Sophomore Sage Holley ran for 406 total yards in the two weeks before the HHS game. He broke several key runs Friday. Last year’s top rusher, Ellis Pace, ran for over 1,400 yards. He is graduated.
Quarterback Landon Archangelo, a 6-1 senior from Delaware, is another arch angel in running. He avoided the shutout with 7:20 to go, with a 5-yard TD pass to 6-5 junior Marcellos Allison.
Christ School (2-2), coached by Mark Moroz, beat HHS 20-14 at home last year to start this series. Friday seemed a deja vu for the HHS-East Henderson rivalry as two former East linemen are Greenies stars, still clad in green and white but now for the all-boys Episcopal-affiliated college prep boarding-day school in Arden.
They are tackle Austin “Tiny” Cooke who is 6-foot-5 and weighs 300 and 6-4, 286 guard Walker Lanning. Both got an extra year of eligibility, after transferring to the 114-year-old private school just before last season.
Lanning was all-state among private school (NCISAA) players in his debut in 2013. This preseason, both former Eagles were N.C. Preps NCISAA all-state and Cooke was all-state for public and private school players. Cooke was MVP of a Rivals camp in Charlotte in March. On Friday, he blocked HHS’ first extra point.
They anchor the left side of a huge Greenie line that includes fellow seniors Malik Johnson (6-4, 320) and Joe Keeler (6-5, 270). This unit opens holes for the ground-oriented attack. A lost fumble squelched a long Greenies drive in the opening quarter Friday.
The Greenies finished 8-2, 12-1 then 8-3 in the last three years. They reached NCISAA semifinals in 2013 playoffs.
They dropped their 2014 opener but then crushed Providence Home School 59-0 then Forsyth Country Day 51-19 in its only two home games thus far. They are independent, now that the Carolina Piedmont Football Conference dissolved. This Friday, Christ School plays at Christ Church Episcopal.