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Haywood rivals sweep Henderson duo; Bearcats win big




Pisgah star receiver Trey Morgan (21) snares a TD bomb, as Blake Smith (23) defends. Photo by Pete Zamplas.

By Pete Zamplas- Hendersonville rolled 66-6 at Avery County behind all-purpose star Tykel Landrum to set up a showdown with Mitchell this Friday at home, for first in the Western Highlands Conference.

Landrum scored on a reception, an interception and two punt returns. Leon Cooks caught two touchdown passes from Bud Williford and had 121 receiving yards. Ty’rese Hunt ran for two TDs and 103 yards.

HHS dominated in total yards, by 380-154, and led 52-6 at halftime. This was the second 66-point outburst in a row — the first was 66-31 over Madison — and third this year. HHS beat East Henderson 69-13.

West’s Homecoming Queen Anna Morrison, newly crowned Friday, is escorted by Samuel Littauer. Photo by Pete Zamplas.

The onslaught was lessened by a rule that keeps the clock running, once a lead is 42 points. A long bus ride to the northeast did not deter the Bearcats; Avery (in Newland) seems just before the Arctic Circle.

Hendersonville (6-2) hosts unbeaten Mitchell on Friday, Oct. 14. Mitchell behind quarterback Ben Young is also off to a 3-0 WHC start. MHS beat Polk (1-2) by 30 (48-18) in a televised game Thursday. MHS beat HHS 56-40 at home in ’15. The teams tied Heritage atop the WHC with one loss each. HHS defeated Heritage again this year — 42-22 Sept. 23 — and by beating MHS can surge alone in front.

The other three Henderson County teams took it on the chin, on a rainy Friday. Steady rain seemed to commemorate the Great Flood of (Mid-July) 1916 a century ago. Haywood County’s football tag team of Pisgah and Tuscola won on soggy fields at West and North Henderson Friday, to avenge losses in ’15. This sets up a fight in Canton Friday for first in the WNC Athletic Conference. Pisgah won 20-17 in overtime, at Tuscola in ’15.

West LB Trenton Gasperson (25) makes a flying tackle of Pisgah star QB Tanner Wike. Photo by Pete Zamplas.

Winless East Henderson’s QB Preston Owens broke his leg in a 25-0 loss to North. The Eagles were then downed 45-9 at Brevard (5-2, 2-1 WNCAC) Friday, as Tanner Ellenberger threw for five scores. BHS upset Franklin two weeks earlier, and is revived as a contender.

Pisgah did not have a letdown, after beating Franklin 29-23 at home Sept. 30. The Black Bears spoiled West’s Homecoming Friday by 34-7, while Tuscola breezed by North 54-14. The two Haywood squads are both 7-0 overall, and 3-0 in the WNCAC.

West slips back with North (both 3-4, 1-2) into a crowded pack vying for playoff berths. The Falcons opened their WNCAC slate by beating North 33-14, but in a letdown lost 41-7 at Smoky Mountain (5-2; 1-2), then saw Pisgah break open a defensive battle with big plays.



Falcon Jason Wallace latches onto Pisgah QB Tanner Wike, to tackle him. Photo by Pete Zamplas.

West next plays at Brevard then Tuscola, then hosts Franklin Oct. 28 in its home finale. Three-time reigning WNCAC champ Franklin (1-2) dropped its first two WNCAC contests, but beat Smoky 35-14 Friday. North’s death triad continues with Franklin at home Friday, then at Pisgah. East’s Homecoming is Friday, versus Smoky.

Visiting Pisgah flexed its rushing then passing attacks, airing it out even with a big lead. It was if head coach Brett Chappell, the former East Eagle boss, was practicing for Tuscola. PHS’ Isaiah Fisher ran eight yards for the first score right after Pisgah recovered a fumble. West mostly contained 240-pound fullback Michael Parrott, who is slated to be a “preferred walk on” at Alabama.

Instead, sophomore dual-threat QB Tanner Wike hurt West most. He accounted for four TDs, to total 22 this year. Like his West QB counterpart, Brandon Whitaker, he wears no. 3 and is a fast runner. Wike sprinted 77 yards up the middle for a score. He connected with gritty 6-3 receiver Trey Morgan for three scores in a row. The first two were long passes and runs, covering 60 and over 70 yards. Morgan had 246 yards on eight receptions. Pisgah got back at West, for a 16-12 home loss in ’15.

West was a prelude for Tuscola’s triple option, for Pisgah’s D. But top West back Peyton Frisbee (already nearly a 1,000-yard rusher), missed this game. He wore a sling. Several backs filled in. Trenton Gasperson ran five yards for a TD in waning seconds, to prevent a shutout.

Meanwhile, Tuscola won at North to avenge a 17-14 loss in ’15. North scored first, on QB Kalin Ensley’s four-yard keeper. Knight Kingston Thomas later scooped up a fumble and ran 54 yards for a score.

Tuscola led 21-6 after a quarter, and 34-14 at halftime. Caleb Ferguson ran for four TDs and 231 yards (11 ypc.). Tuscola out-rushed NHS 495-46 yards. Grayson Perkins arced a 44-yard bomb to Josh Allison.

West’s Homecoming finished as rain picked back up. The queen is Anna Morrison, senior and daughter of Jim and Lynn Morrison of Horse Shoe. She plays basketball and runs cross country. She is in Student Government Association, also the Sheepdog Club formed recently to dissuade bullying in school. Samuel Littauer escorted her.

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