards per reception? That’s strong.
Flinn is also tied with Alex Williford of Hendersonville for the most touchdown passes with 14.
Fancy more of a runner?
You’re in luck, because the mountain’s top two rushers play under center and live not far apart in neighboring counties.
Mountain Heritage senior Trey Robinson is on a record-setting pace and already has 934 yards rushing in four games, averaging 11.4 yards per carry.
The son of Cougars’ head coach Joey Robinson is 41 yards away from becoming WNC’s all-time leader in total yardage, his 10,241 yards just shy of Damien Ferguson of Erwin, who amassed 10,281 from 2014-16.
Trey is also running for yards at a furious clip that has him on pace to replace Owen’s Jager Gardner (6,955 yards) as the area’s career rushing leader.
Robinson is currently at 6,351 yards on the ground.
No. 2 in WNC rushing this season is junior QB Clark Gray of Madison, whose 1,303 yards of total offense (760 yards on the ground, with nine scores) is a close second to Flinn (1,312).
How about the total package, a runner and passer?
Take your pick from this selection:
- Cherokee senior quarterback Tye Mintz just went over the 7,000-yard mark in total offense for his career. He has led the Braves to a 4-0 start with his feet (490 yards rushing, 8 scores) and his arm (382 yards passing, 3 TDs).
- Junior Jayden Waddell leads R-S Central as a dual threat (503 yards passing, 473 yards rushing) with a combined 10 touchdowns.
- Polk County’s Dillon Overholt has been equally dangerous through the air (399 yards passing) and on the ground (375 rushing).
You like winners?
Mitchell senior Ben Young is in his fourth season as a starter, and he has an incredible 42-8 record running the offense while accumulating 9,476 yards of offense.
He is on pace to finish second behind Trey Robinson among WNC’s career leaders in total offense.
Is accuracy and protecting the ball your thing?
While leading Murphy to a 29-6 record over three years – including a state 1-A title last season – Joey Curry has thrown 375 passes, and only two of them have been caught by the other team.
He has 38 touchdowns against those two interceptions, and some gaudy career numbers (230-of-375, 3,529 yards).
Nobody has been more prolific the last two seasons than Williford, the Bearcats’ senior who has thrown for 4,619 yards and 50 touchdowns since the start of last season.
Not far behind in production over the past two years is Roberson junior Ty Gossett (3,433 yards, 31 scores).
After showing promise last season (764 yards, six TDs), Smoky Mountain’s Nate Coffey has reached similar numbers (735 yards, 7 scores) in just four games this year.
Looking for a future star?
Asheville High sophomore Three Hillier has thrown for 844 yards and four scores in five games, while Brevard junior Mitchell Johnson is 60-for-105 for 870 yards and nine TDs while pacing the Blue Devils to a 4-1 start.
And junior Luke Stewart is putting up big numbers in Rosman (79-of-129, 1,074 yards, 10 TDs).
Haywood County boasts a pair of talented QBs – Tanner Wike of Pisgah, who threw for nearly 2,000 yards and 21 scores last season and already has over 700 yards and 13 TDs in five games this year.
Tuscola’s Grayson Perkins doesn’t have gaudy numbers, but he has directed his team’s triple-option offense to 14-3 record the past two years while accounting for 28 TDs.
And that’s just a sample of the quality play of signal callers throwing and running the football in this area in 2017, with more than half the season remaining.