Christ School looks to extend domination of the Blues in historic football rivalry
Asheville, N.C. (WLOS) —
The Christ School football program has bounced back nicely from the lopsided start of its rivalry with Asheville School that dates back more than 100 years.
An 84-0 loss in the Buncombe County private schools’ inaugural meeting in 1911 was the start of a five-game domination by the Blues, which included outscoring Christ School 289-0.
And while Asheville School has maintained that initial edge and leads the all-time series 50-38-2, the Greenies have taken control of the series in recent years.
In fact, a win Saturday at Asheville School to determine ownership of the Fayssoux-Arbogast Trophy would mark the first time in the history of one of the South’s oldest rivalries that one program had beaten the other eight straight times.
Christ School (7-1), ranked 7th in the WLOS WNC Football Top 10 Poll and coming off its first loss of the season, has won six in a row vs. the Blues since 2012 and also received a forfeit in a 2015 playoff game between the two.
And the games haven’t been close, though not the substantial edge the Blues enjoyed until Christ Schools’ first win, 26-13 in 1926.
The Greenies have won the last six on-field battles by an average margin of 32 points per game and appear to be a heavy favorite again this season vs. Asheville School (4-5).
Not so fast, said Christ School coach Mark Moroz, who got a rude introduction to this rivalry in his first season with the Greenies.
“We were 8-0 (in 2011) when we played Asheville School (which would finish 10-3) and got beat (15-9),” said Moroz, who is 62-16 with the Arden school in his seven seasons.
That is the only Blues win since 2006, but Moroz knows weird things can happen when both teams get so emotionally involved in beating the other.
“You throw the records out the window because it is a game with a lot of emotion and other factors going on,” said Moroz, who has led his program to a NCISAA state title game two straight seasons and three times in four years.
“I’m almost relieved when kickoff happens so we can get back to playing football because there is so much more going on.”
Seven straight wins has been the longest streak by either school – the Blues did it from 1935-1941, and after a tie the next season, won six more in a row, giving Asheville School a run of 14 straight years without a loss to the Greenies.
Christ School’s current run of seven in a row is its longest streak of the series, and the Greenies are 15-4 against their biggest rival since 2000.
A powerful offense has keyed the Greenies, despite the loss of starting quarterback Navy Shuler, who has missed six games and is out for the season with an elbow injury.
Tailback Sidney Gibbs, on pace for a 2,000-yard rushing season, is the leader of a unit that averages more than 39 points a game. He has rushed for 1,676 yards and 14 touchdowns.
West Shuler, Navy’s cousin, has completed 55 of 85 passes for 835 yards and eight TDs. He also has 72 tackles as a linebacker, second on the team behind fellow linebacker Carson Jones (75).
The Blues have been getting a lot of production from quarterback Ahmad Galimore (909 yards passing) and Uchenna Ikwuakor (556 yards rushing, eight TDs).
Defensively, Thomas Good (75 tackles), Paul Hill (68 stops, 18 tackles for loss) and J.P. Schill (67 tackles) lead Asheville School.