Football for Thanksgiving?
There continues to be just such a feast that could possibly take place for the last remaining local entry still alive in the course of the ongoing statewide high school football playoffs.
Mooresville High School, the regular season’s outright fourth-place finisher in its I-Meck Conference, defeated lower-seeded Greensboro Page, 27-15, last Friday night.
The Devils, improving to the 7-5 mark in the process, surfaced as the only one of the area’s two teams to be included in the NCHSAA’s 4A-class West Region bracket to score the right to reach this week’s second-round play.
That was the case as cross-town rival and fellow I-Meck resident Lake Norman, the fifth-place finisher during the regular season, failed to protect its slightly higher-seeded status, The Wildcats — sitting at No. 8 — suffered a 24-14 defeat at the hands of No. 9 seeded Porter Ridge during late last week’s first-round play.
Mooresville becomes the only remaining I-Meck member helping from the smaller-enrollment 4A class field and half of the teams hailing from Iredell County to advance into this week’s round-two play.
In the NCHSAA’s 3A field, regular-season North Piedmont Conference champion Statesville easily advanced with a 49-7 romp past North Buncombe to also — as anticipated — stretch its season into this week.
Wins by either/or Mooresville and Statesville will allow each and/or either to apply a helping of football to their respective plates on the day after the arrival of Thanksgiving.
Mooresville turned a three-second span late in the second period of its conquest over Page to garner welcome momentum it rode practically throughout the course of the second half of its favorable verdict.
After the Blue Devils’ junior running back Glenwood Robinson struck for his second touchdown carry of the game with mere seconds left in the second period, a play scoured from the depths of the team’s playbook took the wind completely out of the Page Pirates’ ship.
Upon recovering the surprising ensuing onside kicks, Mooresville turned its placekicker Isaac Riffle into a quarterback after receiving a direct snap from field goal formation. Riffle hooked up with receiver Malik Birchett streaking untouched for a 34-yard TD with no time left on the clock.
The resulting 20-0 intermission lead proved too much for No. 11 seeded Page to overcome, despite providing some limited suspense until the Devils tacked on their final score in the final minute of fourth-period play.
The Devils- with all of its losses suffered to teams that also have reached as far as the second-round of postseason play — move on to tackle a No. 3 Jamestown Ragsdale. Ragsdale, despite a losing overall record, is sitting at 5-6 and garnered a first-round bye from the playoffs. This week second-round affair will be held at Ragsdale Friday night.
A win by No. 6-seeded Mooresville will move it on into the Friday after Thanksgiving’s third-round to meet up with either No. 2 seed East Forsyth or No. 7 seed Davie County.