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Teams still trying to find their true identities

The third week of high school football was perhaps the first true test for most of the Lincoln County teams.
With only four more weeks until the start of the Southern Piedmont 1A/2A Conference, all four Lincoln County teams are trying to build their playoff resume with key non-conference games.
East Lincoln (1-1) evened its record with a big 62-6 home win over Kennedy Charter in which senior Josh Wilson stood out on offense and sophomore Charlie Goss stood out on defense.
Wilson, the multi-talented threat, accounted for 200 total yards. Wilson scored twice on two rushing scores and also had a passing TD. He rushed twice for 29 yards, threw for 95 yards and caught two passes for 76 yards.
Goss showed his ability to improve from week to week as he, along with senior Theo Holland, each had a sack on Thursday. Goss had seven tackles in the Mustangs’ opener against 2A defending state champs Newton-Conover and registered himself a sack on Thursday against Kennedy Charter.
East Lincoln will travel to take on the East Gaston Warriors (1-2) at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.
Lincolnton (2-1), who always seems to have a tough non-conference schedule, had a close encounter with Highway 321 rival and neighbor Maiden on Friday. The Wolves had more than 400 total yards in a 21-13 win that broke a previous undefeated streak for the Blue Devils.
Leading the way were sophomore Dee Littlejohn and senior Tevin Avery. Littlejohn was a beast on the ground, moving the chains and dragging defenders on his way to a 161-yard rushing night on 18 carries. The underclassmen averaged nearly nine yards and scored to give the Wolves a go-ahead score.
Avery on the other hand, seemed to be involved in a lot of big plays. The senior rushed 10 times for 130 yards and scored twice. He caught a 22-yard pass from sophomore QB Jalen Littlejohn with three men in traffic in the air in the first half. He later added a 22-yard TD run that gave Lincolnton a comfortable 21-7 lead they would hold on to.
The Wolves will host a winless North Gaston (0-3) on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The Knights (0-3) have proven they can compete with just about anybody but just haven’t put it all together for a win yet.
Standouts from Friday’s game against East Surry include seniors Mason Pirtle and Mitchell Gates.
Pirtle, who has caught at least a touchdown pass in every game this season, had four TDs in three games. His only catch of the night was the Knights’ first score of the game.
North Lincoln head coach Scott Stilwell said Gates did some hard running on offense but played well on defense also. Gates had 57 total yards but rushed nine times for 42 yards including a touchdown and had one catch for 15 yards.
The Knights will host the winless North Iredell Raiders (0-2) on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
West Lincoln (2-1) had been on a roll until the Fred T. Foard defense slowed them down Friday. Junior Devyn Travis continues to run over defenses every week as he surpassed the 100-yard rushing mark for the third straight week to begin the season. He finished the game with 139 total yards (113 rushing, 26 receiving). Travis averaged 5 yards a carry and carried the load for the Rebels rushing offense obtaining 113 of the teams’ 199 yards on the ground.
Sophomore Tyler Smith showed his versatility as he finished with 54 total yards for West Lincoln. The underclassmen rushed twice for 13 yards but led the team in catches with four receptions for 41 yards.
West Lincoln will host a winless Thomas Jefferson Academy (0-2) team at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.
by Michael Christopher

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