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North Moore sophomore Elliott Furr (30) extends out for a tackle against Graham last week. The Mustangs have a chance to close the regular season with a 9-1 record with a win Friday at Chatham Central.

A win at Chatham Central Friday night could lead to the North Moore football team finishing the regular season with a 9-1 record, a finish that hasn’t happened at the school since the 1994 season.

That year, the Mustangs finished with a perfect record before a first-round playoff loss.

After losing its first game at Cummings two weeks ago, North Moore (7-1, 3-1 Mid-Carolina) looks to close on a two-game win streak at the only 1A opponent in the conference in the last game of the regular season.

“We’ve talked to our guys a little bit about how every game this point forward is a championship ballgame,” North Moore coach Andrew Carrouth said. “This week is a 1A championship ballgame and we’ve earned an opportunity to be in the playoff talk next week. Every week we’ve got to have a sense of urgency, and we’ve got to play smart and physical football.”

Chatham Central (1-6, 1-3 Mid-Carolina) has struggled through the season, with its lone win coming in a 21-7 win over Jordan-Matthews. The Bears average a touchdown a game on offense, while opponents average more than 30 points per game.

“They’re tough. They’ve got a bunch of tough kids. I definitely think they are better up front than they have been,” Carrouth said. “You can tell on both sides of football that they put a lot of emphasis on the guys up front.”

The Bears on offense are led by senior quarterback Colton McKeithan and senior running backs Trey Clay and Malachi Moore.

Carrouth mentioned the athleticism that Moore brings to the lineup, and despite missing the last two games, North Moore is preparing to face him this week.

The defense operates around senior Collin Lagenor, who has a team-high 45 tackles, including 7 ½ for loss, as well as two interceptions and two fumble recoveries.

North Moore is coming off a dominant offensive showing with more than 600 yards of total offense in the 49-20 win over Graham. The Mustangs rushed for 590 yards in the win.

With rain forecasted for Thursday into Friday and no change in the schedule for the game, North Moore is preparing for muddy conditions, which is something its style of play could thrive in.

“We love that. That’s our kind of weather. Ball security is going to be a big deal and just being loyal to what you do,” Carrouth said. “We’re not going to do a lot of flashy or fancy trick plays or anything like that. We’re just going to go back to the fundamentals on a rough weather condition night and just play football.”

The last time the teams met in the spring season, history was made as Justis Dorsett tied a state record with most rushing touchdowns in a game with his eight scores in the 77-50 win. North Moore has won six of the last eight contests in the series.

Contact Jonathan Bym at (910) 693-2470 or jonathan@thepilot.com

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