By Benjamin Cohn
Weaverville – North Buncombe defeated the visiting Enka Jets in their homecoming match Friday, the final score reading 49-34.
Friday’s match began with an Enka kickoff to North Buncombe. Fast, dexterous offensive play by North Buncombe’s Caden Higgens (#6), a senior slotback and quarterback, led to a three-yard rushing touchdown, putting six points on the board for the home team. A successful point after touchdown (PAT) left the score 7-0 in favor of the Hawks.
Enka responded immediately with a touchdown of their own, a successful PAT tying the game at 7-7. Right on cue, North Buncombe offense enabled Higgens to throw a huge 66-yard completion to Skylar Jutras (#28), scoring an additional six points. A well-placed kick afterwards doubled the home team’s score, now 14 with Enka still trailing by 7.
North Buncombe continued the aggression throughout the first quarter of play, with Joe Jones (#3) adding six points to the home team. Another successful PAT ended the game’s first quarter, the score 21-7 in favor of the Weaverville team.
The second quarter began in earnest, quarterback Higgens (#6) rushing once more for a North Buncombe touchdown. The successful PAT added a total of seven points to the home team’s score, in a comfortable lead at 28-7. At the end of the second quarter, after several ineffective offensive plays, Higgens rushed for another BlackHawk touchdown. The kick after was good, the score now 35-7 in favor of the home team.
With scarcely a minute to go in the first half of play, Enka managed to eke out a rushing touchdown, courtesy of Jake Smith (#13). A successful kick closed out the half, the score 35-14 in favor of North Buncombe.
Friday night’s half-time show was special this week. The fifteen-minute intermission was used to crown North Buncombe’s 2018 Homecoming Queen, awarded to senior Shayla Hernandez.
The third quarter of play was extremely slow. Enka scored once, a successful PAT leaving the score at 35-21. A disappointing BlackHawk performance left players wondering, “Why can’t we have another one like the first quarter?” A North Buncombe coach was heard saying his team just needed to hang on to the now-slim lead they’d accrued.
Friday’s final quarter saw an early rushing touchdown by North Buncombe’s Skylar Jutras, adding six to the home team’s score. The PAT was successful, extending the BlackHawks’ lead, the score 42-21. In easily the most impressive play of the evening, Enka scored a touchdown off of North Buncombe’s kick, a successful kick leaving the score 42-28 in favor of North Buncombe.
Both teams would score once more before the game ended. North Buncombe’s PAT was successful, Enka’s was not. The fourth quarter elapsed with the home team retaining a small lead, the final score 49-34 in favor of the BlackHawks.
With this most recent win, North Buncombe’s overall record so far is 5-2, their conference record 3-1. North Buncombe’s next game is Friday, October 5, at North Henderson High School.