What's at stake: East Surry has retained a goal since last season's loss to Tarboro in the Class 1-AA championship — get back to title contention. A victory against Mitchell, taking its fifth crack at a regional since 2010, would get the Cardinals back to that point.
How they got there: East Surry has outscored opponents 708-151, with the Cardinals scoring 60 or more points in six of their wins. The team closest game this season was a 55-49 non-conference victory over Reidsville.
Mitchell finished second in the Western Highlands 1-A/2-A, behind Mountain Heritage. Mitchell has given up just six points throughout its playoff run, with wins against Polk County and Swain County.
The last time they made it: East Surry last reached a regional last season. The Cardinals defeated Starmount 44-27 in Boonville. Mitchell advanced to a semifinals matchup in 2017 — a 42-28 loss to Cherokee.
Players to watch: Quarterback Jefferson Boaz has passed for 3,837 yards and 56 touchdowns for East Surry. Running back Elijah Wright has amassed 763 yards and 11 touchdowns. Isaac Washington, a defensive end, leads the Cardinals in tackles with 59, including 25 for losses.
Mitchell is led in rushing and passing yards by quarterback Noah Pitman. The senior has thrown for 1,510 yards and 20 touchdowns. Pitman has ran for 1,541 yards and 24 touchdowns. Caius Peterson, a junior linebacker, has amassed 106 tackles with 13 for losses.