Landon Keller and NSM host three-time defending state champion Fyffe Friday night.


The North Sand Mountain football team will get a shot at ending a historic run.

NSM hosts Class 3A No. 1-ranked Fyffe at Lloyd Dobbins Field in Higdon in its regular-season home finale Friday night.

Fyffe enters the game on a 50-game winning streak, which is tied for the second-longest winning streak in AHSAA football history. Coach Paul Benefield’s Red Devils have won three straight state championships, two in Class 2A and one in 3A, and they have won 63 consecutive regular-season games.

“Fyffe is Fyffe,” said NSM head coach Keith Kirby. “They do things the right way. They’re (the program) everyone’s chasing.”

Friday’s game is the 25th meeting between the teams. Fyffe leads the series 21-3 and was won the teams’ last 15 matchups. NSM’s last win over the Red Devils was in 1998.

Key players for Fyffe (5-0) are senior quarterback Kyle Dukes, who is the team’s leading rusher, while Will Stephens, Logan Anderson and Brodie Hicks will also get carries. The Red Devils defense is allowing only 7.6 points per game, which is the 10th fewest amongst teams in all seven AHSAA classifications.

The Red Devils are coming off of a 45-19 win over Class 3A No. 8 Plainview.

Meanwhile, NSM (2-4) suffered a 44-20 loss to Pisgah a week ago after holding a 20-6 lead in the third quarter. Kirby said the Bison can’t continue to “not finish” and a four-quarter effort is a must against Fyffe.

“We’ve got to put four quarters of football together. We’ve had the lead or been tied in every game we’ve lost but one, but we didn’t finish. We’ve struggled to finish and it’s a glaring problem we’ve got to fix,” Kirby said. “We’ve got to go out there and fight and play hard for four quarters (against Fyffe). If we don’t, we’ll be at their mercy.”

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