HSXtra.com’s Joe Sirera looks at four high school football players who will be in the spotlight Friday night in NCHSAA third-round playoff games against area teams:
GAVIN GOSNELL, senior, QB, Hendersonville
Last week, Reidsville faced the state's leading rusher, Marqies McCombs of Forest City Chase, and held him to two touchdowns in a 56-24 win. This week, the Rams will try to contain the state's No. 3 passer in terms of yardage. Gosnell has completed 173 of 260 passes for 3,082 yards, with 29 touchdowns and only three interceptions. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound senior also has rushed for 502 yards and 13 touchdowns, so Reidsville will have to account for his dual-threat capabilities in their Class 2-A West matchup.
ERIC RASHEED, junior, WR/DB, Hendersonville
If Gavin Gosnell has thrown for more than 3,000 yards, someone has to be catching his passes. The Bearcats' primary receiver is Rasheed, with 56 catches for 1,099 yards and 18 touchdowns. He also has four interceptions as a defensive back, so both Reidsville coordinators will have to be aware of where he is on the field in their Class 2-A West game.
A.J. RICHARDSON, junior, LB, CURTIS SIMPSON, sophomore, DE, Kings Mountain
These two Kings Mountain defenders may not have much in common physically, but their productivity is very similar. Richardson, a 5-foot-11, 235-pound middle linebacker, has 17 tackles for losses and seven sacks. A fullback on offense, he is one of six Mountaineers with at least 125 yards rushing. Simpson, a lanky 6-4, 200, is a pass-rushing end with 15 TFLS, seven sacks and 13 hurries. Dudley's offensive game plan will have to account for both of them in their Class 3-A West matchup. Also worth mentioning is senior wide receiver/defensive back D'Andre Hoyle, who leads Kings Mountain with 25 catches for 616 yards and seven touchdowns and also has six interceptions.
Contact Joe Sirera at 336-373-7034, and follow @JoeSireraSports on Twitter.