Enka Beats Owen; Hawks, AHS, Erwin Also Win - TribPapers

Enka Beats Owen; Hawks, AHS, Erwin Also Win

Erwin’s defense registered a road shutout Friday. A week earlier, Warrior Brandon Phelan (14) tackles Hendersonville star runner Hezzie Rudisill with help from Lawson Reynolds (2, top), Judah Dayton (40, helmet only visible), and Tristan Ward (9, bottom). Photo by Pete Zamplas.

Buncombe County – Enka Jets defeated Owen Warhorses 37-14 on Friday, in the sole football opener between Buncombe County teams.

North Buncombe Black Hawks ran over East Henderson Eagles 47-36 at home.

Asheville won 25-22 at Tuscola. Josh Ellis ran for four Cougar touchdowns. One was after Meek Slydell escaped a sack and hit C.J. Morgan, who ran for a long gain. Ellis, a transfer from McDowell, ran for 1,426 yards (second-most behind ACR’s Max Guest) and nine scores in 2022.

Rutgers-bound Noah Shaw of AHS made an early interception, and recovered a THS fumble for Coach Cort Radford’s crew.

Road Er-WIN

Most local teams were also on the road, but in low-scoring contests. Erwin won 7-0 at Daniel Boone Trailblazers, west of Johnson City, Tenn. Michael Petty was “phenomenal,” head coach Rodney Pruett said. Petty ran 46 yards for the game’s sole TD that counted. His 65-yard TD jaunt was negated by what several people deemed a very questionable holding call.

Pruett credited the shutout to his “stingy” defense making many fourth-down stops, including in the final minutes. “We had good pressure on their quarterback all night, that forced incompletions and sacks. We controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball tonight. That was the difference.”

T.C. Roberson was nipped 13-12 by Watauga. Ram senior Reno Jeter ran for 151 yards (6.8 YPC). A.C. Reynolds fell 8-7 at West Forsyth.

Pisgah Bears beat Brevard 24-10 in an historic rivalry between towns that had paper mills for decades. Pisgah wore “Mill Town” on the front of its jerseys. This was the first varsity football game at Pisgah Memorial Stadium in two seasons. New turf near one end zone was destroyed in August 2021 by flooding and wind of Tropical Storm Fred. Gov. Roy Cooper attended the game on Friday.

Sims Shines for Jets

Dalton Sims rushed 24 times for 157 yards (6.5 YPC) and two touchdowns for Coach Mike Sexton’s Enka Jets. One was a five-yarder, right after the senior tailback gained 40 yards. Sophomore Chris Bethea ran for a TD and 76 yards (6.3 YPC).

QB Cam Wait found Waylon Simpson on a crossing pattern up the middle for a Jet score. Sophomore Landon Wilson caught two TD passes — one for 62 yards. Senior Wait was accurate, completing 60 percent (9 of 15) of his passes for 134 yards.

Coach Zach Gibson’s Owen Warhorses led 14-13, on two defensive scores. One was on Ryland King’s 35-yard “pick six” of a deflected pass. But Enka scored the last 24 points.

Hawkish Stance

NBHS second-year head coach David Hines is pleased with how his Hawks rallied again, when down by 12 and later 11 points. “Our kids fought through some early adversity, grabbed the momentum, and played quality football the rest of the way.” NBHS led East 41-24 late in the third quarter.

East Henderson’s defense could not stop the relentless Hawk rushing, especially in the second half. Down 12-0, North Buncombe scored as Hayden Burnette ran 13 yards left on a pitchout. Senior Burnett ran for three TDs — also covering 43 then 21 yards. He rushed for 151 yards (8.9 YPC). Jackson Eubanks (5.8 YPC) and Grant Byers (10.0 YPC) each ran for 70 yards and a TD. Eubanks caught five passes (12.6 YPC)

Burly senior QB Alex Rash scored on a three-yard keeper. Rash rolled right after a fake handoff, then hit senior tight end Greyson Johnson up the middle at the goal line for a 16-yard score. Johnson averaged 15 yards on four receptions.

The William E. Reeves Stadium lights briefly went out during an Eagle running play. Symbolically, the lights went out for East for the remainder of the game.

The Hawks are the only Buncombe team on the road this Friday, Aug. 25. They play at Owen, at 7:30 p.m. Other local games start at 7 p.m. Reynolds hosts Shelby, Enka takes on Pisgah, Roberson plays East Rutherford, Erwin clashes with Mountain Heritage, and Asheville welcomes Providence Day.