Lincolnton's 2022 season wasn't quite like the one in 2021 when the Wolves only loss was to eventual NCHSAA 2A state champion Shelby. It took until the final regular season game for the Wolves to get their 10th win, but they did, beating West Lincoln 9-0 on Wednesday. Half of those ten wins came in the last five games. LHS finishes the season 10-11-1, 9-5 in the Catawba Valley Conference. For West Lincoln, a long, hard season is over. The Rebels finished 3-19.
Lincoln Charter's season ended with a 9-9-3 record, 4-7-1 in the Catawba Shores Conference. The Eagles lost to Pine Lake Prep, the conference champions, 2-0 on Wednesday.
North Lincoln lost its final game 2-1 to North Iredell Wednesday. Sophomore Santi Brenes scored the Knights only goal.
East Lincoln finished its regular season with a 4-1 win at North Iredell on Monday. The Mustangs were tops in the Western Foothills Conference at 12-1-1 (15-4-3 overall). Their conference record was equal to Hickory, but the Mustangs won one of the two head-to-head meetings this season; the other was a tie. Hickory, by the way, finished the regular season with a 3-1 loss at Charlotte Catholic on Tuesday.
Fred T. Foard finished 8-11-3 after losing 1-0 to North Gaston Thursday.
Newton-Conover won the Catawba Valley championship with a 10-1 win at Maiden on Wednesday. They were unbeated in league play; 16-3-1 overall.
The Blue Devils finished 9-12, 5-9 in the conference.
Bandys took second place in the conference. The Trojans won 9-0 at Bunker Hill Wednesday. They were 17-3 overall, 11-3 in the league.
The NCHSAA playoff schedule will be announced on Friday (Oct. 28th) and the first playoff games will be at the home of the higher seeded team on Monday (Oct. 31st).
This is the final week of high school football's regular season, and the game of the week has to be Shelby at Burns. The defending state champion Golden Lions lost only one game last year--51-37 to South Carolina powerhouse South Pointe. In that one, they overcame a 37-7 halftime disadvantage to make it close before losing.
This season, the Lions started the season with three losses. Unbeaten Kings Mountain beat them in the opening game of the season 28-26; then they lost 45-21 to Asheville A.C. Reynolds. Reynolds only loss this season was to a strong Georgia school; otherwise they're unbeaten. In the third game of 2022, Shelby lost to Crest 54-49. They haven't lost since. In fact, they haven't had a close game since. They've scored less than 50 points in only one of their six wins.
Burns' only loss was at undefeated King Mountain. The rest of their eight wins have also been one-sided affairs.
The game shapes up as a battle of two outstanding quarterbacks: Shelby's Daylin Lee has thrown for 37 touchdowns and run for two more. Bulldogs' junior Ben Mauney has passed for 25 and run for four. Burns running back Jeremiah Norris has run for 826 yards and 13 TDs; he also caught passes for two more. Izay Bridges is Lee's favorite target--he has caught 16 TD passes.
In Lincoln County, there are two arch-rival games. West Lincoln plays at Lincolnton and North Lincoln at East Lincoln. North struggled through the first five games of the season. Their loss at West Lincoln in the opener was the only one in which they didn't come close, but they didn't get a victory until the end of September. After starting 0-5, they're now 4-5 with wins in their last four games.
East Lincoln is undefeated, an in their nine wins, only once--against Hickory--did they win by just a two-touchdown margin. All the others have been blowouts.
Lincolnton missed out on a chance at a share of the Catawba Valley Conference lead when the Wolves lost at Maiden last week 35-13. West Lincoln has two conference losses--to Maiden and Bunker Hill (that one in overtime). The Rebels' Mason Avery has rushed for over two thousand yards and 20 touchdowns; he also scored another on defense. The Wolves will need some great defense to stop Avery and Jaylin Winnex. They run a balanced attack led by QB Andre Bost. Khamoni Heath is their leading rusher and Andrew Phelps has been the top receiver and a standout on defense with six interceptions--but West has thrown the ball less than five times per game.
The game of the week in Catawba County is Maiden at Newton-Conover. The Blue Devils' only loss was to Watauga. They're unbeaten in conference play. The Red Devils have won only three games, but they've had some close ones. They lost to West Lincoln 35-26, to Bandys 21-14m and last week, they gave Bunker Hill a challenge before losing 38-27. They lost to Lincolnton by just one point and lost by one touchdown to Hickory and East Burke.
Unless Maiden stumbles, their win over Bunker Hill two weeks ago will give them the conference championship. The Bears, now 8-l, play at home against 4-5 Bandys this week.
Other area games have unbeaten Kings Mountain at Crest; Bessemer City at Cherryville; Statesville at Hickory; Fred T. Foard at St. Stephens; South Point at North Gaston; Highland Tech at East Gaston; Stuart Cramer at Forestview; and Hunter Huss at Ashbrook.
ON THE RADIO and ONLINE:
The West Lincoln at Lincolnton game will be on WLON (1050AM, 107.5FM); also available on Tune-In.
The Shelby at Burns game will be on YouTube (find ktcbroadcasting and the game).
The Kings Mtn. at Crest game will be on WOHS (1390AM, 101.5FM); also on ktcbroadcasting.com.
The Bessemer City at Cherryville game will be on WCSL (1590AM, 92.9FM); also on ktcbroadcasting.com.
The Maiden at Newton-Conover game will be on WNNC (1230AM, 101.3FM) also on wnncradio.com/football/.
The North Lincoln at East Lincoln game will be on YouTube (find ktcbroadcasting and the game).
North Lincoln 34, East Lincoln 8
North finishes the season with a 9-1 record. East was 6-4.
West Lincoln 8, Lincolnton 0
West finishes 5-4; LHS 4-3-1.
Newton-Conover 28, Maiden 14
The Red Devils JV team finishes 9-1; the Blue Devils, 6-4.
Bandys 50, Bunker Hill 6
The 9-1 Trojans JVs were best in the Catawba Valley. Their only loss was a non-conference game to South Caldwell by a 16-15 score.