Three-year starting quarterbacks are not commonplace in high school football.
But two of them will be on the field Friday when Smoky Mountain (Zeb Speir) and Andrews (Jacob Moore) meet in Cherokee County.
Both players are seniors.
Speir is the top returning passer in Western North Carolina with 1,945 yards and 17 touchdowns with 10 interceptions in 2013, while Moore threw for 1,246 yards and 12 touchdowns with 16 interceptions.
Andrews dropped last year’s game in Sylva, 37-6.
“They handled us pretty well at their place,” Wildcats coach Avery Cutshaw said.
“We felt good going into that game and we were able to move the ball up and down the field, but we either turned it over or stalled in the red zone. That was a big problem for us early last year and hopefully we’ve worked on it enough to do better. I know Smoky has their quarterback back and a lot of size that we’re going to have to contend with. It should be a good test for both schools.”
Bristol Brockwell, Taylor Parker and Tyler Rose should be three of the top skill position players around Moore.
Andrews has everyone back on its defensive line with the exception of one spot and prolific linebackers in Jacob Whitaker (88 tackles) and Dillard Ward (74).
“We have have a lot of skill people back and quite a bit of speed,” Cutshaw said.
“To utilize it, our offensive line is going to have to come together and that’s been an emphasis in practice. I’ve told those guys that they have gotta be trench warriors. If we don’t block and win the battle in the trenches, then it won’t matter who we have behind those guys.”