Five Top 10 teams won Friday night in the first round of the playoffs, two saw their seasons come to an end, and two will open postseason play next week after receiving byes. WNC has 11 teams left going into next week’s second round.
1. Reynolds (11-1)
New season but same old domination from the Rockets, who dispatched Winston-Salem Parkland with ease, 52-6. Reynolds has outscored its opponents 544-141.
Last week’s ranking – No. 1
Friday’s game – Round two of 3AA playoffs at home, Southwestern Guilford or Statesville
2. Franklin (12-0)
After beating Smoky Mountain (52-27) for the second time this season, the Panthers get another shot at a Mountain Six Conference program, a Pisgah team they edged 17-13 in Canton earlier this year.
Last week’s ranking – No. 2
Friday’s game – Round two of 2AA playoffs at home vs. Pisgah (7-5)
3. Mountain Heritage (11-0)
The Cougars keep rolling, winning by 22 points or more for the eighth time this season. They could get two more home games this postseason.
Last week’s ranking – No. 3
Friday’s Game – Round two of the 2A playoffs vs. Whiteville or North Wilkes
4. Mitchell (10-1)
Well rested after a bye and with the chance to play three straight home games, the Mountaineers are ready to chase a state title.
Last week’s ranking – No. 4
Friday’s game – Round two of the 1A playoffs at home vs. South Stokes or Community School of Davidson
5. Murphy (10-2)
The Bulldogs won their 19th playoff game since 2012, a 44-13 romp over South Stanly. Now the defending state champions go on the road for round two.
Last week’s ranking – No. 5
Friday’s game – Round two of the 1AA playoffs at North Stanly (10-1)
6. Cherokee (10-1)
The Braves are ready to get started after a bye week, going after the first state title in school history. Quarterback Tye Mintz needs 172 yards of total offense to pass 9,000 yards for his career.
Last week’s ranking – No. 6
Friday’s Game – Round two of the 1A playoffs at home vs. Union Academy (8-4)
7. Hendersonville (9-3)
The Bearcats continue their late-season charge, a 49-0 rout of Brevard their fifth straight win. The defense has allowed just one touchdown in the last three games, with two shutouts of Brevard.
Last week’s ranking – No. 7
Friday’s game – Round two of the 2A playoffs at home vs. Salisbury or Red Springs
8. Christ School (7-2)
The Greenies finished their season last week with a 42-6 loss to Charlotte Christian in the first round of the NCISAA Division I playoffs.
Last week’s ranking – No. 9
9. Swain County (8-4)
Accustomed to winning in November, the Maroon Devils won their sixth straight, 42-14 over Cherryville. It was the 23rd playoff win for the program since 2007.
Last week’s ranking – Unranked
Friday’s Game – Round two of the 1AA playoffs at Bessemer City (10-1)
10. Asheville High (7-5)
Once a dominant postseason program, the Cougars lost their first-round game for a third straight season, 21-9 at Watauga.
Last week’s ranking – No. 8
Friday’s Game – Season over