Two mountain prep football teams make it to state title games
Asheville - Five mountain prep football teams started Friday night with a chance to make state titles games, when the dust cleared two made it. Reynolds in 3AA and Cherokee in 1A won their regional finals and play for state championships on December 9.
Reynolds trailed Sun Valley by 9 at the half at R.L. Dalton Stadium but then got going early in the second half when Alex Flinn hit Idre Bell over the middle with a pass, and he took it 68 yards to the house to get the Rockets to within 2 and the comeback began .Later in the third after a 49 yard run from Flinn, Nathan St. Onge scored from 4 yards out and then passed to Eli Hembree on the 2 point conversion to tie the game at 25.
Ethan Blakely hit a 30 yard field goal with 5:49 left in the game to put the Rockets ahead 28-25. The Rockets defense then held off the Spartans to win it 28-25. Reynolds will play for its four state title next Saturday against New Hanover in Durham at Wallace Wade Stadium. Reynolds is now 14-1.
The Cherokee Braves, 2nd seed in 1A West went to Bakersville and stunned top seed Mitchell 42-28. Mitchell scored first on a Brody Smith touchdown run from 16 yards out to take a 7-0 lead. The Braves used some trickery, a couple of handoffs before Holden Straughn found a wide open quarterback Tye Mintz for a touchdown. Mintz then ran for 2 more scores in the second quarter to give the Braves a 21-14 lead. Second half, the Braves controlled action as Mintz helped them build a 42-14 lead and then held off the Mountaineer late. Mintz ran for 150 yards, threw for 179 more --running for three td's, passing for one and caught a touchdown pass. Cherokee plays for its first state title next Saturday at Carter-Finley Stadium against North Duplin. Mitchell finishes with a 12-2 record while Cherokee improves to 13-1.
The Mountain Heritage Cougars, 2nd seed in 2A fell on the road to top seed and defending state champs, Reidsville 27-20. The Cougars stayed close throughout, leading 14-13 at the half. In the second half Reidsville was up 21-20 with 2:27 left when Travion Canada ripped off a 24 yard touchdown run to make it 27-20. A late hail Mary pass from Trey Robinson was picked off which enabled Reidsville to hold on. Robinson in his last game at Mountain Heritage , passed for 179 yards, rushed for 150 more and ran for 2 touchdowns and passed for another. Mountain Heritage finishes 13-1. Reidsville is now 15-0 and has won 31 straight games . The Rams play Wallace Rose Hill in the 2A state title game Saturday at Keenan Stadium in Chapel Hill.
The Murphy Bulldogs, defending 1A state champs, fell at top seed Mount Airy 49-35 in the 1AA regional final. The Bulldogs trailed 28-21 at the half. Murphy's Joey Curry with a big game throwing for 232 yards with 2 touchdown passes, but Mount Airy exploded for 21 points in the fourth quarter to put the game away. they play Tarboro in the 1AA championship game Saturday at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh. Murphy finishes 12-3.