MAIDEN, N.C. — What a difference a few weeks makes.
For the Maiden Blue Devils varsity football team, it matched up with a familiar foe via West Lincoln in the second round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 2A West playoffs on Friday night.
The Blue Devils and the Rebels butted heads in Vale on Sept. 24 in which the former came away with a 20-14 victory. In that match-up, there was a 14-all stalemate that was snapped by Maiden senior quarterback Ethan Rhodes in the final minutes after his touchdown run.
Nevertheless, unlike that encounter, the playoff contest inside of Thomas E. Brown Stadium was a different type of feel. The Blue Devils dominated from start to finish thanks in large part to the poise behind center from Rhodes.
Maiden (12-0) picked apart West Lincoln (9-3) through the air early and often en route to a 47-0 throttling.
Rhodes had a great showing as he amassed 246 yards on a 9-of-11 clip with four total touchdowns (three passing and one rushing). The outcome was his present as he celebrated his 18th birthday on Sunday, Nov. 14.
Rhodes was also recently awarded the 2021 WNNC Coca-Cola Golden Helmet Player of the Year award for the second-straight season. He is only the 5th player in award history to win it in back-to-back years.
(Read full story in Tuesday's edition of the O-N-E)