The first of three games that are expected to decide the Cap Eight 4A regular-season football championship will be played Friday night when undefeated Wakefield plays at Leesville Road.
Both teams have been impressive, so impressive that it can argued that either one should be No. 1 in The N&O rankings.
Since an opening 21-7 win against Panther Creek, Leesville has dominated Green Hope 36-19, Durham Jordan 49-0, Enloe 50-20 and Broughton 40-21.
Wakefield has been even more dominant. The Wolverines have easily topped 50 points the past three weeks – 55-41 vs. East Wake, 57-20 vs. Sanderson and 54-21 vs. Millbrook. Wakefield’s 34-7 victory against Knightdale is the only game the Wolverines did not score six touchdowns. They opened the season with a 46-21 win against Durham Riverside and a 49-20 win against Holly Springs.
Leesville will win because of its defense. Leesville plays better defense. Wakefield leads the area in scoring with 49.2 points per game, but the Wolverines are giving up three touchdowns per game. Leesville is averaging 39 points and allowing 13.4. a game. Leesville will get its average scoring average and stop Wakefield often enough to take a high-scoring victory. The Pride’s Braxton Berrios can turn any play into a touchdown.
Wakefield will win because of its offense. No one has come close to stopping the Wakefield offense, which averages 49.2 points. Quarterback Connor Mitch has thrown for 2,078 yards and is one of the nation’s top high school quarterbacks. Given time to pass, he will pick apart defenses and has 29 touchdowns in six games. Mitch averages 9.9 passing yards per attempt. Wakefield wide receiver Jordan Fielleteau has 759 receiving yards and 12 scoring catches. He also has enough speed to burn the Pride secondary. Forget defense. This is a track meet and Leesville can’t keep up.