After enduring such a long week, it only made sense that Reynolds had to drive the length of the field.
The Rockets went 98 yards with their last possession Friday, culminating with an 11-yard run by Jave Jones. Jones fumbled into the end zone where the winning touchdown was recovered by Caelan Rhinehardt with 32.3 seconds to go in a 49-42 victory at Shelby.
Levi Ledford completed 21 of his 27 passes for 303 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 48 yards and a third score. Jones added 139 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
Friday’s first win for the Rockets (1-1) was a good way to atone for a 28-0 defeat at West Forsyth on Sept. 23, their first shutout loss since 2007.
“We had a great week of practice after the West Forsyth game,” Reynolds coach Shane Laws said.
“The kids came in and realized we were not doing a lot of the things the way we needed to. We did a great job preparing all week for Shelby, and I’m proud of them. They played their guts out and were able to beat a good football team at their place.”
Ledford spread the ball around Friday, but zeroed in on two receivers in particular — C.J. Allen (108 yards, one touchdown) and Rhinehardt (67 yards, one touchdown).
The Rockets offense had 23 first downs and 489 yards. Reynolds did not commit any turnovers, but took advantage of three from the Golden Lions (1-1), who were No. 2 in this week’s NCPreps.com state rankings for NCHSAA 2-A football.
Chance Towery and Cameron Burton set up the winning drive by forcing and recovering a Shelby fumble inside the Reynolds’ 5-yard line.
Reynolds travels to undefeated Owen (2-0) next week.
Warhorses romp past Brevard
Speaking of the Warhorses, longtime coach Kenny Ford did not have a ton of options Friday once the score got out of hand.
Ford’s roster contains less than 30 players, which means there were not many substitutes to choose from in a 73-6 rout of visiting Brevard.
Owen continued its best start to a season since 2004 with 484 team rushing yards. Jager Gardner (190 yards, three touchdowns) and Demarcus Harper (124 yards, one touchdown) did the most damage.
Sam Drummond completed nine of his 13 passes for 158 yards with touchdowns to Tate Brown (68 yards) and Taylor Frizsell (10).
Still, Ford said he sees good things on the horizon for the Transylvania County program, which used to be a perennial conference championship contender.
“Their (junior-varsity) team beat our JV team Thursday night, and you look over there on their sideline and there’s 50 kids where there may have been 20 last year,” Ford said.
Friday’s points total was the most by an Owen team since a 75-0 shutout of Thomas Jefferson in 2009.
Warriors make quick work of Heritage
Erwin took just more than a minute to score Friday in Burnsville.
The Warriors didn’t need much more time to put away Mountain Heritage for good.
Austin Brown completed 16 of his 18 passes for 280 yards and three touchdowns, including an 8-yard strike to fellow senior Jonathan Allen (105 receiving yards) just 1 minute and four seconds into a 55-13 rout.
Kelman Simpson added 150 rushing yards and three touchdowns in limited action for the No. 1 team in the Citizen-Times Best of the West rankings.
Erwin had 48 of its points at halftime. Allen caught a team-high seven passes from Brown. Chavis Williams also had 91 receiving yards.
After back-to-back road games, the Warriors (2-0) get to play their home opener Friday against undefeated Pisgah (2-0).
Madison QB out with broken leg
Madison senior quarterback Tyler Rogers is expected to miss four to six weeks after suffering a broken fibula in the second quarter of Friday’s 26-14 home win over North Buncombe.
Rogers is a former All-Western Highlands Conference selection who passed for 1,640 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2012. Friday was already emotional for Rogers — he has attended both high schools as either a baseball, basketball or football player the past two years. Rogers transferred back to Madison in June.
In his absence, backup Austin Payne took over the Patriots offense. Payne scored on a 5-yard run in the second quarter. Senior Tyler Hoffman rushed for 205 yards and two touchdowns, and the Madison defense held the Black Hawks scoreless in the second half. Ryan Horrell hit an 18-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to cap everything off.
“I thought our defense did a great job (Friday),” Patriots coach Mark Gosnell said. “And under the circumstances, Austin did a tremendous job running the offense. I hate it for Tyler. It’s his senior year, and it’s tough to see a kid like that have to go through this.”
Gladiators win delayed 1st game
Friday’s visiting team showed up late after two hours of traffic delays.
And halftime had to be extended so the lights at Memorial Stadium could be dimmed for an Asheville Tourists’ fireworks show at adjoining McCormick Field.
The inaugural game for the Carolina Gladiators was eventful and successful. The Asheville-based independent team beat Charlotte’s Covenant Knights, 26-6.
Coach Reid Bennett singled out his quarterback, Tucker Epperson, and running backs Kewan Shade, Jaryia Robinson and Damion Waters for their play on offense, while Tyquiece Boyd had a pair of interceptions on defense.
Friday’s game did not end until about 11 p.m.
The Gladiators are a first-year nonprofit organization open to area homeschool, private school and public school players.