Polk County senior Gage McSwain

Polk County will open its final 1AA football playoffs for at least the next four years with a matchup at North Stanly.

The Wolverines (4-1) earned a wild-card berth in the 1AA bracket and will travel Friday to New London to face the Comets, according to pairings released Saturday by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.

Polk County, who is scheduled to move up to the 2A level this fall, will return to action on Friday after missing its final two regular-season games due to a positive COVID-19 test within the program.

The Wolverines finished tied for the Western Highlands Conference regular-season championship with Mitchell, but lost a draw with the Mountaineers for the WHC’s automatic berth and top seed.

All playoffs this spring are being seeded by random draw.

North Stanly finished 6-0 and won the Yadkin Valley 1A Conference. Polk County and North Stanly have never met.

The Comets, who finished undefeated for the first time in school history, are led by junior quarterback Luke Shaver (39-of-64, 602 yards, 6 TDs) and running backs Christain Barber (41-273-5), Cameron Smith (26-252-4) and Karee Dykes (29-187-3). Cooper Hogan (12-247-2) leads the Comet receiving corps.

North Stanly has been solid defensively, with two shutouts in its six games and holding all but one opponent to 15 points or less. That exception came in Friday’s 43-21 rout of 2-6 Forest Hills.

The winner will play the winner of North Rowan-Community School of Davidson in the second round.

1AA Football Playoffs First Round Pairings

#1 Tarboro (5-0) vs. #8 Manteo (2-4)
#4 John A. Holmes (5-0) vs. #5 Princeton (7-0)
#3 East Carteret (5-2) vs. #6 Hobbton (2-5)
#2 Louisburg (4-2) vs. #7 Lakewood (2-5)

#1 North Stanly (6-0) vs. #8 Polk County (4-1)
#4 North Rowan (4-2) vs. #5 Community School of Davidson (5-2)
#3 Pine Lake Prep (7-0) vs. #6 Mount Airy (4-2)
#2 East Surry (6-1) vs. #7 North Moore (4-3)