The North Carolina High School Athletic Association has finalized the playoff brackets for the 2017 football season. The association used MaxPreps seeding to determine the course of the playoffs.
Elkin, East Wilkes and Starmount all made the playoffs this season. In the 1A bracket, Elkin has a No. 6 seed and will host a No. 11 seed. In the 1AA brackets, Starmount came away with a 10 seed and will travel to East Surry (No. 7) on Friday night, while East Wilkes grabbed a No. 2 seed and has a first-round bye.
Hayesville (3-8) at Elkin (5-6)
The Buckin’ Elks have made the NCHSAA 1A Playoffs for the first time since 2014 when Elkin made it to the first round before falling to West Columbus. This year the Buckin’ Elks are looking to make it past the first round, and continue its winning streak. This has been one of the best Elkin football seasons in a few years, as the Buckin’ Elks sit at 5-6. Two weeks ago the Buckin’ Elks put everything on the line as they pulled off a 53-52 win over undefeated East Wilkes. Since that game, Elkin has been on a roll and everything is starting to come together at the right moment.
Elkin has scored 354 points and allowed 416, while Hayesville has scored 155 and allowed 404. Elkin has scored over 30 points in its last four games, it even put up 49 points in a loss to North Wilkes.
If Elkin can bring out the same intensity it has been playing with over the past few weeks, then things should run smoothly for the Buckin’ Elks. Another advantage the Buckin’ Elks could have is travel time as Hayesville is 237 miles from Elkin, which is almost a four-hour drive.
Kick off is set for 7:30 p.m. in Elkin for the first round of playoffs. The winner will move on to face Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy (10-1, 6-1) on Nov. 17.
Starmount (6-5) at East Surry (7-4)
These two teams are no strangers on the field. The Rams and the Cardinals met up earlier this season with East Surry taking a 39-20 win. Although the final scoreline doesn’t show it, the Rams put up a fight against the Cardinals through four quarters. It was an early game for both teams, as the game was played back in August. Since then, Starmount has faced powerhouse teams and come out on top. The Rams have improved steadily over the course of the season and look to show East Surry just how tough they can be on Friday night.
Starmount has allowed 243 points while scoring 272, East Surry has scored 432 and allowed only 237. Starmount will have to come out strong on defense to slow down East Surry’s run game. The Cardinals have one of the best play makers in the area with Joey Ray. Ray is averaging 116 rushing yards per game and is a main factor in East Surry’s play calling. If the Rams can put a stop to Ray, that would give them an advantage in the long run.
Starmount will have to make plays on the ground as well as in the air. The offense will have to make tough plays and keep the ball for several minutes in order to give their defense a chance to rest on the sidelines. The offensive line has shown improvement by not breaking down the pocket which gives the Starmount quarterback enough time to make key plays. The Rams will have to come together and check every box on Friday night to come away with a win.
Kick off is set for 7:30 p.m. in Dobson. The winner will move on to face East Wilkes in the second round on Nov. 17 in Ronda.