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Football Preview: East Surry vs. Mountain Island Charter

One week after playing one of its most common playoff opponents, East Surry hosts a certain opponent for the first time ever: Mountain Island Charter School.

The No. 5 MICS Raptors (11-2) upset No. 4 Mount Airy last week to set up a clash with No. 1 East Surry (12-0) in the third round of the NCHSAA state playoffs. The 42-35 (2OT) win over Mount Airy is Mountain Island’s second-ever win in the 1AA playoffs, with the first coming seven days prior against Community School of Davidson.

Both the Cardinals and Raptors have high-powered offenses, but they operate in totally different ways. East Surry’s aerial assault leads the state in passing yards per game and passing touchdowns. Despite this, East proved it can run the ball when needed after posting a season-high 273 yards rushing and four rushing TDs.

Raptor running back Elijah Burris, who will suit up in Carolina Blue next year alongside East Surry’s Jefferson Boaz, Landon Stevens and Stephen Gosnell, looks to run through the Cardinals’ defense on Friday. Burris, a UNC-commit, surpassed the 2,000-yard rushing mark against the Bears with a performance of 13 carries for 154 yards and two TDs. Burris averages 13.2 yards per carry on the season and his two rushing TDs against Mount Airy brought his season-total up to 36, which is the second-most of any RB in the state.

Mountain Island’s 269.1 rushing yards per game is the most of any team East Surry has faced all year, ranking 14th in the state’s 1A division. For comparison, Tarboro averages 271.4 (12th), Mitchell 285.3 (10th) and Holmes 329.4 (third). Each of those teams are still alive in the 1AA State Playoffs.

The Raptors ran the ball on 29-of-36 offensive plays against the Bears for 256 yards and three TDs. Two other touchdowns came on Kobe Creamer’s season-best 125 yard passing performance.

The remaining touchdown came from MICS’ stout defense when Christian Hunter ran in a pick-6. The Raptors are statistically one of the best teams in the state in sacks, fumble recoveries and interceptions. As you’ll see below, the Raptors have 12 defensive touchdowns on the year and are nationally ranked in numerous defensive categories.

Here is how No. 1 East Surry and No. 5 Mountain Island Charter stack up ahead of Friday’s game in Pilot Mountain:


East Surry Cardinals

Passing yards per game: 315.8 (first in NC, 39th in the nation)

Passing touchdowns: 54 (first in NC, tied for 14th in the nation)

Rushing YPG: 155.1

Rushing touchdowns: 36

Total TDs: 97 (tied for second in NC, tied for 10th in the nation)

Total YPG: 470.9 (sixth in NC)

Points per game: 57.3 (first in NC, seventh in the nation)

QB Jefferson Boaz – 3,719 yards passing (first in NC, 26th in the nation) 183-of-248 passing, .738 completion percentage, 54 passing TDs , (first in NC, tied for 10th in the nation), five interceptions, 48 carries for 439 yards, 15 rushing TDs

WR Stephen Gosnell – 48 receptions for 1,141 yards (10th in NC), 23.8 yards per reception, 18 receiving TDs (tied for third in NC), 22 carries for 267 yards rushing, four rushing TDs

WR Landon Stevens – 46 receptions for 1,126 yards (14th in NC), 24.5 yards per reception, 18 receiving TDs (tied for third in NC)

WR Dillon Mosley – 47 receptions for 838 yards, 17.8 yards per reception, 13 receiving TDs (tied for 29th in NC)

RB Elijah Wright – 63 carries for 703 yards, 11.2 yards per carry, 11 rushing TDs, 6 receptions for 74 yards

Mountain Island Charter Raptors

Passing yards per game: 110.2

Passing touchdowns: 19

Rushing YPG: 269.1

Rushing touchdowns: 52

Total TDs: 87 (tied for fourth in NC, tied for 43rd in the nation)

Total YPG: 379.3

Points per game: 46.1

QB Demetrius Washington (hasn’t played since 10/25) – 1,106 yards passing, 53-of-90 attempts, .589 completion percentage, 14 passing TDs, four interceptions, 47 carries for 199 yards, one rushing TD

QB Kobe Creamer (starter since 11/1) – 247 yards passing, 14-of-31 attempts, .452 completion percentage, four passing TDs, no interceptions, 42 carries for 258 yards, three rushing TDs

RB Elijah Burris – 157 carries for 2,066 yards (eighth in NC), 13.2 yards per carry, 36 rushing TDs (second in NC, tied for 27rd in the nation), eight receptions for 133 yards, one receiving TD

RB Caleb Patton – 24 carries for 256 yards, 10.7 yards per carry, four rushing TDs, two receptions for 63 yards

WR Trae Nickelson – 14 receptions for 272 yards, 19.4 yards per reception, one receiving TD, 20 carries for 244 yards, two rushing TDs, two punt return TDs

WR Jaden Robinson – 13 receptions for 232 yards, 17.8 yards per reception, four receiving TDs


East Surry Cardinals

PPG Allowed: 11.4

Sacks: 31.0

Sacks per game: 2.6

QB Hurries: 39

Fumble Recoveries: 11

Interceptions: 19

Interceptions Yards: 275

Passes Defensed: 11

Defensive TDs: 5

DL Isaac Washington – 54 solo tackles, 82 total tackles, 6.8 tackles per game, 22.0 tackles for a loss, 11.0 sacks (tied for 28th in NC), 21 QB hurries (tied for 23rd in NC)

ILB Hoyt Bullington: 47 solo tackles, 76 total tackles, 6.3 tackles per game, 8.0 tackles for a loss, 3.0 sacks, three QB hurries, one pick-6

ILB Rommie Speaks: 48 solo tackles, 73 total tackles, 6.6 tackles per game, 6.0 tackles for a loss, 2.0 sacks, four QB hurries

FS Tye Needham: five interceptions, 52 INT yards, one pick-6

SS Luke Bullington: four interceptions, 119 interception yards, two pick-6s, 44 total tackles

Mountain Island Charter

PPG Allowed: 8.9

Sacks: 67.0 (second in NC, 19th in the nation)

Sacks per game: 5.2 (second in NC, tied for 27th in the nation)

QB Hurries: 11

Fumble Recoveries: 20

Interceptions: 21 (tied for sixth in NC)

Interceptions Yards: 588 (second in NC, 10th in the nation)

Passes Defensed: 27

Defensive TDs: 12

LB Jay Brandon Jones II – 68 solo tackles, 125 total tackles, 9.6 tackles per game, 16.0 tackles for a loss, 10.0 sacks, two QB hurries, five fumble recoveries

LB Christian Sellers – 56 solo tackles, 93 total tackles, 7.2 tackles per game, 30.0 tackles for a loss (tied for 11th in NC), 26.0 sacks (second in NC, tied for seventh in the nation), six QB hurries, four fumble recoveries, two blocked punts

DB Durrell Johnson – 11 interceptions (second in NC, tied for eighth in the nation), 340 int yards (third in NC, seventh in the nation), 29 solo tackles, 54 total tackles, one pick-6


East Surry Cardinals

K Derek Sutterby – 51-straight made PATs, 95-of-97 PATs (leads NC and the nation in made PATs), 98 kicking points (first in NC, tied for fifth in the nation), 3,772 kickoff yards

Mountain Island Charter Raptors

K Todd Pledger – 88 kickoffs for 5,367 yards, 58 touchbacks, 61-of-69 on PATs, 3-of-3 field goals (long of 47), 70 kicking points