Monday, September 17, 2007

What's next in Gaston, Lincoln County?

Friday is the sixth week of the high school football season and more importantly, it’s the start of conference play for most Gaston and Lincoln County teams. Here’s a quick look at what’s going on, and what’s going to happen:

Three things making news:

1. The North Lincoln defense. The Knights have three straight shutouts heading into Friday’s game at East Lincoln.
2. South Point quarterback Desmond Lowery. Lowery, as his older brother Devon once did, has the South Point offense rolling. The Red Raiders are averaging more than 300 yards rushing and 39 points a game.
3. Forestview’s resurgence: The Jaguars went 1-10 last season, but are 3-1 heading into Friday’s game at Burns.

Three games to watch Friday:

1. Hunter Huss at North Gaston: These teams have played several close games in recent years, including two games in which Hunter Huss rallied from 21-point deficits to win. Hunter Huss quarterback Marshall Williams made his first varsity start against the Wildcats in the playoffs last season, and North Gaston dared the 5-foot-7, 150-pound Williams to throw. Expect the same strategy Friday.
2. North Lincoln at East Lincoln: The emerging rivalry between these Lincoln neighbors adds a little spice Friday. Both teams are contenders in the Southern Piedmont 1A/2A conference, but the key might be whether the North Lincoln defense can slow East Lincoln running back Adrian Forney.
3. Ashbrook at Crest: Ashbrook is better than its 2-3 record, but the Green Wave will have a challenge against Crest. Ashbrook has won two straight close games, and upset the Chargers 13-12 at Crest in 2005.

Three bold predictions:

1. North Gaston quarterback A.J. Blue is considered a top Division I prospect, but I expect him to get moved to a different position in college. He’s not a polished passer – Blue has completed only 11 of his past 34 passes – but he has 4.5-second speed in the 40-yard dash and the size to be a college free safety.
2. Lincolnton is 1-4 this season, but expect the Wolves to win at least five of their final six games. Lincolnton’s four losses are to teams with a combined record of 13-4, and the Wolves have too much offensive talent to slide down the Southern Piedmont 1A/2A conference standings.
3. East Gaston, which won a share of the Big South 3A/4A conference title, will finish last in the conference. The Warriors (0-4) lost almost all of their offense from last season and haven’t been competitive in any of their four games this season.
-- Kevin Cary


Anonymous said...

I agree with you 100% about East Gaston. I am an alumni of that school and I have never seen the football team play this bad. The team is struggling tremendously. I just hope that they can come back next season as the powerhouse team they were last year.

Anonymous said...

North Lincoln's defense has carried the team to three shutouts; not to mention the 34-7 win against East Lincoln at the Mustangs' house. This team of knights has demonstrated the unstoppable duo of speed and aggression. Until the true tests come, West Lincoln and Lincolnton, it's safe to say that North Lincoln is the one of the best teams in the Southern Piedmont 1A/2A conference.