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Knights travel to Bessemer City Friday

North Lincoln quarterback Reed McRorie (right) looks for an open receiver in a recent game. McRorie has thrown for 658 yards and 8 touchdowns through three games.


Sports Editor

For the second straight week, North Lincoln will take on a 3-0 team on the road this Friday.  

After nearly pulling off the upset last week at Alexander Central, the Knights travel to Bessemer City to take on an undefeated Yellow Jackets team that has back-to-back shutout wins over East Gaston and Chase.  In fact, Bessemer City has allowed just seven points through the first three games of the 2017 season.

But North Lincoln should be the toughest challenge to date for the Yellow Jackets.  While the Knights record is 1-2, their losses have come to teams that are a combined 7-1.  

And North Lincoln is averaging over 33 points per game, behind the arm of Reed McRorie.  The senior quarterback has thrown for 658 yards and 8 touchdowns, including a 4-touchdown, 280-yard performance this past week against unbeaten Alexander Central.

Ten of his 35 completions have been to fellow senior Caleb Holley, who has 213 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns.  Junior running back Clayton Cribb is the team’s leading rusher with 238 yards on 35 carries, an average of nearly seven yards per carry.  

The Yellow Jackets like to run the football, and do it well averaging 314 yards per game.  Jarkevious Love, a sophomore, leads the team with 118 yards per game.  Love has scored six rushing touchdowns for Bessemer City.  

Quarterback Bruce Gunter averages 74 yards per game on the ground, and has ran for 4 touchdowns while throwing for two.  

These two teams are very familiar with each other.  The Knights have faced Bessemer City every year since the school began its football program in 2003.  North Lincoln holds a 9-5 edge in the series, winning four straight two different times, from 2005 through 2008 and from 2012 through 2015.  The Yellow Jackets broke the most recent string of wins last season with a low-scoring 8-6 win.

Something has to give in this one.  Will the stingy Bessemer City defense be able to shut down the Knights passing game, or will McRorie again be able to put up big numbers through the air?

If North Lincoln can have some success in the passing game, their chances are good in this matchup.

Image courtesy of Nic Baxter / Special to the LTN

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