by David Keever and Mike Powell
Each week, David Keever and Mike Powell will pick the scores of 10 area high school football games. Here we go with Week 1.
LINCOLNTON AT STUART CRAMER
DK: The Wolves have been outscored by the Storm 84-13 over the last two seasons, but something tells me that Lincolnton has a little edge here. New head coach Joe Glass seems to be turning the program in the right direction, but is it too soon to pick an upset?
DK: Lincolnton 21, Stuart Cramer 17 MP: Stuart Cramer 28, Lincolnton 18
DRAUGHN at WEST LINCOLN: MP: The Rebels lost a ton of experience through graduation, but retiring coach Tom Sain did not leave a bare cupboard for new head mentor Darren Ponder. Senior running back Cannon Bridges may be a star in the making … MP: West Lincoln 28, Draughn 13. DK: West Lincoln 35, Draughn 14
NORTH LINCOLN at PARKWOOD: MP: Is it possible for the Knights to improve upon 2018’s breakout season under then first-year coach Nick Bazzle? It seems possible given the return of 18 starters … MP: North Lincoln 32, Parkwood 13. DK: North Lincoln 27, Parkwood 7
MAIDEN AT FRED T. FOARD
DK: The Blue Devils always begin the season firing on all cylinders, and I expect no different on Friday. The Tigers graduated 15 seniors off of last year’s 6-6 team, but they do return star running back Corey Siemer. Will it be enough?
DK: Maiden 28, Foard 14 MP: Maiden 21, Fred T. Foard 8
BANDYS AT ST STEPHENS
DK: There is no doubt that the Trojans will miss the power running of Ethan Howard. The question now for the defending South Fork 2A champions is can they repeat.
DK: Bandys 35, St Stephens 13 MP: St. Stephens 20, Bandys 12
BUNKER HILL AT NEWTON-CONOVER: MP: The Red Devils need to shore up a porous defense (31 ppg allowed) to improve upon their 4-7 finish of a year ago. Bunker Hill is on the right track under Patrick Clark, but is still rebuilding … MP: Newton-Conover 28, Bunker Hill 16. DK: Newton-Conover 35, Bunker Hill 14
NORTH GASTON AT EAST GASTON: MP: These teams combined for two wins in 2018, so there is nowhere to go but up. East Gaston debuts a new coach in Jason Lippard … MP: North Gaston 34, East Gaston 14. DK: North Gaston 28, East Gaston 21
SHELBY AT FREEDOM
DK: A lot of chatter out there about this being one of the best Golden Lion teams ever. That says a lot about a program that has won 5 state titles in the last 6 years.
DK: Shelby 38, Freedom 21 MP: Shelby 27, Freedom 14
SOUTH POINT AT CREST
DK: Things have been a little quiet about these two teams over the offseason, but you just know they’ll both be good. Question is, how good?
DK: Crest 27, South Point 20 MP: Crest 21, South Point 17
KINGS MOUNTAIN vs. BURNS (at Gardner-Webb)
MP: Neither team has a home field advantage, but the Mountaineers are ranked ninth in the state by Max Preps following a 12-3 season. Meanwhile, Burns boasts one of the most electrifying players in the area in senior RB Kujuan Pryor … MP: Kings Mountain 38, Burns 27. DK: Kings Mountain 42, Burns 21