ASHEVILLE – Scouting reports for Erwin and North Buncombe have to be eerily similar, don’t they?
Strong-armed quarterback with a past 2,000-yard season on his resume? Check.
No shortage of receivers who can make plays and an occasional run concern? Yep.
The Mountain Athletic Conference 3-A football championship appears to be Reynolds (7-1, 3-0) to lose, but that doesn’t mean other teams like these two aren’t clawing for position in the NCHSAA playoffs which begin Nov. 13.
And Black Hawks senior Chase Parker (1,277 yards and 10 touchdowns with five interceptions) and Warriors junior Damien Ferguson (2,197 yards and 20 touchdowns with seven interceptions) are two of the best Buncombe County players to ever man their positions.
Kickoff between North Buncombe (4-4, 3-0) and homestanding Erwin (5-4, 3-1) is set for Friday at 7:30 p.m.
“It’s a big game for us and it should be a good game for us,” Warriors coach Mike Sexton said.
“(North Buncombe) is undefeated in the conference and there is a reason for that. They are good and efficient on offense and solid on defense. To be undefeated in the MAC at this point? We know we are going to get their best shot. We would expect nothing less.”
Erwin leads this series by an all-time count of 31-22-1, and the last Black Hawks victory went down in 2007 (a 17-14 home win for North Buncombe).
Ferguson passed for a single-game school record 449 yards in last week’s live TV 35-31 win at Roberson.
He has now strung together a dozen consecutive games with 200-plus yards and has 4,794 career yards in the past two seasons as a starter. Ferguson is the latest winner of the Mission Health Spotlight Performance of the Week Award.
As far as receivers go, that list includes C.J. Thompson (57 receptions for 632 yards and nine touchdowns), Chase Austin (49 receptions for 743 yards and three touchdowns) and Kealin Goode (46 receptions for 436 yards and three touchdowns).
Rushing-wise, Erwin depends on Isaiah Poore (470 yards, five touchdowns), Quentin Smith (273 yards, two touchdowns) and Ferguson (253 yards, three touchdowns).
Defensively, Cameron Connors (9.9 tackles per game), Rayonte Mills (8.1), Lucas Towles (7.3), Trey Martin (6.1) and Thompson (6.1) are noteworthy.
That unit’s biggest concern Friday will be Parker as well as Ricky Thrash (44 receptions for 429 yards) and Blake Mathews (22 receptions for 668 yards and nine touchdowns).
Colby Maltry (517 yards, five touchdowns) and Nick Lisenbee (374 yards, five touchdowns) are the primary rushers and leading tacklers are Logan Anderson (7.8 a game), Peter Simonovich (6.9), Sammy MacDonald (5.8) and Dmitryi Simonovich (5.1).
NORTH BUNCOMBE AT ERWIN
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Pick: Erwin by 1.
Following is a look at the last five football games between Erwin and North Buncombe. The Warriors lead the all-time series, 31-22-1.
2014: Erwin 45, North Buncombe 14.
2013: Erwin 63, North Buncombe 0.
2012: Erwin 49, North Buncombe 0.
2011: Erwin 35, North Buncombe 12.
2010: Erwin 44, North Buncombe 7.
MORE ONLINE: Log onto CITIZEN-TIMES.com/hshuddle for a live blog from the Mitchell-Mountain Heritage football game. Updates will begin shortly before kickoff.
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