SKYLAND – Sophomore quarterbacks should not be nearly as poised as Ty Gossett is.
And look at all the havoc that Logan Wells and Greg Johnston are wreaking with their defense.
Is Roberson for real?
Say what you want, the Rams (5-1, 1-0) are undoubtedly a breakout team in Mountain Athletic Conference football this season. Under first-year coach J.D. Dinwiddie, they have already won two more games than all of 2015.
But there is no contentment to be found. And homecoming is another chance to make a statement.
Friday’s kickoff against visiting North Buncombe (0-7, 0-2) is set for 7 p.m. from Ensley Stadium.
“I know our team is feeling pretty good about our record. There is still a lot of work left to do. What we want to accomplish is far from over,” Gossett said.
“We pride ourselves on being 1-0 every week. The reaction (from the school and the community) has been pretty good. We’ve got five games and then the playoffs after that. We want to finish this out.”
Gossett (1,256 yards and nine touchdowns with nine interceptions) is the youngest 1,000-yard passer in Western North Carolina football this season and there are eight of them. He and the Rams won their MAC opener by five touchdowns on Sept. 23 – a 49-14 romp at McDowell.
Give the underclassman quarterback some credit, but his receivers aren’t that shabby either.
Barshia Young (20 receptions for 365 yards and four touchdowns), Micah Jenkins (19 receptions for 384 yards and two touchdowns) and Bryson Case (12 receptions for 137 yards and one touchdown) are all in the mix. Lejuan Rush (279 yards, seven touchdowns) has given the team 7.3 yards per carry. As an added bonus, it looks like last year’s leading rusher, senior Dezmond Moorman (772 yards, 10 touchdowns), could get his first game reps Friday. Moorman has been recovering from injuries suffered in a July 13 shooting at Asheville’s Pisgah View Apartments.
Shrine Bowl lineman Dayquan Watkins has made 20 pancake blocks. Fellow senior Orion Dunbar has a dozen.
“All the credit goes to the offensive line. They make all the blocks and without them, I couldn’t do anything,” Gossett said.
“I appreciate all the guys working hard every week. No matter who the opponent is, we have just got to play our football no matter what.”
Well (16.0 tackles per game) is not disappointing after an All-MAC season in 2015.
Other tackling leaders are Johnston (10.5), Zach Myers (10.2), Jordan McNeill (9.2), Kai Anthony (5.3) and Seth Rowe (5.0).
Johnston’s 12.5 sacks are the third-most in the state, according to MaxPreps.
East Henderson (0-6) and North Buncombe are the only winless teams left in WNC football.
Black Hawks junior Johnny Laws’ 31-yard field goal were the lone points scored by his team a week ago.
Nick Lisenbee (648 yards, seven touchdowns) added 113 more yards to his season total for rushing. Caden Higgins (289 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions) and Connor Davis (178 yards and no touchdowns with six interceptions) are sharing time at quarterback with Blake Mathews (27 receptions for 237 yards and one touchdown) as their No. 1 target.
Six of Dakota Vosburg’s team-high 43 tackles have been for a loss. Matthews and Jacob Villemagne are second for the Black Hawks with 29 tackles apiece.
NORTH BUNCOMBE AT ROBERSON
Kickoff: 7 p.m.
Pick: Roberson by 28.
Following is a look at the last five football games between North Buncombe and Roberson. The Rams lead the all-time series, 28-17-2.
2015: North Buncombe 27, Roberson 24.
2014: North Buncombe 32, Roberson 14.
2013: Roberson 18, North Buncombe 7.
2012: Roberson 56, North Buncombe 9.
2011: Roberson 36, North Buncombe 7.
COMING FRIDAY: The Citizen-Times will provide a live blog from Friday’s North Buncombe-Roberson game at CITIZEN-TIMES.com/hshuddle. Updates should begin shortly before kickoff.