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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL — Knights crack statewide poll while Wolves fall out

RYAN HERMAN
Sports Editor

Last week’s upset win over Lincolnton has earned North Lincoln a spot in the polls.
The Knights made their debut in the NCPreps.com’s Baker’s Dozen 3A poll at 13th on Tuesday, while the Wolves fell out of the 2A poll after North Lincoln’s 26-13 season-opening win.
The ranking is the Knights’ first appearance in the polls, NCPreps.com Publisher Deana King said. Lincolnton entered the season ranked 10th before dropping out.
The win was only the second time in 10 regular season meetings North Lincoln (1-0) had beaten the Wolves (0-1). The teams met twice in the 2008 season with Lincolnton earning a first-round state playoff win.
East Lincoln (1-0), which knocked off East Gaston 35-14 on Friday, moved up a spot to sixth in the 2A poll, which is still led by Shelby. Three-time defending state champion Havelock leads the 3A poll.
North Lincoln, which travels to West Lincoln this week, is looking for its first 2-0 start since starting 2-0 in 2004. But the Knights were later forced to forfeit their second win due to their use of an ineligible player.
That year was also the last time they won their season opener.
Up next for the Knights is West Lincoln. North Lincoln has defeated the Rebels in four of the nine times the teams have met, but has dropped four of the last five meetings.
The biggest thing Knights coach David Maness planned on preaching to his players this week is how to sustain success.
“Now the key is we’ve got to be able to handle it, we’ve got to be able to handle success,” he said.

QB EASTER OUT FRIDAY:
Lincolnton junior quarterback Jordon Easter will miss his second straight game Friday due to a high ankle sprain when the Wolves travel to Belmont South Point, the quarterback confirmed on Twitter late Tuesday night.
Easter, who completed 57 percent (85 for 148) of his passes as a sophomore for 1,047 yards and 11 touchdowns, and rushed for 693 yards and six TDs, was missed in last week’s season-opening loss to the Knights, coach Scott Cloninger said.
“We’re not a very good offensive team without Jordon Easter,” Cloninger said after the loss. “Jordon brings a little toughness to the game.”

KNIGHTS-REBELS PASS GATE ENTRANCE: Those with NCHSAA or school-approved passes should enter at the western-most gate nearest the baseball field for Friday’s North Lincoln at West Lincoln varsity football game, Rebels Athletic Director Wayne Navey said.
Admission for the game, as with all games in Lincoln County this season involving Lincoln County Schools, is $6.

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