Game of the Week: Starmount Rams (10-1, 7-1 MVC) at East Lincoln Mustangs (12-0, 7-0 SPC)
The Starmount Rams travel to East Lincoln today for a rematch of last year’s first-round battle in which the Mustangs fell 21-13.
But the story between the two teams extends far beyond just football.
Starmount quarterback Christian Hurt broke a vertebra in his neck in the third quarter of last year’s game and has been forced to wear a halo ever since. He’s currently raising funds to travel to Germany for a surgery that is not approved in the United States to repair the vertebrae. Hurt is a candidate for a surgery to fuse the vertebrae in his neck that is approved in the U.S., but the German surgery could provide him with more mobility in his neck and a better recovery.
The East Lincoln athletic department has sold shirts and wristbands in an effort to assist Hurt in generating the necessary funds, and donated nearly $4,000 to him at the Mustangs’ last regular season home game. The school will be accepting donations again at today’s game.
“Since Starmount is coming this week we’re going to try to do it again,” East Lincoln head coach Mike Byus said.
The Starmount offense works out of a multiple-set Wing-T formation, Byus said. The Rams average nearly 300 rushing yards per game, with Chaston Martin’s 104 yards per game leading the team.
The Rams have scored 30 points per game this season but their strong suit has been defense. The team has allowed only six points, on average, to its opponents, with four shutouts.
Starmount’s only loss came October 26 when they fell to Wilkes Central 14-7 in the last game of the regular season.
Lincolnton Wolves (7-5, 5-2 SPC) at Thomasville Bulldogs (5-7, 4-1 CCC)
The Lincolnton Wolves need to know one name for today’s second-round game at Thomasville — Gabe Brockett.
Brockett, a tailback, has 2,477 season yards as the workhorse of the Bulldogs’ ground attack. He set the school’s single-game rushing record on October 26 against Lexington in his team’s final regular-season game with 433 yards.
He’s had 93 carries for 805 yards and nine touchdowns in the last two games alone, and was instrumental in the Bulldogs’ defeat of Maiden 27-24 in the first round of the playoffs last week..
The Wolves and Bulldogs met last year for the 2A West Regional Championship in the fourth round of the playoffs. Lincolnton took a 26-0 victory and earned a berth to the state championship game against Tarboro.
Thomasville started the season on a 0-6 losing streak in nonconference play but went 4-1 in its Central Carolina Conference games, losing to Salisbury, the eventual conference champion, 42-39 in Week 10. The Bulldogs outscored their conference opponents 182-89 this season.
The Wolves are on a five-game hot streak, and easily handled Wilkes Central 41-21 in the first round of the playoffs last week.
The winner of today’s game will take on either East Lincoln or Starmount next week.